Sunday, October 1, 2017
It’s never good to start something with a retraction, but in the hope of being blatantly honest, I really should. Dogs and people came over, but the dogs turned out to not necessarily be “friends.” It’s hard to imagine. Stella is practically perfect, and I can only assume because of that, she isn’t well received by the canine community. It’s happened before and I guess it’s her lot in life. I’ll explain.
We celebrated dear Kailin’s 30th birthday on Sunday with a family dinner and the kids, their significant others, and respective dogs came for the mealtime event. Each set brought a dog. Riley’s boyfriend, who would be my dear son Justin, brought her (Riley the dog) and his actual girlfriend, Sara, down to the farm. I’m thinking this might be a tad confusing? Riley, who is Sara’s dog, pines for Justin. Unfortunately, in the dog’s eyes, Sara has become fresh broccoli, or some other unpleasant food item. The chopped liver analogy doesn’t really work in this instance. This shunning of her companion of the last 7+ years occurred when she was introduced to Justin. Sara speaks and the dog feigns deafness. This seems to be a dog thing as dear departed Wiley didn’t hear any voice other than Craig’s or mine. My Dad barely existed in his world. Again, I am drifting in a wayward fashion.
Dear daughter Kailin came with boyfriend, Taylor, who brought the dog he is dog sitting. This would be 14 year-old Dodger, a happy-go-lucky, yellow lab that some folks would describe as being “long in the tooth.” He’s an old guy, with old guy issues. His hearing isn’t what it used to be. His vision isn’t what it used to be. His hind legs aren’t what they used to be, and his breath could peel paint off the walls. But what am I thinking? This could quite easily describe any of us older Daisies, but you get the point. What he is, is an endearing senior, who doesn’t have a care in the world, and is simply happy to be alive.
When the kids arrived and Dodger lumbered out of the car, Stella, in her wild excitement for a prospective friend, almost bowled the poor guy over. He needed to use the facilities, and didn’t give her much acknowledgement in his pursuit of a suitable spot to do his business. After his needs were attended to, he did break into a little trot, but that was short lived. Stella caught wind of the serious age difference and gave up the idea of a running companion. I would have to say that our dear girl was somewhat crushed by all of this.
Stella would LOVE to have a dog friend, and is briefly overjoyed whenever Riley comes down. She was equally as excited to have Dodger over. In the case of Riley, her joy is short-lived as she isn’t interested in a friend. She has Justin. That seems to be enough for her. She makes this known by showing Stella (or, in this instance, Dodger) her pearly whites. Stella learns quickly and gives her a wide berth. Riley is admonished not to do this, but at age 10, suggesting that she adjust her attitude, results in some genuine unhappiness and what her people describe as “throwing a tantrum.” I would call it doing some serious sulking.
The day did give us insight into Stella. It was a stressful day for her. Dodger was of the persuasion to randomly let out a bark. Every time this happened, it sent Stella into a frenzy. Somehow, she seemed to think that the perimeter had been breached and was frantic to find out what crisis was in the making. She found herself having to run in circles checking the window and dashing to the door wanting to go outside and surmise the situation. Riley was unaffected by this, as was Dodger. He was just talking and doing what Labs do. He wandered around, paying no mind to anything.
Riley, was unimpressed by Dodger and let him know that she was not interested in him invading her personal bubble. Again, Dodger was oblivious, and Stella was a mess. She kept giving me looks, which I interpreted as: “That dog is too close to the other dog. I’m telling you that bad things are going to happen. You better do something other than just sit there!”
It was my dear daughter who summed things up for me. She said, “Mom…….Stella reminds me of you. She NEVER sits down, and she is always concerned about what is going on and what needs to be done next. The only difference is that she gets more sleep than you. A lot more sleep.” If you are thinking this is some sort of an insulting statement, think again. The truth is the truth. I get that. Know thyself. It’s good to have someone who’s got your back, especially when they live under the same roof. (That would be Stella, in case there is still some confusion. She is ever helpful.)
All in all, it was a wonderful, joyful day for the two-legged folks. I love being in the presence of my dear kids and their dear partners, the dogs, the food, and with plenty of conversation. It was Kailin’s birthday, but it was truly my treat. Surrounded by love, life, and laughter, what could be better? Some friends have mentioned that coffee and chocolate are close seconds, but we had both of those, so all needs appeared to be taken care of.
It was the birthday girl’s choice for dinner. We had what, in our family, we refer to as “A Big Bean Dinner.” I made refried beans, and all the fixings for “make your own burritos.” For birthday dessert, she requested my chocolate cake with raspberry filling and whipped cream frosting. Food from days gone by or, more aptly put, a meal from the kid’s childhood.
We ate, the dogs collapsed, and all was good, except for the friend thing for Stella.
But, by the time everyone left, she was so tired from all the work this day had dumped on her plate, that she went to bed and fell dead asleep. As usual.
Again, Happy 30th to Kailin, and to the rest of us for the grace she brings to all our lives.