Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Man's Best Friend
What is it about dogs? I grew up with a veterinarian for a mother, but I have honestly never understood the “man’s best friend” thing. There are times when I am so blown away by the fawning that takes place over these hairy bone-chompers that I begin to suspect some sort of fairy dust was sprinkled over them.
This morning I walked into the office of the company my dad works for, back for the summer and ready to hit the stacks of numbers that needed to be entered into the computer. As the door swung shut behind me, a tiny white mop flew at my legs. Then this fluffy hairball seemed to decide it should climb up my legs – madly scratching my knees and then flinging itself in a sort of a flurry against my shins. I finally realized this little explosion was a dog, so I shook it off as I headed to get my assignment and maybe inquire after the presence of a creature in an office.
“Isn’t she cute?” I was asked.
Ah yes, exactly the word I was looking for.
I examined the shaking, jumping mass at my feet and noticed it had a little ponytail on top of its head. A little lopsided perhaps, but it kept the hair out of its face and helped expose those pitiful eyes.
“Oh, yeah…whose dog is this?”
The boss’s son’s dog. Of course.
“But why do you have it in here?”
She has separation anxiety.
I laugh. “A needy dog.”
The laugh is returned. Then a more serious, “She’s afraid to be alone.”
I wouldn’t mind being left alone.
“Lily” is now licking my feet around my shoes as though they were melting rainbow popsicles in the middle of a hot August day. It tickles and I can’t really help but smile.
Just as I can’t help but smile an hour later when the boss’s adult son, who works in real estate next door, walks in carefully cupping a little paper with some sort of food in it. I watch him walk to the back room, eagerly looking for the furball.
Another hour later, and the woman who works in that back room is on the floor throwing toys around for “Lily” and at some other point in the day she goes next door to get “Lily” a bone.
“Isn’t it just so cute how she lies to chew her bone?” I am questioned.
What a weird question. Can a dog lie cutely?
I obligingly peek my head around the counter. I have work pretty hard not to laugh. If lying cutely involves flattening oneself to look like a rug, then Lily wins the award. I wonder how you can even tell she is eating her bone – Lily’s head is so hidden in a mass of hair and her entire body looks so devoid of any shape, I simply have to trust that someone with better vision than I would notice the chomping and avoid stepping on her.
As I contemplate this little Maltese later in the day, I find myself at the question I began with: What is it about dogs? So I turn to my ever trusty Google and soak in words of wisdom.
The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too. ~Samuel Butler
Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. ~Ann Landers
I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts. ~John Steinbeck