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Angus positions himself at the door and stands looking back at me, waiting patiently, breaking my quiet reverie as I lay curled up in the recliner recovering from the pain of a nasty bladder infection, remote in hand.

I amble over to the table to exchange the remote for the leash, and Angus does a little happy dance at my feet, followed by his best downward-facing dog yoga move, allowing me easy access to his harness.

We walk out into the night, a night punctuated with the pungent earthy smell of the recent rain. The weather is pleasant and balmy. An almost full moon illuminates our way. The stars in the night sky are like pinprick holes in the cover of darkness. A glow from the lamp poles creates a lacy tapestry of shadow and light from the trees' leaves, as well as reflecting off the puddles from the rain earlier today.

The music of the night accompanies us, first a symphony of . . . is it crickets? No, it's frogs! In the distance we hear the whoosh of cars on the busier city streets, accentuated by the remote bark of an occasional dog. As Angus trots proudly and happily along his claws click softly on the sidewalk. His little ears are pricked forward to catch every sound. They bounce in rhythm to his quick pace. His tail forms a little curlicue.

The jangling of his tags stops as he stands at attention. The enemy has been sighted -- a cat! Angus emphasizes his distaste by forcefully scratching the ground with his back paws, timed perfectly with each indignant bark. No, Angus, no! Leave the cat alone! Laughing, I pull him away.

I embrace the glory of the night, our solitude at this moment, and quietly ask God if this has all been put here for me and my accomplice. I think to myself, yes . . . at this moment in time the beauty of the night is mine. My heart swells with gratitude.

A car passes by, rap music angrily blaring from the windows. Another car passes and then pulls into a driveway. Neighbors, leaving behind the day, slam their car doors, then make their way inside to the waiting solace of their home, whispering to each other as they go. Time for us to return to ours as well.

Once inside I unsnap Angus's leash and replace it on the table, grabbing the remote again. As soon as Angus gets a fresh drink of water he joins me on the recliner, curling himself at my side. He drops off to sleep, snoring softly, probably dreaming of the dragons he thinks he has slain on our little venture through the neighborhood and back home again.

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