Tuesday, February 21, 2012

For the Love of Dog

I'm a dog guy.  I always have been.  From the Irish Setter's I grew up with to the mutt that I now trust with the things most precious to me.  Nothing against cats, I have two (albeit not by choice), but I don't trust a person who dislikes dogs.  I can't.  These are the first domesticated animals.  These are man's best friends.  If such a thing exists, these are our species' soul mates.  It doesn't mean everyone should own one; they may not fit into all lifestyles - I get that.  But at least have the capacity to see their importance in the human life.  Have the inner desire to stick out your hand and scratch a back as it walks by. ... that should be instinctual.   That's what I mean by "like". ... appreciate what it is dogs mean to us as humanity.  I don't often write about our dog, Karma, but the truth is she's our first Kopp Girl.  Our practice baby.  Of all the dogs I've had she's been the creme de la creme; the watermark.  The transition she's made from spoiled dog of newlyweds to family guardian has been nothing short of remarkable.  And it's gotten to the point, if short handed, I can rely on her to simply sit by a baby and offer a comforting presence in the room while I take a shower.  Or to allow grabby toddlers to torment her to no end (although I do get the puppy dog eyes at me begging for relief sometimes).  There's also the nusance of her newly found barking habit; but it's got endearing qualities as it comes from a place of protection for our children - she only does it when there's activity at the front door, and it only started after the babies had come home; she's alerting us to an incoming "stranger".  But more than her transition, it's what this dog has meant (and always will mean) to our girls that makes me value her so much.  Example:  on Sunday, Arianna woke up from a nap a little early. ... ok, an hour and a half before her sister even stirred.  Gina was off at a festival this weekend, so I took her potty, grabbed her a snack and asked her if she wanted to watch a movie.  "Dora!"  "No. ... I can't take anymore Da-da-da-da-da- Dora right now.  How about this puppy movie?"  She lit up at the Lady and the Tramp cover, so I popped it in.  She cried nearly the entire movie.  Not because she was throwing a fit, or because she didn't like it. ... she was so sad that the puppy (Lady) was lost and couldn't find her momma.  "Puppy need to go find Momma; puppy need to go home for baby."  She kept repeating.  Then she decided that she needed her puppy so she started calling for Karma, who happily trotted in.  She then watched the rest of the movie with her arms around Karma's neck. ... and despite the lack of oxegyn that dog happily obliged the death grip.  These kids will make friends through out their lives.  But they'll never trust anyone as much they trust this dog.  They'll have other pets, but none as memory impressing as her.  They'll have homes and families of their own, but they'll be built upon a model that included this wonderful dog, not just two parents and a handful of siblings.  And they'll grow up; find themselves; move on.  And they might do all that with out realizing just how big a difference 55 pounds of mutt has made in their lives.  But I doubt that.  I doubt that highly.

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