My Dog Towhee
Jerome K. Jerome said, "He is very imprudent, a dog is. He never makes it his business to inquire whether you are in the right or in the wrong, never bothers as to whether you are going up or down life's ladder, never asks whether you are rich or poor, silly or wise, sinner or saint. You are his pal. That is enough for him."
I have vowed to be more like my dog. No, not in that way.
Each day when my faithful canine companion goes outside, she is so excited to see the outdoors. She can't wait to sample the new day. She rejoices in having another chance to walk the earth. I need to be more like my dog.
My faithful canine companion's name is Towhee. She's a Heinz 57. I knew her mother, but her father was an anonymous giver. I believe her to be half-pit bull and half-poodle. She's a vicious gossip. It doesn't bother her not being a purebred. She's happy that she doesn't have to wear a sweater.
She is the official greeter at the Batt Cave. She's like an over-zealous, drooling Wal-Mart greeter. She's a good dog, but she does have her bad habits. I have my bad habits, too.
She eats things she shouldn't. I do, too. She snores. So do I. She's a few pounds overweight. So am I. She likes tennis balls. I like meatballs. She likes the sound of the refrigerator door opening. I like the sounds of Billie Holiday and Louie Armstrong. She licks herself in front of company. I lack the flexibility. She has conspiracy theories involving squirrels. I have conspiracy theories involving lutefisk. The dog and I are sensitive, caring creatures. We both cry when my wife leaves the house with the credit card.
Towhee is no Rhodes Scholar. She's more of a roads scholar. She loves going for rides. She goes with me when I haul our recycling. She may just sit in the car, but to her it's like a trip to Disney World.
She doesn't play tug-of-war. She doesn't like confrontations. If you try to play keep-away with her, you keep it.
She knows how to sit and how to shake. She turned down a scholarship to a fine Ivy League obedience school.
She makes up for whatever she lacks with her boundless enthusiasm. She is always happy to see me when I come home. She jumps and runs in circles. It's her patented spin-move. It's her dance. Her dance of joy.
I say a little prayer each day, wherein I ask to become the kind of man my dog thinks I am. Andy Rooney once said that the average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
Towhee has never told a lie. She doesn't complain, except when I forget to let her back in the house. She doesn't sulk or bear a grudge. She forgives, quickly and completely. To err is human. To forgive is canine. She never worries about who will be winding her wristwatch after she's gone.
If I make a fool out of myself--a specialty of mine--Towhee makes a fool out of herself. That's a friend. She's a good listener and gives me good advice. She talks to me, but never when others are around. Towhee expects good things to happen to her. She is like Seneca, who said, "Nothing is so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness is it to be expecting evil before it comes."
Towhee would have liked the old Roman philosopher. Plato said that a dog has the soul of a philosopher. To Towhee, the whole world is a smell and each day is a wonder. Each stroll into a different room offers an endless variety of pleasant surprises.
Towhee is happy being a dog. Her tail-wagging optimism is something to be emulated. Towhee is just happy to be alive and to have people who love her. I feel the same way.
~ By Al Batt ~