Friday, May 6, 2016

Does Mothering a Puppy Count?

When my alarm went off this morning I was completely oblivious and would’ve slept straight through if Vince hadn’t poked me in the shoulder to shut it off.

I loathe being poked in the shoulder about as much as Vince loathes listening to an unheeded cell phone alarm. But I was in such a deep state of sleep that I wouldn’t have heard a tornado siren if it had been set off inches from my ear.

Nevertheless, with the vestiges of a really weird dream still echoing in my subconscious, I blearily got up and struggled into my tennis shoes. I’ve taken to wearing socks to bed so I don’t have to add that task first thing in the morning.  If I could, I’d also sleep in the jacket in which plastic bags are conveniently stashed in the pockets so I wouldn’t even have to think before taking Maggie Minx out for her first nature call of the day.

Thinking is not my strong point first thing in the morning. Ask Vince.

But as we stumbled out the front door and Maggie made a mad dash for the grass to do her business, it occurred to me that I could probably use a Hallmark card this Sunday.  Do they even make, “Happy Mother’s Day from the Dog” cards?

If not, they should.  At least while said dog is a puppy. 

Note that I have never ever thought I needed a “Happy Mother’s Day from the Cat” card.  Even after cleaning up endless piles of cat yak and scooping countless clumps of kitty litter through the years. 

Cats are just not as needy as dogs. 

If I walk out of the room to take a shower, the cats have never meowed loudly to get my attention as if to ask why,  oh, why have I forsaken them?

When I leave the house to run a quick errand or to head to work or to do a little grocery shopping, the cats have never rebuked me for leaving them alone. In fact, they relish their uninterrupted nap time and Twinks probably yaks on the carpet on purpose forcing me out of the house to buy more carpet cleaning spray.

But dogs?  Well, dogs are something else entirely.  Sure, they give you lots of attention and act all excited when you walk in the door after being gone a mere 2.3 seconds to drop a bag of trash in the bin outside.

And puppies are in a category all of their own.  My house is a wreck; my carpets are a mess and I’ve spent more time outside without makeup greeting neighbors as I walk Maggie than I’ve ever been outside without makeup before. In my life.

Oh well. Such is the way of new additions, I suppose.  At least I don’t have to get up for 2 am feedings.  Or potty breaks. 

And it will be all too soon, I imagine, that I’ll be wishing for the days when Maggie was but a little puppy. 

So I guess I will try to relax and enjoy it.  And ignore the messy carpet and our less-than-pristine house. 

And, hey, the neighbors have all seen me now without makeup – so who am I tryin’ to kid? Those dark eyelashes are clearly the work of Maybelline.  And – surprise – my lips are not naturally tinted Perpetual Plum.

Like I fooled anyone before anyway.

But – like mothers of puppies everywhere, I know that I am stumbling outside without makeup first thing in the morning to walk her because I love her – not because I’m expecting a card. And when she looks at me with her big brown eyes and her little nub of a tail wags madly when she sees me, well, that says “I love you” right there.

And that’s good enough for me.  

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