the linebacker

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Let me begin by saying that I am a dog nut.  I adore dogs and want to pet them all. I grew up with dogs and have always been attached to them.  I don’t have anything against cats…I just don’t know how to relate to them.  My mom is severely allergic to cats so I’ve never owned one.  Plus, I don’t understand the whole cat attitude of “come love on me….now I’ll bite you…”  Thanks for that Scooter and Whiskers!

Back on topic….this morning, my neighbor’s dog came up to me and mashed her face against my legs, wanting her ears scratched.  This is something my dog, Emma, used to do so it didn’t take me long to start feeling nostalgic.

Emma was a black Labrador.  She weighed 110 pounds and was gentle and sweet.  Her mother was owned by some friends of ours so I was able to be there when she was born.  As a puppy, she was ADORABLE!  Cute doesn’t even begin to describe her.  Once she got past the lanky “teenage” months, she grew (and grew and grew) into a wonderful dog.  She loved other dogs but would rather spend time with her tennis ball.  Yes, she was really big and didn’t realize her own girth most of the time but she was fabulous.  She loved the girls and would sit still for hours while they piled beads around her neck and tiaras on her head.  Such a good sport!  Sadly, she passed away suddenly last March.  I was not prepared at all.  She was only 8 and it was much harder than I ever thought.

In thinking about her this morning, I wanted to share one of my favorite Emma stories.

Emma loved to have her ears scratched.  Several times a day, she would approach me, put her head down and press her face against my legs in an attempt to get me to rub her ears.  The more I scratched, the harder she pushed.

When we lived in Nashville, I found a vet I really liked.  She’s about my age, a great doctor and I felt like I didn’t have to hide how much I love my dogs.  Some people get it – some people don’t.  Anyway, Emma needed to go to the vet and Dr. S. wasn’t available.  So I made an appointment with one of the other vets in her office.  Dr. H. thinks he’s the boss of the practice but everyone knows that the ladies up front run the show.

Emma and I get to the vet and are waiting for Dr. H. in the exam room.  He comes in the room, greets me and then squats down to “speak” to Emma on her level.  Emma saw an opportunity to have her ears scratched, put her head down and drove Dr. H. right into the wall!  I have to admit that I was laughing unashamedly.  Poor guy –  he had no idea what had hit him!  Looking a little dazed, he got to his feet and said “she’s a strong one, isn’t she?”  Emma looked so proud of herself.

I told Dr. S. about it, she told the ladies who run the office, and Emma quickly became a celebrity.  She was invited back any time to remind Dr. H. that he wasn’t the one in charge.

I’m not a huge “women’s lib” activist.  I mean, I believe in equal pay and equal rights and all of that but I’m not obsessing about it all the time.  However, on that day, I couldn’t have been more proud of my girl!

There are many more Emma stories.  I’m sure I’ll tell some of them in the future.  The most important thing I am reminded of as I think of Emma is that there is nothing quite like the love of a dog!   🙂

(You can see a bigger image by clicking on the photos above.)