What is your dog to you? Really, when you look back on the time you’ve spent together, what role has it played in your life? We can take our dogs for granted, get tired of taking them out for a walk every day, and get frustrated when the dog-bowl gets spilled on the kitchen floor. When was the last time you stopped to remember all those special moments you’ve shared?
Pause. Remember. Be Thankful.
A Story About a Pal
“I had this dachshund named Pal. He was a “ranch dog” as much as he could be, being a shortlegged, black and tan miniature who most likely thought he lived in a forest since the grass was so tall and his legs were so short. We had this little tradition of meeting up on the porch every day after school. He would wag the back half of his body, and really, the front half too, so hard that we had a little bare spot on the porch from where his vibrating claws had lifted the stain.”
“School was hard. Not in an academic sense, mostly socially. We all go through those awkward years, not knowing how to express yourself well to others, feeling the deepest need in the world to be liked, popular, accepted. You name it. For me, I just didn’t quite get the whole system of relating, I didn’t know how to get comfortable in my own skin. Home was a safe place, and Pal was always glad to see me. Any dog is, I assume. But what made Pal special was his “ritual”. I don’t know when it started, and I don’t know how it got to be so extensive, but he inadvertently developed this daily therapy session that I remember very fondly.”
“After the 2-part wagging episode, he would attempt a sort of rebellious coup to come indoors, where he was absolutely not allowed. He knew this, the porch was his domain, the house was mom’s, and the entryway was “Switzerland”. He would put the less wiggly front half inside the door and if he came no further, he was not chastised. But he wasn’t going to let me hit the couch without hearing his little clicking paws, no sir, he wanted me to drop my stuff and come back outside. Most days, I would capitulate. We began with a vigorous scratching of the ears, a little belly rub, and then (in a split second) the belly rub turned into an all-out, car-race styled sprint around some imaginary track in the yard that was only visible to Pal. After a year of this, I finally saw the track he was seeing, he had worn a perfect little trail in the grass. Dad rolled his eyes at it, I tended to think this finally gave me an advantage in the races. So we would run. Hard. Twisting and turning around the big oaks in the front yard. When both of us were spent, he would canter out to our old trampoline, pause, look over his shoulder, and see if I was still coming. If I lingered, I swear he knew where the sticker-burr patch was and would intentionally get one in his paw so I would have to come pick him up. I’d pull it out, he’d lick the paw, and then he wanted to hang out on the trampoline. We didn’t jump, we would just sit there and watch things. The birds, the cat (his best friend if I’m honest), my siblings. In the fall, it would be covered in leaves. And this I’ll never forget; as the sun would go down, everything would turn this kind of greenish evening color. I would stroke his oily coat, and we would just calm down. School stress would leave me, I might even find some excitement in that quiet space for the next day, and we would stop thinking altogether.”
“Then mom would call from the porch that dinner was ready. We’d both run in, part ways at the threshold, and that was that. I’ve never really thought about how thankful I am for those years with my little buddy, Pal. He was a fine companion to me.”
Stories Bring us Together
An essential part of the dog-lover lifestyle is the way we tell stories and talk about our pets. We (Your Dogologie companions) want to celebrate this together, to be a destination for these stories and conversations that mean so much to us.
If you have a Dog Story. Send it to us here.