Sunday, August 3, 2008

Grandma's Best Friend

Oh For the Love of Nub

© 2008 Leighann Lord

I am not my dog's favorite person. I wish I was and the fact that I'm not is a major blow to my ego. Oh, he likes me well enough. I feed him, pet him, brush him, give him his medicine, and take him to the vet. But I can tell from the way he looks at my Mother that he thinks the sun rises and sets on her, not me.
In a way I am grateful. With my work and travel schedule, my Mom – who is retired – is basically our doggie day care provider. They make quite a pair. He follows her all over the house and never looks more at peace then when he is curled up at her feet. We wonder why, out of all of us, she is his favorite person. Is it her scent? Maybe to him, she smells like all his favorite things: chewing gum, milkshakes, and bacon.

f you believe in reincarnation, maybe he was one of my Mom's old beaus. There are times he looks at her so adoringly that if he was human and my father was a jealous man, there'd be a fight.

y Mom was a teacher for 30 years. And while this was not her official area of expertise, the special needs kids always gravitated to her. She knew how to talk to them. She had the right mix of patience, compassion, and understanding. Maybe that part of her also works on dogs, confirming my suspicion that my Rolie is crazy.

vidence? At night he scratches up my bathroom rugs for no reason, at least none he's chosen to share with me. If I fix the rugs before dawn he moves them again like he's practicing some form of canine Feng Shui. Every morning he goes out of his way to sneeze on my husband's foot. We're not sure if the dog has a foot fetish or an allergy to white people. What makes me nervous is his tendency to wag his tail and bark at the same time. Can dogs have bi-polar disorder?

Perhaps it is the simple fact that in my Mother's eyes Rolie can do no wrong. When he's with her there's no rug rearranging, no sneezing on random body parts, no simultaneous wagging and barking. With her he's a furry little angel.

Do I sound jealous? Well, yeah. I am. I found him. I read his well-written, first person bio. I saw his picture on The Bobbie & The Strays website and fell in love. His age – listed as five but according to the vet, “He's not five; maybe closer to seven!” – did not bother me. It made him no less deserving of a loving home. Hell, I hope somebody loves me and gives me a good home when I'm “not five.”

In spite of his age and health (he's mostly deaf and takes medication for his thyroid) I still lobbied for his adoption. There was just something about him. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for a pretty face.

There's also the grand parent factor. For all practical purposes, Rolie is the closest thing we have at the moment to a little one. Technically this makes him my Mother's grand dog. And the woman I know as my mother is different from the woman I know as a grandmother.

When my niece was a little I vividly recall her climbing up onto my parents living room couch and toddling across it with her shoes on. I was barely allowed to look at that couch when I was kid, and to see my baby niece using it as jogging track was startling.

I felt sorry for her. Poor thing was going to die right there in Grandma's house and by Grandma's hand. She had defiled The Sacred Couch. But much to my surprise Grandma thought this was the cutest thing she'd ever seen, well until Rolie showed up. I guess what they say is true. It's always more fun at Grandma's.

For as much as I grouse, I don't begrudge them the relationship. They seem so happy together. Like if he could talk, he'd convince her to run away with him. He is not man's best friend. He's grandma's best friend, at least until I find bacon scented perfume.

Thank you for reading The Urban Erma.

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