In Your Dreams
prompt: saw you in my dream
“But I had plans for us.”
Steve sat slumped over, head in his hands. If the dictionary needed a photo to represent “dejection,” he was perfect for it. Brenda watched him for a moment and then sighed heavily.
“I’m afraid I don’t understand the problem here,” she said.
Steve didn’t even bother responding.
“I’m going for a soda,” Brenda said. “Want me to bring you anything?”
“Nothing will help,” Steve said, his face still buried in his hands.
Brenda rolled eyes, rose from the bench, and whistled to the Australian Shepherd that sat at Steve’s feet.
“Come on, Gypsy,” she said, taking up the dog lead. “I think Steve needs a moment.”
Brenda headed straight for the snack booth, bought a giant diet cola. She stood in a quiet corner of the vast room, watching all the bustle of several hundred people, each with a dog. Excited yipping and yapping filled the air, almost drowning out the announcers as they called each competitor into a ring. Four agility courses were set up in each quadrant of the room and dogs and handlers raced around each one, intense expressions on the human faces, grins of delight on those of the dogs. Brenda grinned herself. For her, the best part of running agility was seeing how much fun the dogs were having as they zipped around the ring. She glanced down at Gypsy who, with the excellent manners that seemed natural to him, sat at her side, smiling good-naturedly at the passing crowd.
“Good boy, Gyp,” she said. “Let’s have a walk around, okay?”
Slowly, they walked a serpentine course through the maze of people and dogs. It wasn’t hard to pick out the seasoned handlers and experienced dogs from the younger newbies. The new participants groomed their young dogs incessantly while their dogs practically vibrated with the excitement of it all. Brenda smiled ruefully. Many of those youngsters would be exhausted before they even made it to the ring. They’d learn, however, and here and there, she could see the more experienced handlers approaching the new people, offering friendly encouragement and advice. Brenda did love the cheerful, friendliness of the sport. These people loved their dogs and had warm regard for others who shared that feeling.
Eventually, they made their way back to the spot where they’d set up their own little base camp. Steve no longer hid his face, but he still sat staring morosely at the busy scene. Brenda lengthened the lead, allowing Gypsy to go to him. Gyp bounced up onto the bench beside Steve and rested his chin on Steve’s shoulder.
“I had a dream last night,” Steve said. He reached up and scratched Gypsy’s ear. “I dreamt he won the whole thing.”
“I’d say second place overall is pretty close,” Brenda replied.
“In my dream, he won it all and a bunch of marketing guys from all the big dog food companies mobbed us with advertising contracts.”
Brenda tried not to roll her eyes. She sat down next to Gypsy and gave the dog a good, all-over scratch.
“You know that never happens, right?” she asked.
“Yeah, I know,” Steve said. “But it should. Gypsy is amazing. You know he’s the best dog here.” He turned his head and Gypsy licked his nose. “Some dog food contracts would sure help us pay off some student loans.”
“We’re getting it done,” said Brenda. “Gyp isn’t required to earn his keep.”
Steve sat quietly for a bit, gently rubbing the dog’s chest and ears.
“But he already does,” Steve said, at last. “As I said, he’s amazing.” He gave the dog’s ears an affectionate tug and finally smiled. “Best dog here or anywhere.”
Gypsy licked Steve’s nose again and gave them both a wide grin.