Thursday, April 9, 2009

When You Say Nothing At all

You're either a dog person, or you're not. There is no middle ground here. Either you don't mind the slobber, or you do. It's that simple. I'm a dog person. I'm raising dog people. I married a dog person. I'm friends with dog people; Mud has 7 (seven!) and well, E isn't so much a dog person. But generally, we all have dogs, and love dogs, and will probably always have dogs until the end.

I'd like to introduce you to my dogs. My parents got a black lab when I was in college (empty nest syndrome). This dog ate through most of the house and their pocket book (figuratively). But she lived a long (14 years) and happy life (couch to herself). She was a black lab named Billie, which was, coincidentally, my nick name in college. I loved this dog. I love black labs. I can't help myself.

So, when Paul Bunyan and I lived in the sunny (can I emphasize sunny since it's been raining and snowing here for a week?) state of Colorado for a few years, I talked him into driving 2 hours East of Denver into the prairies of Nebraska to look at a black lab. This is what we found.

This is Sydney. She was born in Sydney, Nebraska. She is our first born and like all first borns, she has her issues. She has never, despite all our attempts at training, learned to come when she is called. Here Sydney is tied up. We are camping in the middle of nowhere and she would have taken off to find a deer or bear or moose carcass to lose herself in.

Sydney once stole a gosling from a nest in Fairmont Park when we lived in Philly. She ran up and down the Schuylkill, shaking the poor baby goose in her mouth. She ran across the river and through a gaggle of screaming school children. Paul Bunyan just watched and pretended not to know her.

Sydney has had three serious cases of pancreatitis...that's about $3,000. She has eaten carcasses, compost, and whole bags of garbage. She is an amazing counter surfer and just almost got my bagel this morning, while I was standing right there.

Sydney ate our neighbor's chickens two weeks after the twins were born. There is no hard proof and Paul Bunyan wanted some. I thought the gosling story was proof enough.

Two houses, two electric fences: $1,000.

Sydney rarely gets up when we walk out the door, or in it for that matter. She barks at the dark, and smells really bad in the summer. But we love her none-the-less and that's mostly because she lets everyone do this.

She and Timmy have a real bond.

I was the driving force, once again, when we went to St. Johnsbury, Vermont, to "look" at Liebe (pronounced Leeba). You never drive somewhere to "look" at a puppy. That's just crap. Liebe means "love" in German and she definitely is a love. We got her on Valentine's Day 6 years ago. I don't have too many puppy photos of Liebe because, well, you know what happens when the third child comes along. But I do have a snip-it here of Liebe right after she joined our household. I think you'll see that Sydney is overjoyed to finally have a playmate.

Liebe is my little buddy. She is ready for adventure and never wants to miss it...which is why she is usually at my side. She is the best dog I know. AND she can jump off the dock, like, 20 feet. It's so cool.

Liebe is the best co-pilot there ever was. She never says that I'm going too fast over the bumps, or "Please don't bottom out the car again," or "Why didn't you stop at that stop sign?". I love her because she doesn't whine, or ask for help putting on her jacket, or need help tying her shoes. I love her because she doesn't say anything at all...actually. Which is why I'd like to dedicate this song to my dogs. The woman singing is a friend of mine; she is singing with her brother, which is something I can say I've never done before. So, Sydney and Liebe, this one's for you. And Char, I hope you're not too offended that I dedicated your song to my dogs. It just made sense to me.

When you say nothing at all 3 wav - Tim

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