Tuesday, April 12, 2011

finally i get it

Sometimes it's difficult to deal with something if you don't have clear understanding of it.

For example. Several years ago, Jessie gave me a delightful gift--a makeup bag full of bottles of nail polish. While it's been years, maybe even decades, since I polished my fingernails, I adore polished toenails. So I was excited to try all of the colors. She didn't go with only the usual reds and pinks and clears--oh no, not my girl. She bought me those and more--silver with glitter, navy blue with glitter, purples, oranges, pinks, reds--perhaps more than a dozen shades and tints and joyously fun little bottles of happiness. One color though, was a bit of a puzzlement to me. It was a shade of green, not just any shade, but a neonish green, and honestly, the thought of wearing it was almost nauseating to me, even on my toes. But eventually, I gave it a try. I'd grown weary of the reds, pinks, oranges, purples, and even the glittery options. Admittedly, it was difficult. But I painted each of my ten toenails with not one, not two, but three coats of that gagging green. And then I looked at each of those toes, and in a stroke of genius, I realized that color wasn't gaggy, it wasn't nauseating, it was the color of Mountain Dew! And who, who, who doesn't love the color of Mountain Dew?


Last night, Jack went out back to play fetch with JoJo. Since we got Gus, the game of fetch has changed drastically. Once in a while, Gus actually goes after the ball. But almost always, nearly 99% of the time, we throw the ball, JoJo bounds after it, and Gus sprints after her, all leaping and gnashing of teeth, trying to attach himself to her neck, and often succeeding at being dragged about the yard while she snatches up and returns the tennis ball, ready to begin the process again.

Last night, Jack headed out back with JoJo and I cajoled and pleaded and eventually succeeded in getting Gus to come back in the house with me so Jo and Jack could have a decent game of fetch. Gus went nuts. More nuts than usual. He began racing from the entryway through the laundry room, into the kitchen, under and around the dining room table and then repeated that route, over and over. I pulled a chair to the counter near the sink where I was rinsing dishes and filling the dishwasher so he could stand up and look out the window and observe the game of fetch, thinking he might enjoy watching the game. That did not pacify him. He leaped from the chair and began running his circuit again only this time, he added another feature to the laps--he started leaping into the air during his sprints, so that he could cover the space of three normal paces in one leap...it was run, run, run, leeeeeap, run, run, run, leeeeeap, as if he thought he was a deer or a puma or some graceful wild animal--and that's when it hit me.

Gus is a circus dog.

Imagine those run, run, run, leeeeeaps with ten other little dogs, rocketing around the three-rings at Barnum and Bailey--add in his tendency to leap from the ground, uninvited and unannounced into your arms--throw in the occasional leap from the ground, into a somersault or flip, landed perfectly scoring a 10 in the doggie acrobatic olympics, and I think you will agree.

Gus left the circus and has come to live with us here in the gardens.

It all makes so much more sense to me now.

Finally, I can stop viewing him as that crazy little dog with no brain and no object permanence.

That dog is amazing. He learns what the other dogs teach him, and in addition to his circus tricks, he's learned from watching Jo that the proper way to rise in the morning is to snuggle next to the owner for as long as possible, ignore her when she rises and asks if you're ready to go out, lazily stretch into a long, slinky dog when you finally decide to get up, and then hesitate when the door is opened.

Now I get it. Is he adorable or what?

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