Monday, September 02, 2013

The Love of a Dog

The dog is known for its loyalty, love and devotion. We all know that, but this morning I experienced it in such a reaffirming way that it is humbling. Of course I've experienced this type of love and devotion before. I've written about it. Just the other day I wrote about Nala following me around the Pilates studio while I got ready for clients. I experience her devotion every time we go out and I ask her to "straight on" past a small child offering her crackers or another dog choking itself desperately at the end of its leash wanting to meet her and she does it. Perhaps I've become accustomed to my dog's devotion in those scenarios. I suppose in a way I've come to expect it. How else would I be able to trust that my dog is going to get me safely across a street or stop at the top of a steep flight of stairs?
I've experienced it with my pet dogs in the past too, but a lot of my dog memories of the past are of working relationships. I remember my very first pet dog showing me loyalty and devotion, but I was just a small kid. I didn't really know what that meant. So, when Hermione curled up on the couch with me this morning, as she does every morning, my heart twanged a little bit.
You see I had been a bad dog mom. Being a good dog mom is something I pride myself on, but last night, I got a failing grade. And yet, this morning, after I had been a bad dog mom for her last night, Hermione still snuggled up to me and fell asleep with her little fuzzy head pressed against my leg.
This is what happened.
Last night, Mr. K helped me take everyone out before bed. It was incredibly windy and when it's like that Hermione chases everything. We let her off leash to do her business and waited around while everyone else emptied their tanks too. Hermione is easily distracted and so when it's super windy it's best to let her off her leash so she can run around and eventually give into her "go to the bathroom" urges instead of her "must chase every blowing fluff that passes my face" urges.
After everyone had went, we went back inside and I went to bed. Nala got into her doggie bed, Roscoe his, Otis was put up on our bed and Hermione went in her crate, as per every night. Not two hours after we had gone to sleep Hermione started her gentle "woof woofing." I told her to quiet and rolled over and went back to sleep. I thought she was fussing because Mr. K was still awake and she could hear him moving around. A little while later she fussed again, but again, I ignored her. I thought Mr. K was in the kitchen and assumed that she was complaining because she wanted to be in the kitchen too. I could smell something cooking and so dismissed her grumblings. Eventually, Mr. K came to bed and Hermione went crazy. I don't know what made him go over to her crate, but he did and thankfully he let her out.
The poor thing had to pee so badly that she had peed in her crate.
I don't remember the last time she did that. Not since she was a very small baby. Her beautiful feathers were soaked as was the long fur on her under belly. She had peed on the plastic bottom, but it had been so much it soaked into her bed. I felt awful.
Here I had ignored her, thinking she was just being difficult. Some nights she does that and in order to discourage her from waking people up whenever she wants to, I just ignore her and she goes back to sleep. Well, she actually had to go last night. Because we had had them out for such a long time and because she had been off leash, I had assumed that she had gone. Apparently not. The blowing world must have been too much of a distraction and she must have not gone. If I had thought that she hadn't gone, I would have taken her out as soon as she started complaining.
I scooped her up and raced her to the bath tub where she waited patiently for me to wash her legs and tummy. She's so good in the tub that even when I turned around to get a towel to wrap her up in, she waits patiently until I say "arms up" and she puts her front paws on the side of the tub. Then, I lift her out. She never tries to jump out, even though she could.
I rubbed her down with the towel, trying to dry her as much as I could. Mr. K cleaned the plastic tray from the bottom of her crate and put her crate back together. We have this blue blanket that all of the dogs love. Technically, it's a human blanket, but last night I used it as a substitute for her bed. It's some kind of micro fleece and the dogs are always trying to steal it from me. I know Hermione doesn't know that I gave it to her as a sort of "I'm sorry" bed, but I know she enjoyed it at least. She was fluffing and scrunching it even before I got her crate door closed.
So, you see? I was a bad dog mom. Not intentionally cruel, but nevertheless, I felt awful. And, as she does most mornings, Hermione climbed up beside me while I drank my coffee and played on the internet; just like nothing happened. I know that cognitively speaking, she can't equate pee filled crate with bad dog mom, but it really does make you think about how trusting and loving these creatures really are.

1 comment:

Dexter said...

Oh dear. These things effect us more than our doggies. I suspect she has forgotten the whole thing. I, too, have mistaken real potty emergency cries for annoying "pay attention" cries. It happens to all of us.

Mango Momma