Sunday, November 25, 2007
I love my dog
Ok, I know, how totally provincial of me to write about my mutt. How many bloggers have done this, I fear to ask. It's like the novice photographer shooting her cat, over and over again, in cuter and cuter poses.
But my dog, now, MY dog, IS special. Everyone says so. My dog has inspired other people to go to the pound and rescue a puppy, overcome their fear of god (I mean dog) even to receive Darshan from him (Sanskrit for having an experience of God.)
People have sung lullabies to my dog. When he was a puppy he literally stopped traffic. I’ll never forget the first time someone didn’t give him the attention he’d grown accustomed to. He got very still and watched this person walk down the street and around the corner, then looked up at me, mystified.
Of course, he is spoiled. But he’s got enough of the working dog breed in him (border collie, terrier) that he still takes responsibility, patrolling the perimeter of our space always, wherever he goes. He smiles, showing his pretty front teeth. He is conscious of children and older people, treating them gently. If he knows and loves you, you can be assured of a very warm and vocal greeting each time you meet.
Living in Big Sur, also known as "dog paradise" something happens to dog owners, primarily because we are providing a utopia for our dogs. No fences, no leashes, no gates, run around all day long and guard the property from...ok, well, mountain lions (hey, there's a price for everything.)
Until I was in my late 20s, dogs terrified me. A barking dog put panic in my belly. As a small fearless child, I’d played with a dog on the street, who bit me. I still have the scars on the soft part of my right arm. Since, as they say, parenting was not a verb in that decade (or the following one, come to think of it) my fear of dogs was not “addressed.” Nowadays there's help.
Then I met Cacia, a black Lab, Chesapeake Bay retriever mix who was dearly loved by a man I dearly loved. She became my friend, with no prompting from me at all. It was cool to be with her, and my heart opened in understanding. When dogs bark, look, they also wag their tails. Maybe they’re saying,”Hi there! Sorry but I just gotta make this scary sound until I know you’re ok to play with.”
Toby, my husband, chose our dog, Kipling, and gave him to me as surprise. He walked around the corner of our office holding this tiny creature in his arms, handed him to me and said, "it's a little boy." I felt like I was standing outside the delivery room. Toby chooses well with his heart.
A dog is your ambassador, your champion, your love-object, your canine alter-ego. A person with a dog is less threatening than one without.
Have you ever had a long chat with someone about their cute dog, what breed, how he reminds you of another dog and so on but not made any personal contact with the dog’s owner? It’s funny, and among dog owners, accepted. It’s not love me, love my dog (though that does apply to overnight visits with my dog in tow) but really, love my dog, never mind about me, I just buy the dog food.
A tongue we all know and love.
Ready for action.