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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Flawed Dogs

One particularly icky day last week, I came home to find two grumpy kids playing a game I like to call "Couch Bait". You know, it's when they do their best impression of the exotic and evasive sloth. Sacked out on the sofa, sighing so heavily that I think someone sprung an air leak, and yes, watching tv because the world is entirely "too boring" for them. God forbid they should get off their teenaged butts and, OH MY JESUS!, ride a bike maybe? I laughingly make a suggestion that they wash a dirty dish or two, perhaps read a book, or the ever-popular; clean your room. Nah, it's all the effort they can muster to get up and find the remote. Isn't it funny how in the EXACT amount of time you can say "Can someone take out the trash?" the room suddenly becomes vacant and your voice bounces off the walls like you're in a canyon? Amazing.

I'm in the kitchen, trying to figure out how to get the kitchen trashcan out the door without alerting a sleeping puppy who thinks that trash take-out time is "Oooooo, you want me to 'help'?" time. She's inexplicably fond of the little corners of the plastic garbage bags and has found that if she bites one of those corners and pulls while someone is carrying the bag, things come out of the hole she creates. The most wonderful of these things are wadded up paper towels which are sometimes tasty and make nice confetti all over Mommy's kitchen floor. Wheeeeee!

As I pick up empty tuna cans and chase what appears to me to be a laughing puppy around the dining room, the doorbell rings. WOW! Will you look how fast Couch Bait moves when either the phone or doorbell rings? I shouldn't be stunned, but it always fascinates me. I haven't answered a door OR phone in this house since, ohhh, I think it was 1998. It's the UPS man, and as Caris signs for the package, the smile leaves her face just long enough to say..."Oh, it's for YOU. What did you order NOW?" Geez, you'd think I get package everyday from that reaction wouldn't you? The fact is, I don't and I attribute the lack of enthusiasm on her part as jealousy. I teasingly say to her; "HAH! You WISH you were me! Nyah!", stick my tongue out, and go happily outside on the patio to watch the puppy "landmine" the yard and open my package.

To my great surprise, it ISN'T something I ordered. It's a gift. A gift that made me tear up (which as you all well know and I mentioned to Jeffrey in my thank you mail, doesn't take much cuz I'm such a marshmallow) Dakota's Dad sent the most wonderful book by "Bloom County" creator Berkeley Breathed called "Flawed Dogs" (GO THERE NOW!...please?). As I sat out there on the patio and giggled, with Ellie batting around balls of wrapping paper and packaging material from the box, the kids came outside to see what I received; curiosity winning them over from their warm spots on the couch. They pulled up chairs and sat with me as we flipped through the pages and laughed until we cried. A beautiful, BEAUTIFUL book with a heartwrenching "understory" that is close to my heart; Shelter Dogs and Pound Puppies waiting for loving rescue. How perfect, Jeffrey. How perfect. We ARE enjoying the book and the new puppy J, as you well predicted. The book is on the coffee table. The puppy loves the wrapping it came in. Thank you for such a beautiful gift.

If you're looking for a dog and you haven't yet seen this book...PLEASE, take the time to find it. It might change your life, and the life of a creature who could use your love.

P.S.~ I called the shelter to check on Ellie's mom. As some of you know, I was trying to adopt her as well because no one was speaking for her. They told me that she was unadoptable at the time because she had "temperment problems" and that she was going to Rescue to have behavior and socialization training. One of the trainers actually fell in love with her and has adopted her. So, happy ending for Ellie's mom too. I actually slept better last night than I have in a few weeks.


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