February 28, 2006
Big Dog, Little Dog (Part II)
When Lucy Lou was past puppyhood and into her adolescence, she came to stay with us for a month as Grandma recovered from surgery. Since she was no long the crazed lip-biter of her puppyhood, I had no real qualms. I mainly tried to ignore her.
But that turned out to be easier said than done. Lucy was intent, it seemed, on shadowing me. Case in point: back then, when Molly asked me if I wanted to go for a walk, I used to jump up on the futon sofa and put my forepaws on the armrest. The idea was to make it easier for Molly to put on my harness, which I wear for all car rides. But only a few days after Lucy arrived in our house, she got the message that this was the way to lobby and prepare for a walk, so she'd jump up and stand next right next to me, or sometimes even come up underneath and stand with with her head up in my chest. For some reason, Molly just adored this.
By and by, Lucy got her a harness of her own. So we'd both be strapped into our respective seatbelts in the backseat, me looking down at her and feeling both uncomfortable (it's funny how much space a little dog can take up) and mildly self-conscious. You know, you don't always get a clear idea of yourself until someone else starts imitating you. I suppose that's why parenting tends to make people humbler: they realize that, despite being flawed and ridiculous, they are suddenly the focus of impressionable wee folk who actually look up to them for guidance. This a tough position to be in for anyone, man or beast.
But I have gotten used to it. These days, when I dash through the sand and into the surf after my floppy disc, Lucy Lou dashes right along side me, barking madly, though she usually stops at the water's edge. It's as if she's heralding me. Once in a while, she forgets herself and dashes partway into the water herself, which is pretty courageous, considering that she's not at all a fan of the ocean.
I've been considering making her an honorary Lab. She often pees in some of the same spots I do (though by following too closely, she has once or twice gotten more than she bargained for), makes the same sniffs, eyeballs the same neighborhood cats. And when I'm crunching down my dry food, she bides her time beneath me, waiting for the food to fall from my lips so she can scoop up her fair share. It is a very doggish intimacy that makes Molly a little squeamish but now somehow seems natural to Lucy and me.
I've decided that Lucy is not really my shadow self or a cartoonish kind of mini me. She's just an enthusiast, a little canine cuz looking for companionship while separated from Grandma. Even though I get vaguely annoyed at having to share my dinner plates with her, I don't really mind deep down. Despite her high-pitched barks, her nervousness punctuated by bouts of nerviness, her squirminess and lip-licking and lap-hogging ways -- despite all this and much more -- Lucy Lou has a great heart, one so big and generous that she's given part of it to our own family. And we've given part of our hearts to her. Maybe in the end this is how everyone in the world survives -- by gratefully taking heart from one another.
You are one very nice dog Hank!
Small dogs,Big dogs
Tiny dogs,large dogs
hungry dogs,full dogs
Sad dogs,and mad dogs
good dogs,and bad dogs
cool dogs,and HOT DOGS!
Other than that, I like em!
Peri Naughty the Golden Labradors
Thanks, but I've got to say that I'm pretty big all over.
Yes, the Hank life is not all bad. Lucy struggles to keep up with certain parts of it - such as the long walks - for the first week or so but is then in excellent shape. Now she seems to be a convert.
Thanks. I certainly try, though there are a few dogs I do growl at occasionally.
Hi Bailey Renae,
Welcome. I'll come visit sometime soon.
Now you're just making me hungry.
It's not the size of a dog's body but the content of their character (apologies to Dr. King).
Lucy Lou is almost always very nice to me, but she will charge a bigger dog sometimes. I guess she thinks I'm a body guard.
Hi JJ Massa,
Thanks for the visit. I send a tail thump right back to Cosmo, who sounds like a lovely dog.
Thanks. Molly thinks so too, which is why there are so many pics of us together.
Swimming in cold water is one of my favorite pasttimes. Glay ya'll have embraced it.