It helps that the dog in question is a wonderful little creature. She demonstrates her devotion in many ways. She dances with tail pumping joy whenever I enter the room, even if I’ve only gone to the bedroom to grab a sweater. When I come home after a forty minute jog, she’s all over me, licking my calves (the highest point of me she can reach.) Some might say she’s only after the salty perspiration coating my legs, but I prefer to believe it’s love expressed the only way she’s able. I’m sure she’d write poems about me if she could.
For the most part this profound affection is mutual. Penny has dedicated her life to serving our family–HER family. She snuggles with us when we’re lonely and plays fetch with us when we’re bored. She has delusions of big dog-ness and patrols the house barking out the windows at imaginary threats.
She’d be the perfect companion if it wasn’t for one appalling habit–she rolls in excrement. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, she dives face first into a gooey, succulent pile emerging with smeary cheeks, bright eyes and a wide doggy grin. No other family member does this–not even crusty old Uncle Alex!
There’s a level of communication between humans and their dogs honed over the thousands of years these animals have been domesticated, but with the exception of Lassie and the Littlest Hobo, it doesn’t stretch to complex sentences and conditional directions. If it did, I’d tell her this: if it smells worse than you do, don’t roll in it!!!
Until she grasps this, she must suffer frequent and thorough baths. Until my sailor returns to take up his role of chief dog washer/canine spa technician, it’s me who has to do the dirty deed.
I’m so glad dogs don’t bear grudges.