Now, that said, I do try to be socially acceptable, for the most part, in non doggy circles as well. I am a total NPR geek, listening during all my waking hours, which helps me to be marginally conversant with people who don't know a dew claw from a stop pad. And on the rare occasion when the television is on, it is usually turned to Antiques Road Show or Bill Moyers or American Masters on PBS. (Except I have this morbid fascination with the Biggest Loser, don't even ask me why, and I do like Law & Order and the Medium, so there's some hope for me.)
Yesterday, as the dear Very Old Dog hinted, Bill had surgery in Nashville. We left the house at 4:37 AM for the 8:00 AM surgery time. The dogs bounded downstairs at O-dark-thirty, in a high state of anticipation because usually an arising at such an hour spells a dog show or field trial and no one wants to be left home. Oh the sad faces when the realization struck that there would be no canine travellers!
Very Old Dog, I believe, could even get politicians and kings to behave with one of his looks of disappointment. (World Leader: "Send the Troops into harm's way to make me more powerful!" Very Old Dog, worry wrinkles in his dear brow: "I'm disappointed in you, World Leader. Perhaps you could work on a diplomatic solution and not make people die and lose their loved ones." World Leader, scratching Very Old Dog behind his ears: "Yes, well, um. Never mind. Let's schedule some peace talks.")
But much to the collective doggy delight, our dear friend and neighbor and wonderful canine artist Karen came to their rescue. And knowing I would be relieved to hear that all was well, she called me on my cell phone.
Want to get some attention in a crowded waiting room at a busy surgicenter of a major teaching hospital? Easy! Just have the following conversation:
Hi! Thanks so much for looking after the kids! I just hated leaving them alone so early. I bet they were happy to see you. Did they scream? What? Maria won't stop whining? Oh, she wants to be tucked in. Yes, there's an extra blanket there to cover her. Still? Did you cover her head? Yes, cover her whole body, head and all, so you can't even see her. She likes to feel like she's suffocating!
No, you do NOT have to pick up! That was NOT part of the deal and I can do it when I get home. . No, don't worry about it! If William eats poop it won't be the first time and it won't be the last, just don't let him kiss you goodbye when you leave!
After profusely thanking my generous friend, I flipped my cell phone closed and looked up from my conversation to see every single horrified eye in the room fixed in abject revulsion on my face. Why do I have to give my dogs human names? Why could I not have been discussing "Spot" and "Fluffy"?
I'll post a photo of dear Nurse Delia ministering to her manservant in just a bit. And here it is:
hug your hounds, even the poop eaters
(Fortunately, Delia is not a poop eater!)