I have just been groomed because it’s my seventh birthday today.
I’m not one to brag. Dog shows, agility competitions, herding trials—we don’t believe they are worth our brief time on earth. I could perform very well in any of those three areas since my good looks, athleticism, and abilities are all superior. (I was just born that way, so I can’t really take any credit for it.) We’d rather serve as a therapy team. When people pet me, they feel better inside themselves.
Just today, we were walking around the lake and met the most beautiful couple sitting on a park bench, enjoying the view. They were shining all over their faces. The sun in their hearts lit them up. They smiled at us, looking like they wanted to say hi, so we approached. I wagged my tail and walked right up to them. It was true, they wanted to pet me and knew exactly what to do. They said what so many of them say, “Shaggy D. A., he’s just like the dog in that movie! Did you see it?” Then they petted me, scratched gently behind my ears. Wow. We all felt so happy.
“Yes, I did see that movie, and you’re right, he’s like that dog…same breed, but this name is Oliver,” you said to them.
“Oh, Oliver!” they said, “I love you, Oliver!” They sparkled in their eyes and all over their cheeks and mouths. We’d never met before and we immediately loved each other. Isn’t it wonderful? I wanted to crawl right into their laps, but I would never do that, even with you. I am quite reserved about my affection. I don’t lick anyone except small children who are wearing jam or ice cream.
“Thank you,” said the beautiful couple, “for saying hi.” All of us glowed for a long time after that. I felt it under my fur. My tail was wagging higher and I was not so anxious about skateboards or other terrible sounds coming by me without asking. I will keep those shiny people in my dreams all day as I sleep on the deck.
I don’t need ribbons, but I’ll take a treat anytime, before, during or after a meal. Last week, even though I didn’t ask for an award, a very good friend named Bunny, her husband Jay, and her dog Issy (a girlfriend, if you have to know), sent me two Boy Scout Merit Badges. I sniffed them and they didn’t emit any foul odors. You explained to me that to get a Merit Badge, you have to pick a subject (there are 135), use the Scout Buddy system (tell your unit leader at a meeting), call the merit badge counselor (woof, woof). I didn’t do any of those things.
I completed my requirements without even trying. You spoke for me when you told Bunny what I’ve accomplished. Also, Bunny has been reading my blog so she’s read about my work. I think she’s probably more generous with her awards than some leaders. One of my awards is for Kayaking and the other is for Aviation. Look closely at my two photos. Sitting still while kayaking is a skill I’ve mastered; letting people pet me in the MSP airport is what I do to earn my Aviation award. We appear some Friday mornings under the Pet Me signs in the North Rotunda.
Bunny and Issy’s predogcessor appeared in one of my earlier blogs: April, 2017, called I HAVE A NEW FRIEND. It’s in verse form, called doggerel. That’s a special kind of rhyme that dogs use to bounce to the beat. Bunny is a devoted reader, fan, and friend. I love her. So, when we got my awards in the mail, my daddy bought special bobbins for his amazing sewing machine and sewed my awards on a black and white scarf that matches my hair. How do I look?
Advice from Oliver: Love what you do. You might get an award in the mail without even asking.
OLIVER RESTING UNDER HIS LAURELS