Thurston and Me


Thurston Howl

 Another New Year’s Resolution I scribbled down for this year is:  To be the person my dog thinks I am. 

I am not the original author of this resolution but I like it because my dog thinks I am Isis, goddess of the bacon fat.  Unlike my children, my dog Thurston–Mr. Howl to you–thinks I’m cool when I sing super loud and off-key.  Unlike my husband, he adores me when I’ve just eaten a dinner slathered in garlic and onions.  Unlike my family, he worships they way I prepare each and every meal and cheerfully helps clean the pots.

We live out in the country and the house is set back from the road.  When we drive away without him, his face slowly collapses from his huge, Golden Retriever grin with his dolly dangling like Columbo’s cigar from the corner of his mouth.  In its place, resignation.  A canine sigh.  Not invited this time.  He flops to the front porch, props his head on dolly and waits.  Sometimes hours.  And weirdly, out of all the Toyota Sienna minivans in the universe that travel down our road, the moment ours turns the corner and heads up the street, he and dolly leap to attention and gallop to greet us, the Golden grin erupting like the rocket’s red glare, bombs bursting in air, yes! YES, MOM IS STILL THERE!

No matter how foul my mood, he cavorts, he…he…gambols, nay, he frolics at my feet with such adoration, it’s as if he feels his world can begin rotating again.  Down on the ground he rolls, offering me his belly, his dolly, his love.  And, though I could carpet a third world country in his hair and can depreciate fully half of the house and car because of his muddy paws, I forgive him because he is my companion, my co-worker, my security system and my best friend.  He’s on the job 24/7.  The doorbell rings the same way no matter who pushes it, but he only barks if it’s someone he doesn’t know.  Strange, but true.  He knows the difference between “Going for a walk!” and “Going to get the kids!” by the kind of shoes I’m putting on and either goes berserk (tennis shoes) or goes back to sleep (clogs).  He lets me know what kind of mood my husband is in every night by either enthusiastically slamming his tail into the wall or diving under the bed. 

He’s just so…so…danged adoring.  And I don’t deserve it.  I don’t normally make an effort to be even half the person he thinks I am (except for the bacon grease thing).  So this year?  I’m gonna try to be more like him.  Gonna adjust my attitude.  Take a page from his book and look at life through grateful eyes.  Love more.  Judge less.

Thrilled to see you!  Ecstatic to frolic at your arrival!  Delighted to hear from you!  Unless…you call.  Don’t call.  Seriously, I hate the phone.  But that’s another whole blog.



Filed under Children, Cooking, Dogs, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Writing

2 responses to “Thurston and Me

  1. Jill

    Well, I must say that our buddy and friend Thurston is a great camping companion. He makes nice with the other dogs on the ranch and is generally friendly to all…except those animals that try to come into camp in the middle of the night…then he might have something to say, if he isn’t too snuggled into a tent with one of the family. Enjoyable fellow…

  2. Shirley Karr

    Heard something on John Tesh radio the other night about how we should apply more of our dog relationship to our human relationships. For example, when the dog uses your favorite shoe as a chew toy, you don’t think he did it just to spite you — yet you might jump to that conclusion when hubby persists in leaving the seat up in the middle of the night.

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