Monday, November 29, 2010

Special Moment

When mankind shares its existence with canines, there are special moments that arrive, both precious and candid, which always appears sporadic, as well as unexpected. They bring smiles, laughter, sometimes tears of pure bliss. Moments like these can add sunshine to any day, whether eventful or mundane. One afternoon Rose was missing her favorite man.... Dad. She had disappeared in our house--never a positive thing--for this usually means my dog is being naughty. I searched every room, all the "off limits" locations, her bed....nothing!! Finally, I stepped foot in Dad's study, vacant due to his absence. And there she was, snooping vigorously under his desk, bewildered, apparently wondering where he went!! Another time Rose held her head high, sniffing the air in my room. And it swiftly occurred to me what that "hound" nose had been detecting: Our late crossbreed, Shadow Sunshine's collar sits displayed upon a bookshelf. When I press it against my nostrils, Shadow's odor remains evident. And Rose is part Beagle!! Imagine the thoughts which most likely ran through her canine brain as she attempted to discern where that dog scent was coming from, who it is and why they cannot meet!! Moments like those are obviously emotional, yet bittersweet. One Sunday morning, I was battling a chest cold and suffering from an asthma attack. Multi-tasking, I coughed hard to "unclog" my airwaves while stroking Rose's silky-soft fur. Suddenly, without warning, she placed her front paws upon my lap. Gazing up at my face was the most concerned eyes I have ever witnessed in any canine. I had been struggling to breathe, and here was this amazing friend showing genuine worry toward me!! It touched my heart in more ways than one. That is a special moment. Precious, candid, sporadic, unexpected. A moment when just this once, I'll pardon jumping up.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Marley & Me

"Dogs are great. Bad dogs, if we can really call them that, are perhaps the greatest of them all." ~John Grogan

Bed Shredder

Adopting an adult canine, as opposed to a puppy, is much like bringing foster children into your existence, with its challenges, plus mysterious pasts. These beloved dogs inevitably arrive spoiled, undisciplined, and possess overtly poor manners. When Rose entered my life, it was obvious that she knew zero basic commands, which forced me to balance both love and treating her like a "project". I swiftly taught my intelligent canine some of the most important commands.... But allowed her time for personal adjustments as well. She instantly considered our furniture special places to rest, plus made that "melodious baying" sound which still bellows deep from her vocal chords! However, no behavioral issue meant anything in comparison to one single problem: "accidents". Rose would never use our great room as her own personal toilet.... Unless everyone drove away to some unknown destination and abandoned her, which is merely once a week!! Urination in the house has seldom been an issue, it was always pooh. So we purchased her a black-coated metal kennel. Following the AKC instructions, I introduced my canine to it days prior to literally locking her inside. I created this little "den" out of the kennel, placing her comically large brown dog pillow upon its tray. Rose adjusted rapidly.... In just a short time, she was napping there!! Then came the ultimate test. It killed me to leave her alone in that....that....cage. But what else was there to do? We coaxed her inside with treats, latched the door, then nonchalantly stepped away. I would not be gone longer than three hours. To our astonishment, when we returned, Rose was standing in what looked like a fluffy white cloud. As though she had died and God provided her with this very own personal soft-as-cotton cloud. Only that was cotton beneath Rose's four paws!! She had shredded to pieces her brown pillow!! Now it revealed the white elastic inner fabric!! Rose, who lives for enthusiastically greeting me at our front door upon my return, and enjoys exploring, must have become enraged during that time behind bars!! All we could utter was a shocked "Oh my gosh"....