I’m sitting in my office typing right now and I can’t help but see down at the large, hairy animal staring into my eyes.
It’s my “co-worker”, Weiss. A big, scruffy, lovable St. Bernard. See, he’s in my office right now because he thinks he has to be in the room because I have a bag of pretzel crisps on my desk. Problem is, he heard the bag being shifted around I guess and now he’s right here at my feet.
He isn’t begging or anything, just pretending like he isn’t in the room because of some damn snack food.
Oh, wait, now he’s on his feet and giving me those “Oh, PLEASE Derek! Can’t you see I’m wasting away?!?” eyes. Yeah, sorry bud, you stand as high as some children and weigh more than 100 pounds. ‘Wasting away’ isn’t exactly the way I’d put it.
Of course, he does put on a show. He stands up from the floor he’s been lounging around on, saunters to the very edge of my desk, and lays his big, jowly-looking head on it, looking about as sympathetic as that infamous poor kid who asks, ‘Please, sir, may I have some more?’
Well, a much hairier version of the kid, but you get what I mean.
Another thing Weiss will do when I get to the office every day is grab his toys. I mean, like ALL of his toys. Like as if I don’t already understand that they’re his toys and he can play with them whenever he’s at the office. Folks, I’m talking every day with this. EVERY day. At this point, if Weiss didn’t excitedly grab his red bone or his purple rope, I’d think there’s something wrong with him. It’s how he says hello and how we start our day together.
Takes me back to when I was a dog owner. My last dog was Kola, who passed away just over five years ago. Wow, has that much time already flown by? That’s nuts.
Kola was a great dog, with a lot of loyalty. That’s all we ask of our dogs, right? Loyalty. They give us that, we’re good. Kola was a good companion to my dad. I remember Dad watching curling with his trusty metal container full of peppermints and as soon as he grabbed the container, SHOOM, here comes Kola with the begging. Yep, this dog begged for mints. You know what? She got them, too. After she did, it was a much more pleasant experience getting kisses from her because her breath was so fresh.
Makes me think of the wacky, true-to-them functions that other dogs have done. Bud, my black lab/shepherd cross I had before Kola came into our lives, had a habit of grabbing his water dish when he was really excited and letting it clang on the floor. He also had an uncanny way of knowing exactly when us kids would be getting home from school. We’d get home, open the back door to the house and there he was. Crazy.
Then there was Heidi, another big St. Bernard we had at home. Heidi was certainly no Weiss in the personality department, but she wasn’t without her charms either. The problem with her was that we got her when she was an adult and I think too many things had already been trained into her. Some dogs just follow a different path sometimes. It happens.
I read something this week that was interesting. Take a gander yourself and let it breathe with you: “The capacity for love that makes dogs such rewarding companions has a flip-side: They find it difficult to cope without us. Since we humans programmed this vulnerability, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our dogs do not suffer as a result.”
That quote is from the late John Bradshaw, an American educator. There’s something so simple and logical to what he said. Dogs are such, well, ‘easy’ creatures for lack of a better term that they get attached to us so quickly and with such hard emotion that it’s tough to walk away from them. Man’s best friend, indeed.
Maybe dogs aren’t your thing and that’s okay, too. Perhaps a cat has hit that button on your heart. Maybe even a lizard, of some sort? Hey, I’m not here to judge. Whatever four-legged creature has your heart, consider yourself lucky.
The life of a dog is an easy one. Live each day when it’s here and make a point to simply forget about the one that just passed. It’s so easy, isn’t it? Dogs don’t have our problems, our bills, our this and our that. When they wake up, it’s a new day and here for the taking.
If only life was that simple for all of us.
Sometimes I wish I was a dog.
For this week, that’s been the Ruttle Report.