just about every weekday i get home from work and the following occurs:
walk into the house through the laundry room.
our eldest dog Pugston rises from his napping spot on the old couch that's placed in what would otherwise normally be considered our formal dining room, greeting me enthusiastically. he does this because, among other things, i am the Scooper Of The Food and the Opener Of The Door That Leads To The Grass Where He Poops (and he's also been sleeping for the last eight to ten hours so the mere sight of someone new in the house is an exciting change of pace).
after proper greetings between Pugston and myself are exchanged our cat Nerf usually makes an appearance, coolly scoping out the situation.
make my way to the master bedroom where our newest dog Louie has been enjoying the cozy shelter of his kennel where he stays during those times when the house is unsupervised by humans (Louie is young and has not yet demonstrated a level of conscientious bladder control that would grant him greater freedoms).
opening the cage to the kennel, Louie unleashes a day's worth of pent-up kinetic energy as he bolts to the living room eager to chase or be chased by Pugston or Nerf, whichever one happens to be first in his path.
both dogs eagerly follow me to the kitchen door that leads to the backyard, barely letting the door open a crack before they squirm their ways out to the carpet of green grass (well mostly a carpet, we have some brown and dead patches, i never claimed to be a master of the yard) for their routine evacuation activities. i walk out in the yard with them, taking a look at the state of the backyard and keeping an eye on things.
if i turn to look back at the kitchen door i can see Nerf through one of its glass panes, sitting on the kitchen floor observing us in our movements about this strange foreign "not-house" world. maybe he wants to join us in exploring the outdoor flora? oh, no sir, not at all, he's strictly an evaluator from afar. open the door to any degree and he bolts to a location more suitable to his always-heightened sense of caution.
the dogs' business done, we head back inside. the events occurring after may vary in timing or happening (dinner prep, playing xbox, cleaning dishes, minor household chores), but this first sequence of events invariably comes to pass in similar fashion weekday after weekday.
in some circumstances this type of repetition of ritual can grow mundane and dispiriting; with Pugston, Nerf, and Louie, though, our developing tradition is a presence of pure goodness in life.