My little black dog Layla is getting old.
She’s also a bit smelly, even after a bath. (What can I say? Body odour happens).
Layla has a lovely personality. She has spent the past twelve years being as good a dog as a dog can be, paying careful attention to everything her humans want, say and do, learning as much of our language as she can, and being an unrelenting example, as dogs tend to be, of optimism and hope. Particularly when the possibility of cheese is involved.
Layla’s nose has been somewhat put out by the introduction of a new little black dog into the family.
A beautiful mongrel, rescued from the streets by my daughter Mary, this new addition to the family was given the somewhat lyrical name, ‘River’. She is larger, stronger, and full of the kind of joi de vivre that only young dogs can exhibit. Rheumatism is still a long way off.
River has a ridiculously infectious happy dance. Give her a bone, a stick, a crumpled bit of paper, an old sock … (actually, just show up), and River prances. You can almost hear her saying “I’m SO pleased to see you; you’re the BEST part of my day!” River’s unbridled enthusiasm for life, for waking up in the morning, for well … anything at all, combined with her odourless silky black fur make her totally irresistible.
She’s not even ‘my’ dog, but River gets a LOT more attention from me. How can I ignore her when she lovingly places her doggy hopes and dreams right into my lap and gazes at me with those soft brown eyes? Of course she gets more pats, more cuddles, more of everything.
But have you noticed how dogs start looking like their owners after awhile? It’s been said (more than once) that with her big bulging eyes and copious black fur, my little old Layla bears an uncanny resemblance to me.
Now, add that to aching bones, partial blindness and a bit of memory loss… and we might just have the dog equivalent of Malini. *Sigh*
Layla may be a bit smelly and a tad grumpy, but she still has a gorgeous, loving and loyal heart. She just doesn’t push herself forward with the youthful vigour that River has. So I give her less attention.
All these deep ruminations about dogs got me thinking. How often have I treated myself like I do Layla? Have there been times when I too, needed a pat on the back from me, the only person whose opinion matters?
Yesterday I complained that I was feeling exhausted and emotionally spent.
My niece quietly observed, “Aunty Mal, you’ve had a HUGE week.”
She then proceeded to list all the things I’d done this week that I wasn’t able to do the week before or the week before that.
I’ve completely forgotten what they are now, (apparently getting my memory back wasn’t one of them) but I know I can add this:
I’ve started painting again today.
And THAT, my friends, is worth giving this little black dog duck a pat on the back for 🙂
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