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  • Writer's pictureLinda Nygard

Louise and Dink

The children of the audience adored Louise and her fluffy toy poodle “Dink”. Louise would run around the big top, yellow umbrella in hand, as Dink ran besides her on all fours. Sometimes Dink would lift his front paws and balance on his hind legs. The white dog would hop around on his back legs and spin around all the while staring up at Louise.

Dink loved Louise more than his favorite foods. If Louise stepped out of the tent as Dink was dining on his favorite dinner; he would pause, look up towards the tent “door”, then turn to sit at attention anticipating Louises return.

Once Louise stepped back into the tent, Dink would jump up on his hind quarters and spin around twice. The little display was from sheer excitement, but was usually rewarded with a morsel of Louises’ beef jerky.

Once the show was over Louise and Dink would retire to her tent. Louise would remove Dink’s purple tutu and unclasp the large yellow bowtie that he wore around his neck. Louise unfastened her large yellow and purple plaid hoop skirt and let it fall away from her hips. As she lifted the yellow blouse over her head she caught a faint whiff of body odor emitting from her armpits. “Time to clean up Dink”. The young woman always spoke to Dink in a very adult manner. There was no room for baby talk with Dink.

While she smeared the paint off her face, a large kettle of water heated to a boil on top of the rusted hot plate. One by one, pot by pot, she poured the hot water into her small metal tub.

By the time she had removed all of the face paint from her cheeks, eyes and lips; enough water had been heated and poured into her bathing tub. Before removing her under garments she made sure the entrance to her tent was secure and pinned shut. Dink followed Louises every move. The small canine made sure not to get tangled up between Louises feet. Only once did Dink make the mistake of darting between the woman’s feet. Just that one time Dink and Louise tumbled head first on to the ground. Once and never again.

After the show Louise loved to be alone in her hot tub. It sat behind the sheer curtain of her bathing area. This was her moment of peace, away from the hustle and bustle of the circus life. As she bathed Louise would let her mind drift away to places never visited.

There was no room for little Dink to share in Louises bath. The furry companion had to wait until his person was done with her evening ritual. The poodle waited patiently next to the tub, watching Louises every move.

Once Louise rose to dry herself off, Dinks little tail wagged in anticipation of his turn in the water. The minute Louise stepped both feet out, little Dink jumped over the side to splash about.

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