I’m in my favorite spot, on the couch, propped up against my favorite guy and playing on the computer. I’m contemplating opening a bottle of wine and if I weren’t so damn lazy, I’d probably be half drunk by now. It’s a simple existence but one that I cherish.
From this vantage point I can spy on my dogs who are sprawled in the living room and dining room. We have three: two labs and a Shitzuh. Is that even how you spell Shitzuh? I spell checked it and came up with Shiatsu or something. Meh, whatever. The dogs are lazier and probably drunker than I am and I can’t help but envy them. They’ve got it made. So I’ll introduce you to my little dog pack one mutt at a time.
We’ll start with the biggest (dumbest) of them all. Bear. My chocolate lab is 5 ½ years old and he weighs in at 100. He by no means is the biggest lab out there, but let me assure you that any freaking dog over 55 pounds is too big. He can’t walk through the hallway without physically moving the bookcase. He can’t stand next to you without dislocating your knee. He once gave me a black eye. And he’s in love with me to the point that if he were human, we’d have a restraining order on him. The way he looks at me is unnatural.
Note: A knock at the door has stirred the pack. Bear is now up and hovering around me. I feel a little violated.
My other dogs love me, but Bear loves me with gusto. My son will hold him down and I’ll call him and he fights like his life depends on it to get to me. My son is strong (he once lifted me and tossed me in goose poop); and he has a difficult time keeping the dog restrained. It’s a funny game that only hints at stalking and hang up phone calls in the night.
Bear wears every emotion like a badge. I’ve seen the entire spectrum of feelings on his face. Joy, happiness, confusion, mild annoyance (when he can’t get to me) and even sometimes a little melancholy. (Even bears get the blues.)
Probably though the most fascinating thing I’ve ever seen this dog do though was apologize. My daughter accidently stepped on Bear one evening while he was sprawled on the floor like an area rug. It hurt Bear and he moved quickly in reaction. As he rose up to my daughter, I prepared for the worse, a bite, but Bear didn’t bear his teeth or even yip. I moved towards the pair and immediately Bear realized that I was worried and the dog honest to God put his head in my daughters lap and closed his eyes as if to whisper as silent ‘sorry’. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it. If he hadn’t done it a few times after this, I would have thought it was a fluke. But it wasn’t; the dog said “I’m sorry” and you can never convince me he didn’t.
My husband thinks the dog is dumb and he does set up a pretty good argument. He does some dumb things. Well, human dumb anyway. Dog normal always. When my husband roped off a section of the yard he was trying to reseed, Bear took it as a challenge to get into the play area. Get down means come on up, lay down means lay on top of me and stand still means wiggle as fast as you can and make my knee bend the wrong way. But these are all dog things; it’s just how their dog minds work.
Probably the funniest thing Bear ever did (so far) also shows just how smart he is. Living in a household with three of these beasts, plus two kids and two cats, you can imagine that our house is kinda noisy. However, no amount of animal raucous could have prepared us for the home-invasion type thundering noise that woke us up in a dead panic about 1:00 a.m. I shook the sleep out of my head and tried to get a grasp as to just what the hell was going on. It sounded like an army was storming the upstairs. All of a sudden 100 pounds of brown fur jumped on my bed with one of those big plastic containers stuck on his head. There was a little bit of party mix at the bottom and bear was determined to get the last cheese doodle before anyone else did. The barrel-like container was completely fogged over from the dog nearly hyperventilating into it. I could imagine his panic and then the one clear moment that drove him up the steps: find mommy! As this dog was barreling ass up my steps I can imagine that he knew with what little wits he possessed that if he could find mommy, not only would he be able to breathe easily again, but maybe I’d give him the soggy cheesies stuck to the side of the container with doggie drool. What a shock to have him jump on the bed, wearing a plastic container and wiggling. I had to put my foot on his chest to lever off the stupid container. Bear didn’t tell me he was sorry for getting into the container that night, but the look of total gratitude on his face was unmistakable. In his eyes, I saved his life that night and he’s never forgotten it. Hell, even now, his furry face is about six inches away from me. Panting. Looking like he wants to tuck me into his kennel and keep me there forever. And ever.
I love this dog. He makes me crazy, but he’s everything a dog should be. And for that, he’s my favorite furry guy.