Last week, I had a very relaxing evening with my family. I was over at my mother's house for a family dinner, a fairly regular event for us. My brother and his wife were there, along with my beloved nephew, Squirt, and his faithful dog, Libby. Faithful is an overly nice way of describing this canine beggar of food and attention. She will bark at you if you dare to eat in front of her without sharing and considers you fair game for rough housing if you sit on the rug. As Squirt enjoys playing with cars and trains on the floor, we are often subject to being run over by a ready-to-romp Libby.
|Libby, a Bull Mastiff beggar of food and attention|
My mother's dog, Roxy (formerly, my dog Roxy) was also there and very glad to see me. Roxy was my dog until I moved out of my mother's house and she said she was scared of being in the house all alone at night and would feel so much safer if she had Roxy with her. You can see how I ended up dogless, can't you? I couldn't be the only daughter of a widowed mother (true fact) who left her mother alone and scared in a big empty house, could I?! No, of course not. So, now I see my dog whenever I go over to my mother's house for dinner and on weekends. I miss her, but I suspect she is much happier romping around my mother's large yard than she would be trapped in my postage stamp of a back garden.
|My beloved pup, Roxy |
(half Rottweiler + half Bull Mastiff = 130 pounds of puppy love)
Anywho, we were all there (one mother, a brother, a sister-in law, a Squirt, two family dogs, and me) and Mom had made a fabulous lasagna. Whenever my mother wants her children to come over to the house, she simply calls and tells us what she's made for dinner. Some dishes, such as her lasagna, pot roast, or chicken parmesan, have magnetic properties that pull the whole family into the house. We ate my mother's amazing Italian meal, talked about the latest events in our life ( my brother's work week had been interesting, my sister in-law's family were having health issues, Squirt had a cold in his nose, and Mom was debating the merits of retiring now versus working a few more years) and settled into the living room to watch the evening news. Well, my brother was watching the news. My sister in law was on her phone checking facebook, my mother was doing the dishes, Squirt and I were playing Angry Birds on my brother's phone, and the dogs were waiting patiently to be fed some leftovers. But, we were all together is my point.
Roxy wandered over to me after she'd received some lasagna love and presented her rump for a rub, something she's done since she was a puppy. I obliged Roxy and gave her a good rubdown and in the process, managed to get dog fur all over my shirt and pants. Normally, dogs shed in the summer, but Roxy seems to have this perpetual shedding thing going on regardless of the season. Even in the dead of winter (which didn't exist here this year), Roxy always sheds alot. But, what's a little dog fur among family, right?
Libby decided that she wasn't going to be left out of all this attention and proceeded to squeeze herself between me and Roxy. As she had also recently enjoyed a small helping of Mom's lasagna, she was very dribbly and drooling. She's a mastiff, it's what they do. I gave Libby a good scratch behind the ears so she wouldn't feel left out and she gave me a drool stain across the front of my shirt in return. Fair trade, I guess.
The whole time I was rubbing rumps and scratching ears, I'd been playing Angry Birds with my nephew, Squirt. I can multi-task! Squirt likes his Lainey-time, just as much as the dogs. When he was little and I'd tell him it was time for me to go home to my own house, he'd look me straight in the eye and tell me, "No! It's time for you to play with me some more." How was I supposed to argue with that? Needless to say, a lot of my departures from my mother's house have been timed to coincide with his nap time. Less tears and toddlers wrapped around my leg that way.
Squirt had kept me so distracted with the game, that I didn't really noticed the mess the dogs were creating on my shirt until he decided he didn't want to take turns anymore. He's four and an only child. Sharing occurs in short bursts spread far apart. After ten minutes of taking turns trying to defeat the next level of Angry Birds, he was done sharing with me.
I looked down at my shirt and saw the mess the dogs had made of me with their shows of affection. Dog fur and slobber all over the place! I commented on this to my family and said, "The only thing missing from this shirt is a little snot from Squirt's cold and then it'll be completely trashed." Guess what happened then? You guessed it. Squirt leaned over and wiped his nose on the front of my shirt.
This should have really grossed me out. It certainly angered Squirt's father, who immediately began fussing and fuming about Squirt's snotty actions. But, the only response I could produce was gales of laughter. The 'shirt as kleenex' swipe had been so swift and unthinking that I couldn't get mad at the Squirt. I'd said that snot was what the shirt was missing and he'd obliged me immediately. What a thoughtful nephew to give his aunt what she asked for right away!
I went home that night disheveled, but very relaxed and happy. A great family night!
|Must love big dogs!|