I had lined the back of the Jeep with junky blue towels – the dog towels - and used an extra one to rub her muddy haunches as she wiggled all over me. This towel wrestle is a familiar one. Her muscular enthusiasm echoes that of her owner’s when I used the same towels to dry his 30 pound puppy body.
These faded cobalt blue towels were once the perfect match for the blue tile that lined my boy’s shower and bathtub, though they were rarely displayed on the towel rack. They have toweled off slippery baby bodies. Pulled hot from the dryer they have burritoed toddlers who did not want to get out of the bath that they did not want to take 20 minutes earlier. I’ve used them to cover a pee soaked bed I was too exhausted to change at three in the morning. They have dried dripping curls of many lengths, and been left where they drop, on the floor of the teen post apocalyptic bedroom, after lacrosse practice showers.
There was the time, not too long ago, I found a blue towel staple gunned to the polished blonde maple dining table leaf, because my eldest said he was ‘making something’.
I gather all the wet muddy towels out of the Jeep and bring them in the laundry room. The puppy flops down at my feet while I start the towel load, and gnaws her kong with a squeaking of puppy teeth on wet rubber. I don’t know who’s more exhausted.
I washed, dried and folded the vibrant cobalt hue and fluffy texture right out of these towels. After twenty years of service, they are no longer presentable, now frayed, with holes and inexplicable stains, they reside folded in the laundry room pantry next to the leash, dog food and box of poop bags. They are faithful and ever ready: the emergency towels, the junker towels, the dog towels.