Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Birthday dog

Sit, Ubu, sit. Good dog.
London, ON
June 2015
This is Frasier in a rare quiet moment of introspection. Miniature schnauzers aren't known for their moments of quiet introspection, and our particular miniature schnauzer is especially incapable of it. Yet he has a certain charm about him that's become more than merely endearing since the first day we brought him home. He's become one of us, an indelibly imprinted member of our indelibly unique family.

It's his birthday today. This once-bedraggled rescue dog is now, rather unbelievably to me, nine years-old. Which puts him well into middle-aged territory no matter how much I shake my head and deny that he'll ever age beyond the puppy I've always felt him to be. He's a bit slower than he was, and every once in a while continues to idly chew on the grass while squirrels that once would have set off a ground-shaking barking fit manage to scamper past without him batting his rather bushy eyebrows.

It's difficult to explain how having a dog can add that certain je ne sais quoi to a family. I can't begin to quantify the impact he's had on our kids, but when I see each one of them spontaneously get on the floor with him morning, afternoon and night, talk to him as if he's human, hold him like a rather overgrown baby, hang with him like he's been their buddy forever, it's easy to appreciate just how much he has changed them. I hear their voices when they're around him, and I just know.

Without saying a word - well, not in a language remotely resembling English - he's figured out to worm his way into the deepest recesses of our kids' souls. And, let's be honest, ours as well. He knew from the moment that we first brought him home that we were his forever family, and we can't imagine what life would have been like without him.

The day was filled with spontaneous celebrations of his birthday. More hugs than usual. Songs. Maybe even an extra treat or two. Since he can't read a calendar, we're pretty sure the significance of the day was lost on him. Yet as another charmed day in the charmed life of a charmed dog, we know he knows. The passage of time does nothing to remove from us what this little being has managed to create.

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Jeremiah Andrews said...

When I was younger, we picked a puppy out of a litter of many. Little did we know who he would become in time. The first night we kenneled him to sleep, he wailed until we brought him into bed with us, where he curled up and went to sleep.

We trained him as to the yard and where not to cross the invisible lines into the street or the neighbors yard. He learned quite well. He knew the colors of the tile floors, the main rooms being gold, and the hallways and kitchen a pattern. He knew the line between the kitchen and dining rooms. And he would wait, patiently, when we would fill his bowl, then say, "go ahead, eat !"

At Christmas, we bought him a Christmas stocking that hung by the tree. He knew it was his because we filled it with goodies, toys, and treats. Mocha was a human being, in a dogs body. He had his own language and he learned English very well. He was the most astute dog I have ever known. One day we let him out, and he crossed that invisible line, and ended up, up the street. And that day he took his excursion was his last day on earth.

My father was a broken man after that. He was inconsolable for months on end. We never had another pet after that. It was the saddest day in our lives. But while he was around, they were the best.

Happy Birthday Frasier...

Gilly said...

I'm very definitely a 'dog person'. Our first one, a border collie/springer spaniel cross was 'my' dog. She would have gone for the jugular had anyone attacked me when I took her for her morning walk in the woods. I cried for a week when she had to be put to sleep at the grand age of 13, due to illness. I could still cry now even if it was 32 years ago!. We've had two dogs since then, Bouncy Ben and Greedy Max (who is with us now and getting very old) but its our first one that for me, is how a dog should be.

Enjoy Frasier for the many years you have with him yet. He sounds a fantastic dog. Oh, and all ours were/are rescue dogs (in the widest sense of the word) They are the best!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Happy Birthday, Frasier!