special addition: I've published an essay over at Electric Spec's blog, if you want to take a look.Hannah-Banana
I've been through some stuff with my dog. Some biting issues. A reconstructed hip. Terminal clutziness and a penchant for stitches in her paws. A special trainer. Thousands of dollars.
But then, what does love cost?
She reminds my kids to be gentle. She reminds me when it's time to stop writing and take a walk. She reminds my husband that we crave his attention. She keeps me company when the kids are at school. She locks herself in the mudroom so we won't forget her when we leave. She howls as best she can because she knows we like it.
She's smart as a whip and eagerly learns new tricks for three cookies or less. She knows leave it, uh-uh, sit, down, head-down, "say please", go sit, and "sing." She knows how to ring a bell hanging from the door to go outside. Her trainer had worked at Sea World, and Hannah had her shaking her head in amazement at how quickly she learned new tricks.
"This is one damn smart dog," she said.
She is not perfect (who is??) but she is my dog, and I love her.
A good friend of mine lost her dog this week. She's understandably upset. She said, "I know it's only a dog..."
Only a dog. That's an oxymoron if I ever heard one.
Give your dog a pat tonight, if you've got one, or say "Hey doggie-dog" to the neighbor's. Take a minute to enjoy these creatures who ask so little and give so much. Take another moment to send a wish for peace to my friend, who's lonely and whose house is too quiet, to my friend who's missing her dog.
He was Tucker, and he was a good dog.