Saturday, May 3, 2008

After All

I'd like to be able to say the belly issues are behind us. We had four good walks today, a trip to Costco and Vitamin Cottage, a walk down to Hero's for a visit with Aunt Chelsea, who loaded us up with Bee Pollen and a long chewy stick (which, it turns out, is all that remains of a bull's penis. I'll have fun explaining that one to Ken. I'm still trying to be okay with it!), a romp through the park and around the lake, and a nice time gazing at two tiny bunnies, babies, no bigger than Winnie's head, which hopped nonchalantly in front of us while the munched on the clover. Duncan seems to be fine, but knowing him as I do, his moods, expression, his schedule, the way he plays and jumps and chases Pip around the apartment, I know things are still not quite settled. I have my suspicions about what he got into but I'm relieved that he's eating and drinking and tending to the rest of his business.At the park this evening as the sun was settling down low over the mountains, the sky still blue but turning gold around it, we passed a woman pushing a stroller and two small children following beside her. The girl, a lanky four year old with sunshine-bleached red hair, asked if she could pet Duncan. He sat for her and she reached out a tentative hand to pat his head. The oldest boy, perhaps six and decked out in his baseball uniform, was eating a sandwich and wouldn't get too close. Once Duncan spotted the sandwich, though, the boy was his best friend and he kept attempting to lure the kid in with cuteness and tricks, raising his paw to give him a high five and bowing at him. As we walked in front of them, the girl running her fingers through the long hair on Duncan's tail, I heard him ask his mother if they could get a dog.

"Dogs are a lot of work," she explained. "You have to walk them every day, even on days when it's very cold and the snow is blowing across the park. It's nice on days like today, but other times it's very hard," she said.

"Amen," I said, looking over my shoulder. She laughed.

"Harder than Eric?" he asked, meaning the baby in the stroller.

"Just as hard but in a different way," she said as Eric started to fuss. "Having a dog and being good to it means more than just feeding it and letting it out in the backyard. It means playing with it and giving it good food and taking it for long, long walks, giving it all the attention it needs. Having a dog means more than just sharing your home with it; you have to make it one of the family and love it just as much as mommy loves you and your sister and Eric."

It made me smile.

It looks like I'm a parent after all.


Charlie said...

You are DEFINITELY a parent!
- Anne

Lori said...

That is one wise mom, isn't it? If only all parents were so honest with themselves and their kids, a lot fewer dogs would end up at the pound when they realize that they ARE a LOT of WORK!
Oh, and those "bully sticks?" I had a client several years ago who worked in some area of the pet food processing business... and he delighted in telling us how BIG/LONG those things are before they chop them into chewy-size lengths! ;-)