And this is what comfort looks like to Lizzy.
That couch. That poor beat up, lived in, worn out couch. It was beautiful once. When it graced my parent's den. When my father died and my mom moved to a small two bedroom apartment, she gave me the couch. And that's where it all went downhill.
It's endured fingernail polish spills, dogs chewing the stuffing out of it and now it is forever covered in Lizzy hair. She has made it her couch. And that is her spot.
Right by the window so she can bark at things like very small dogs and children....and plastic bags, and wind, and squirrels. Oh how the squirrels like to torment her.
Come to think of it, the neighborhood kids like to torment her too.
They stand on the sidewalk, watching as Lizzy goes crazy barking and clawing at the window.
Then they laugh when they realize how riled up they can get her.
One of these days I fear she will break the window and leap out at her tormentors.
They won't be laughing then!
Just imagining the horror on their faces makes me smile a little.
I'm sort of drifting off topic here. But I had to set the tone. I never would have guessed that this quirky dog would end up being MY dog. But she is. Whether by my choice or not, she has become my dog. Actually, I think it was by Lizzy's choice. She loves me. I'm her Mama.
And I love her.
It certainly wasn't always love I felt for her. Sure, I loved her when we first brought her home, all small and fluffy. I loved her through the first week when all she did was whine for her Mama and I laid on the kitchen floor with her, comforting her, letting her know that it would be alright.
Then came the not so fun potty training. And the chewing. And the destroying of EVERYTHING. And the fur. OH MY LORD, the fur. I spent the first year cursing the dog and my husband for the fur.
Somewhere along the way, I grew to love this giant dog, who really does not fit the description as promised by my beloved, when trying to convince me this was the best pet for our family. Sure, she's a gentle giant, but you have to realize that she's a 120lb dog that thinks she a tiny little lap dog and that humans enjoy being tackled, drug around the house by the hood of their coat, laid on and drooled over. We have a word for her: defective.
But she loves us so. And whenever we leave the house, we see a little black snout at the side window of our front door, watching us leave. And upon returning, she's there again, ready to greet us happily.
Occasionally, we all leave the house together for a little trip somewhere. Lizzy can sense this as she watches us make up sandwiches to take along and pack our bags in the van.
Then starts the prancing. This is similar to the prancing she does when she knows she's about to get a treat, except more intense. She follows you wherever you go, either excited that she's going to go for a ride or scared she might be forgotten. But it's a high stepping, bouncy, ears all perked up kind of prancing.....and it's SO DARN CUTE!
I felt so bad watching her prance around as we were packing up for our trip to Maplelag last Saturday. Knowing she would be left behind and seeing how excited she was to go.
In the final moments, she did her very best to sneak along. She escaped into the garage and jumped into the open door of the van. There she sat, not planning on moving those big furry butt cheeks. They were planted firmly on floor of the van. Andreas tried to get her out but we were all laughing so hard. It's difficult use the muscles needed to drag this giant dog out of the van when you are splitting a gut.
When we finally did get her out, we shut the van door and started to lead her into the house by her collar. But then she escaped from her collar and ran back outside. This time, I was a little afraid she was going to run through the neighborhood, tackling everything in her way. I imagined tall trees falling over, cars overturned, fires, looting, sirens.....chaos! But she stood on the driveway, across from Andreas, both in an old western shoot out type of stance, waiting for the other to make the first move.
There was a little juke to the left and the right (mad laughter rocking the van as all 3 girls were inside watching it all go down). I decided to open the door to the van to coax her back inside. That certainly worked because as soon as the door was open, she made a beeline for inside of the van and planted her butt even farther back, almost on top of Emma in the back seat.
Poor thing. She wanted to go SO BAD. I knew it would be a pain in the butt to bring her. I knew I would regret the decision many times over, but I still wanted to let her go along, simply because she wanted to go where we were going. Because we are her family. And she loves us.
And we love her.
Oh, she's still a royal pain in the butt. That's why we call her our "royal dog". I still log more hours vacuuming the floors than I do sleeping. I eat fur, drink fur, and wear fur. I can vacuum today and by tomorrow it will look as though I haven't touched the vacuum in weeks. But I've learned to deal with it. Because she looks at me like I'm her best friend in the world. She loves me more than herself. The least I can do is love her back. Love her for the joy she brings us, even though she creates more work for us. Love her for always being at my side, loyal and faithful, even though it means a trail of fur and slime all over my clothes. Love her for making us laugh.
Love her for being our dog.