Happy Birthday to Lu!

Today Lucy turns 9.  As my vet says to placate me: “She isn’t old…she’s just older.”

Anyone who has a dog knows that they become an integral part of your family, completely interwoven in the fabric of your life.  They are not ancillary but essential.

As some wise person eloquently said, “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.

I join the ranks of those “crazy dog people” who get immeasurable joy from their pets.  My furry girl is my third child and the only one who does not speak back to me, a quality I cherish at the moment.  Having passed through her teenage years, Lu is now a somewhat mellow middle-aged gal, a good companion to hang out with as long as you can live with her idiosyncracies:

I often wake up with her breath in my face and her cheek against mine as she has migrated from the bottom of the bed to my pillow.

I eat every meal with her chin firmly pressed against my thigh, a not-so-gentle reminder that she is not beyond begging for my food.

I can never enter the house without offering her a treat immediately for, like Pavolv’s Dog, she expects to rewarded upon my return.

How true the saying: If you want the best seat in the house, move the dog.  We all must squeeze within a partial seat cushion on our sofa so that Lu may properly spread out in a full recline and snore loudly during all TV programs.

Walks are mere excuses to forage for food. Every walk we take turns into a buffet for Lu who searches vigilantly for all forgotten crumbs along her path.

All waterfowl are considered an invitation to swim and cause havoc.

No piece of chocolate is safe as Lucy will hunt it down and eat it, wrapper and all!

True to their personalities, Katie and Jackie have different relationships with Lucy.  Katie is effusive and loving.  She recently wrote a poem about how hazel eyes connect all the Dishner girls, Lucy included.  Jackie acts tough and detached, but it was Lucy who was allowed in her bed to comfort her when we moved to London, in essence a living stuffed animal.

Many platitudes have been written about dogs, and as a quote collector, I love them all.

Wag more. Bark less.  Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we did?

God is dog spelled backwards.  Coincidence?

Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.  Jeff, take note.

And last: My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am.  I’ll strive for that!

This is one of my favorite poems as it best describes a dog’s perspective and provides good instruction for a happy human life.

Lessons from a Dog

When loved ones come home, always run to greet  them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a  joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.
Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
Take naps and stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout…run right back and
make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
Stop when you have had enough.
Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you’re not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

As yet another saying goes, “Dogs leave paw prints on your heart.”   How true.

Happy Birthday Lu!

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