Sunday, January 1, 2017

Old dog, lousy tricks

           Growing up we had a dog that we rescued. Her name was Sam and she could do a bunch of nifty tricks if there was a treat involved. She was talented, smart, and fairly overweight. She was also the most obedient dog I’ve ever seen.
            I don’t think I’ve ever had a dog as good as Sam. We’ve had plenty of good dogs, but none that could balance a cookie on the end of her nose quite like she could, so much that I’ve actually stopped training our pooches to do tricks for treats.
            But still, we’ve loved all of our dogs. Because they are part of the family and they love us and we love them and if you’ve not known the feel of a wet nose against your cheek on a day when you’ve felt less than spectacular, you are definitely missing out. We love them unconditionally, and if you don’t think you can love a furry friend that much, you’ve never come home to a chewed up retainer on the floor.
            Our dog is small and soft and at night sometimes she snuggles up so close to me I can reach my arms around her like a real, live teddy bear. She is the most loving little furball I have met, and for most of the last five years, she has made our world a better place.
            Sometimes, clichés just fit and while they say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, while the cat is away, the mice will play. Such was the case on an average afternoon when, between afternoon snacks and a late throw-something-together dinner, I heard these terrible, terrible words.
            “Mom! Lucy ate my retainers!”
            Lucy, is of course, our sweet and loveable dog who must neglect her goody good façade let loose while we are not home. I imagine her dressing in my clothes, eating ice cream out of the container while sitting on the good couch and watching inappropriate television whenever we go away now, because once you’ve crossed the line of munching on someone’s expensive orthodontics, nothing is off limits.
            And I never thought that a retainer, which harbors bazillions of teenage mouth bacteria and smells like death could ever be considered enticing or delicious by any means, but then again, I’ve never been a dog. So if you are a dog, it must be a delicacy worth enough of disobeying your masters and climbing on top of the kitchen table and hauling it off to the middle of the family room where you crunch one of them like a potato chip and the other like a piece of Bazooka Bubble Gum.

            She is an older dog and she got caught doing a most expensive trick, without anyone to actually appreciate it or even a dried up dog biscuit as a reward. Sam would shake her paw at that.

Originally written 1.31.16

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