Monday, February 13, 2012

Puppy Love

"Cheese" the Dachshund
I turned on the TV a few moments ago, just as "Cheese" - a long haired golden Dachshund - was prancing around the circle at the Westminster Dog Show. It made me smile, giggle and cry a little, all at the same time.

You see... on Saturday I'll be flying home to California to visit my family, and my dogs. 

And while "the boys": Bently (Whippet) and Charlie (long haired black Dachshund) will be there, along with my sister's baby Lil (a tiny Chihuahua) ... my little girl Gretchen - a long haired golden Dachshund (who by the way looked remarkably like "Cheese" in her youth) - will be missing.

Gretchen died a few weeks ago, and for the first time in 16 years, I will not be greeted by her waggling tail (and I do mean "waggling" because she wiggled as she wagged), nor her deep throaty bark as I slide through the door with my luggage. The house will be different without her.

Perhaps it isn't a coincidence that the Westminster Dog Show is being held on the eve of St. Valentine's Day, for there are few things more wonderful than the love of a dog. In fact, my first word was not "mom" or "dad", it was "aboom" which was the name of our Westie. (Her real name was Abby, but "aboom" came pretty close for a toddler.)  In a way, you could say that Abby was my first love... my first experience with pure devotion and unbridled joy. Abby and I were inseparable growing up, and I can honestly say that she was the best friend a little girl could ever want. It's true what Dean Koontz says in A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog:

Abby and I - Enjoying Dad's Nightly Bedtime Stories

“No matter how close we are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog. Few human beings give of themselves to another as a dog gives of itself. I also suspect that we cherish dogs because their unblemished souls make us wish - consciously or unconsciously - that we were as innocent as they are, and make us yearn for a place where innocence is universal and where the meanness, the betrayals, and the cruelties of this world are unknown.”

1 comment:

  1. Great Post! Enjoy the time with your family.