IT’S JACK’S BIRTHDAY!
Well, not exactly… since he was a rescue dog, we have no idea when he was born, so we celebrate his arrival in our family instead. And it was really yesterday, but laptop time was limited and I didn’t get this post up in time. So for the few minutes it will take to read this, let’s just all pretend it’s still October 15, okay?
Last year for Jack’s first ‘birthday’, I bought him a rawhide bone and a rubber chicken. The bone was swiftly dragged behind the bed… where it remains untouched to this day. The chicken provided entertainment for about 15 minutes, which was about three minutes longer than it took me to clean the rubber chicken pieces off the living room floor.
This year, he got a bonus walk with lots of ball throwing, and a can of (wet) dog food. Canned food may not sound special but it went down well. Literally. The whole thing was gone in two minutes flat. It must have seemed like a feast to a dog living on dry kibbles day in, day out.
It’s actually quite curious that I should have a dog. Because for the longest, I was quite afraid of them. Big dogs, mostly. I think my paternal Gran’s mean king poodle snapped at me a few too many times as a young child. This mild dog phobia was swiftly cured during my NLP Practitioner Training. We did an exercise where we imagined the ‘movie’ that runs inside our head when we think of something we are afraid of, and then change it. So my visual of a hugely terrifying bulldog bounding towards me in the park lost its grip when I imagined him baring his teeth to reveal a diamante-studded smile. BLING! Big dogs were never the same after that.
When I broke it to Rob that I wanted a dog, he pulled out all the usual arguments: ‘What will we do when we go away?’ ‘We don’t need a dog in a one bedroom flat.’ ‘Who’s gonna walk him every day?’
But I’m not one for letting a few valid notions get in the way of my desires.
He then tried the ‘next year’ strategy. As in ‘Honey, you can have a dog next year.’ That one worked until Jan 1 of next year, but not a day longer. 2010 was the year I wanted that dog.
Some ten months later, Jack entered our lives. We were trying for a baby at the time and I finally announced to Rob that this dog would have to appear soon as I figured me falling pregnant would add new fuel to his ‘We don’t need a dog’ case. (As it later turned out, I was already pregnant by the time we brought our four-legged family addition home.)
I love that dog.
I love being out in the park and seeing him bound towards me at full speed. I love seeing him chase a ball, especially at the beach where he fearlessly careens into the surf in hot pursuit of his little treasure. I love him curled up in his basket with his nose tucked under his tail, watching him twitch and whinge in his sleep. I love dressing him up for special occasions.
I also love watching Lilly and Jack interact. The other day, I caught her picking up his dry food and hand feeding him his entire dinner. When he protested at being chained to the playground fence, she kept walking out of the gate to check on him. They’re like little pals following each other around.
So when Rob suggested that celebratory bonus walk, I was torn between taking Jack to the park and skiving off to the café to write.
But in the end, who can resist those puppy dog eyes?