There is a nice large hill that comes up against my mom’s neighborhood. Its a California hill. So it looks like an old pile of dirt that someone left there after digging out room for the swimming pool. The vegetation is low and sparse. We like to take the dogs up there off leash, let them trot along side us or just rummage around in the sage. The soil is a slippery pile of off-white angular limestone pieces with little orange stripes that you could snap with two fingers. It sounds like you’re trying to climb up a mountain of broken ceramic plates.
Our dog is a small mutt, slick with short brown and black hair and a curly tail. He loves to run fast. The other, my mom’s dog, a medium sized blue-Merle Aussie with no tail so when he “wags” his rear-end wiggles so hard he looses the footing on his back legs.
They just sit next to each other silently staring out with a low warm wind shuffling the bunch grass. One fluffy, one thin. The hill falling away below them to a tidy suburb. Only rarely broken up by large rectangular playing fields, pink stucco shopping malls, grey snaking highways. Earlier I found my son’s plush Tiger half buried in the empty planter in the side yard. Upon excavation I found what I believe to be a pork bone buried next to it. Is this a message in the only language available to a pug/terrier? A comment on extinction? A threat? How did he know to bury the bones? They must know that we bury our dead.