Talking to my Dogs
Of late I have noticed that I am especially fond of talking to my dogs. I talk to them throughout the day, and say whatever happens to be on my mind. Sometimes my dogs are the objects of my thoughts as when I say energetically, “ You guys want a TREAT?” They can be totally dead to the world, but upon hearing the word “treat” the Bassett hound Copper takes off into the kitchen before the beagle Jackson gets going. However, if I’m in the kitchen and the dogs are within twenty feet or so in another room in the house, when I open up any kind of food, the beagle perceives the scent long before the Bassett, and joins me in the kitchen. Both dogs are getting on in age, the beagle Jackson 10, and the Bassett Copper 8 years old.Jackson takes half a pill of prednisone every day. Without it he can’t jump onto a couch and moves very slowly with a limp. The pill is a miracle drug. I too take prednisone, but it doesn’t do me much good because the dosage is low and my arthritis is wicked. After meals or treats Jackson licks clean the kitchen tiled floor even when, as a human, I can neither see nor smell any particles of food that he seems to sense and licks with gusto. We have to be very careful in the kitchen, which becomes as hazardous to humans as a sprinkling of rain on the oiled and soiled roads in Nevada is to our vehicles. At this very moment Copper is sharing my half of the couch with her head laying on my crossed right leg. The dogs and I are tight because I share my food with them, which becomes a pain in my butt when they sit silently, one on the left of me and one on the right, throughout my entire breakfast awaiting a dollop of oatmeal which I drop on the floor from my tablespoon. I’m a softy and they love me for it.
Getting back to talking to my buddies, it serves as therapy for me. I can say anything — serious, sad, satirical, sassy, salacious — and they look me straight in the eyes and accept whatever I say as alright with them as long as I don’t speak in anger, which I rarely do for fear they’ll think I’m upset with them. That said, the Bassett Copper can get my ire when she slips inside the the sheets, sidles up next to me, and sometime during the night relieves herself. I’ve awoken quite wet a few times, but by then, she’s long gone. It’s too late to berate Copper for her “antisocial act” accomplished hours before. So after my wife and I completely strip our bed I find Copper in the family room laying with the full weight of her upper torso against the arm of the expensive leather couch, which, of course, both dogs urinated on just after its purchase. I look at her. She looks at me. Do I see guilt in the folds of her face? I shake my head in disgust. I hope she gets my message, but nah…no way. “ Accept me as I am,” her visage seems to plea. And I do, with love in my heart displayed as I kiss her long, droopy, brown ears.
Jackson, the beagle, is the kinder of the two. Not a bad bone in his slightly overweight but still handsome body. I infer that he has the listening skills of a seasoned psychotherapist. He seems able to sense when I’m not feeling well, physically or emotionally.
If you pet your dog for a few minutes, you will feel better. That’s just the way giving love to a pet works. Which is probably the major reason people have dogs and cats.