Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I Want To Be a Pooch Pal

Welcome to the neighborhood. An area where the houses stand large and tall, the lawns are beautifully manicured with very tasteful landscaping, expensive vehicles sit in garages and dogs abound.

For some reason there are a lot of white poodles, Bijons, malteses and the like where I live. And then there's our MAX -- a black dog who doesn't truly fit in 'cause he's just a blend of breeds. But he's smart, and he's sweet, and he's very friendly -- of course he takes after his owner!

Well, this morning, I was out walking the dog. The neighborhood was quiet, as children had already left for school, grownups had already left for work, stay-at-home moms had already left for their health clubs and coffee with girlfriends. I took Max to a nearby park, to let him off the leash and romp freely. In the distance I spotted a woman walking a little white dog.

Not to be mean, nor sound condescending, but I just knew she was a nanny. There are a lot of them around here...just not at my address, nor has there ever been one, nor will there ever be one! And this woman was definitely a nanny. I just figured that her [human] charges had left for school and now she was left with a canine charge for the day, aside from household duties.

As she's walking the dog, another woman -- whom I also figured to be a nanny -- passed her, and she also had a white dog. The two women stopped to chat while the two dogs sniffed each other. Max charged off, ready to check out the canines, but I called his name and he so nicely stopped, turned around and raced back to me.

As I watched these two women and the dogs, I thought, "Wouldn't that be nice? To be a nanny for a dog, or I prefer to call it 'a pooch pal.' " I'd get room and board -- and a salary, and days off -- just for looking after a coochie-poochie.

As it was time for me to leave the park, I started walking to the path, where the first woman was. Max immediately headed to sniff out and bounce on the dog, the way....was wearing a little pink t-shirt with a knot at the end. Imagine a teenage girl tying a t-shirt at her navel; yup, that was the pooch. And I began to talk to the woman who was indeed the nanny. I asked if the kids were at school; oh, no, they're married. So this woman looks after a household and a very spoiled, but beautiful Bijon named Phoebe. Not only did Phoebe wear a t-shirt, she also had a raincoat that the nanny was carrying. She told me Phoebe doesn't go in the rain without it, and the sky did look ominous.

When I asked where this eleven-year-old princess slept, the nanny told me, "In an antique bed beside mine. My employer bought twin beds, and they're side by side. Phoebe sleeps beside me right in the middle." I was also informed that Phoebe gets groomed every three weeks. It is true I have to admit; she did have beautiful curly hair -- um, I mean fur -- done up in a fashionable doggie way.

I was impressed by the patience that this nanny/pooch pal had with the dog. She didn't mind carrying her from the park to her house, along with the dog's raincoat, and bags for going potty. Although I saw Phoebe as spoiled, I did figure she is old, she paid her dues, she's now behaving like some Hollywood vamp who likes attention. And she's getting it.

So I'm appealing to you, my readers, if any of you need a pooch pal/dog nanny -- and no, I don't just mean a dog walker 'cause, of course, anyone can do THAT job -- you know where to find me. And I come with great references. Just ask Tyson -- oh, wait, you can't ask him anymore! Okay, just ask Max; he'll tell you how nice, friendly, helpful, considerate I am to him. "Won't you, Max?.... Max?...MAX????"

My Favorite Time of the Day...or Rather, the Night!

It is now 2:30 a.m. I am going to haul myself off to bed, away from this computer, where I've just spent the last very long while making editorial changes to something I'm working on. I not only will haul myself off to bed, but will also throw myself into bed and fall asleep post-haste.

But before I do that, I will shuffle into my children's rooms, peeking in on them as they sleep, these quiet little children who can do no wrong when settled for the night.

My oldest son makes nocturnal noises, sometimes like a wild animal in distress, as he clears his throat in his sleep. Scary, when I first hear it, but slowly I accept the sound as his. I lean over to gently kiss his cheek.

My younger son, who shares the bedroom, lies under a smattering of blankets -- a Blue Jays fleecy blanket, as well as a quilt from the crib ("Cowboy Blankie"), a quilt that has been used by all three of my children.

Sometimes when I look in on this little one, he is on his tummy, or rather on his knees, with his tushie up in the air...just like a baby in a crib. Other times, he lies swaddled, but with those small toes peeking out from a kicked-away blanket. I cover his feet, kiss his brow and step away.

My daughter is like a princess in her room, with her queen size bed and its many blankets and cushy and plushy decorative pillows. These days, she opts to sleep in the lovely day bed in her room. Perhaps the smaller space makes her feel cozier, is a better fit, for this girl of mine. She is no longer a princess in a queen size bed, but rather a little birdie in a nest of blankets and pillows and warmth.

I stroke her cheek and slip away.

My serene family. My sense of peace. My children at sleep...