Saturday, December 27, 2003

Oh Fudge!

My brother and sister-in-law presented my father with saltwater taffee and a pound of fudge for Christmas. Yesterday, when I got back from my errands, I made the discovery that Faithful Companion had somehow gotten the idea that the fudge and saltwater taffee was for him. He had eaten all the fudge, and was working his way through the saltwater taffee when I came through the door.

So last night was all about dog vomit. And the cleaning up thereof. Eventually his stomach seemed to settle down. But, vomting dehydrates dogs the same way that it dehydrates people. So he started drinking lots of water. Now in general, Faithful Companion needs little in the way of incentive when it comes to drinking water. He just loses himself in lapping it up. I think it's just the kinaesthetic value of drinking water that gets him going. It's his second favorite thing to do.

His first favorite thing to do is pissing. And he was doing a lot of that today. Probably not more than thirty minutes would pass between spells of him wandering up to me with his imploring big brown eyes, and this would prompt a "Yikes! Time for a walk? Okay, Buddy! Let's go!" and a mad rush for the door on my part.

Sometimes we made it. Other times, we didn't.

This is what owning a dog is all about, really. Cleaning up vomit and piss. (And shit, but happily, not in this case.) While you're sopping it out of the carpet with paper towels, you reflect that the only thing that could get you to do this is love. A deep and abiding love. It unites master and dog like nothing else. And, when we don't make it out the door in time, he gets this 'Ooooooh noooooo...' expression on his face that melts my heart. Every time.

Don't get me wrong. Dogs are by and large mindless and manipulative beasts. Playing on our emotions as we project feelings onto them is how they've survived and thrived lo these past fifty thousand years.

But it's so worth it. If you've never owned a dog, you have no idea what love is all about. Because it's pure and unconditional. The gift outright. Given without thought of return.

After all, the day will probably never come when Faithful Companion is cleaning up my vomit. Or at least, I hope it won't, as the circumstances and method involved are pretty grim to contemplate.

Who's my good boy? Who's my good friend? Who do I love? You, Faithful Companion!

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