My dog Fred is over eight now (you can follow Fred on Facebook here). He’s part retriever, part poodle. He has it all over the The Boy and The Girl when it comes to love and affection. Top 10 reasons why:
10. Fred does not negotiate. You say, “No walk right now,” and he settles back down on the couch. No big deal. Everything is a negotiation with The Boy and The Girl.
9. Fred chews bones outside. Always. Give him a bone, and he will stand at the door waiting to go out, even in a torrential downpour. The Boy and The Girl think the family-room couch is the dining room table.
8. Fred likes my company. I’m in the office, he curls up underneath the desk. I’m in the kitchen, he curls up on the sofa across from the island. I’m reading in the bedroom, he curls up next to me. The Boy and The Girl want me to do things for them—just not with them.
7. Fred laps up my cooking. For the record, he eats chopped meat and fish and mashed veggies (he also has a thing for pineapple). The teens wonder why we couldn’t just buy lettuce at the store like normal people (we pick ours in the back yard).
6. Fred is the best patient ever. He had a mast cell tumor, impossible to fully remove, four years ago. The day after surgery, he was ready to bound outside (we kept him in because he looked so awful with a livid scar running from his left eye to his snout that he scared the neighborhood horses). The Boy and The Girl get a cold and want room service.
5. Fred is Love. Really. He radiates this. Say “Up, Fred,” and he hugs you. Heaven for him is lying on the couch with his family, getting scratched between the ears. The Boy and The Girl have trouble saying the word “love” in context with the word “mother.”
4. Fred likes to sleep. Probably 20 hours a day. The Boy and The Girl don’t like to go to sleep, and then when they should wake up, they want to sleep. You have no idea how aggravating this is. Or maybe you do.
3. Fred loves to greet me. I come home, he’s at the door, grinning his lopsided smile, tail wagging, over-the-moon to see me. My kids love to see me leave the house.
2. Fred is always in a good mood. Always. I have teens. Enough said.
1. To Fred, I am a goddess. I greet him, I am a goddess. I walk him, I am a goddess. I feed him, I am a goddess. I scold him, I am still a goddess. To the two I gave birth to without painkillers, the two I cook, clean and slave for—I am so not a goddess.
I love them both, anyway.