My dog has no volume control. I know this because Dave has had a lot to say lately, all at full voice. The electricians were here and the sprinkler repair people. These are rare occurrences, and I expected a little doggie feedback, but even on uneventful days, Dave adds continual commentary. UPS truck alert or simply a nudge that he needs to go outside, everything is done at peak volume.
When I am on the other side of the house, this is OK, but if he is sitting right next to me, it can be nerve-shattering, and, I’m ashamed to admit it, but there are days when I have to remind myself what a blessing Dave is.
First, he is cute as a bug. He is low to the ground but high on the intensity meter, and when he is strutting his stuff at the park, his cuteness makes me want to scoop him up and hug him on the spot. I don’t, of course, because it would hurt his street cred with the other dogs.
One of Dave’s other gifts to me is simply that he insists that I get up every morning. Dogs do not understand weekends or holidays, so I have learned that when the sun comes up, I need to gather my thoughts and actually get out of bed whether I feel like it or not. This, I’m told, builds character.
He has also forced me to go outside. BD (before Dave), I regarded my backyard as a dirt-ridden, snake-infested prelude to the security of my inner sanctum, but since I have had to go outside with Dave, I have discovered that the great outdoors is, well, great. Dave’s non-focused meanderings gave me a chance to see just how many types of plant life reside in my one little acre. I’ve witnessed the antics of squirrels and come face-to-face with slugs and centipedes and those lizards who bob their heads up and down and puff out their throats. Another gift.
On our daily walks, I find that I am reconnecting with my neighbors. They’re fine people, by the way. BD, it was garage door up, drive away. Arrive home, garage door down. You can’t maintain relationships like that.
Dave and I are not always together, of course, but when I announce that I am “going to do errands,” Dave has come to trust that I will be back. When I return, he greets me at the door, his tail at full wag, and that has given me joy, even though it is followed directly by a silent plea that I hurry up and take him to the park.
Dave sitting beside me on the couch in the evenings has become my favorite part of the day. When it’s time for bed (I announce that, too), he runs and jumps into his dog bed that sits just inside my bedroom door. As I climb under the covers, he commences a short bark repertoire, still at full volume, which I tried to correct until I came to understand that Dave was making an announcement of his own. His day was officially over and he would be going to sleep, but would-be intruders should be advised that he was still on patrol.
When I wake up in the middle of the night, I can hear Dave’s little doggie snores. He is quiet and peaceful, and it makes me quiet and peaceful, too, even though I know that he is gathering strength for another day of high alert.
Sleep well, Dave, my sweet full volume blessing.