Let Us All Be Adored
Thursday, April 23, 2009

This is my dog Bella. She is the Queen of all things Sweet, the only one of my daughters who never talks back.

Her biggest sin is stealing the left out lunchmeat off the sandwich-making counter after we’ve hustled out the door to school.

She’s also a little too overly obsessed with her beloved tennis balls. If you begin the insanity by thinking you’re gonna have a few rounds of “play catch with the dog,” you will regret the moment you let that ball soar through the air for the first time. She will charge after it like Rin-Tin-Tin on speed and race back to you, plopping her saliva coated gift in your lap. If you don’t throw it again, she will bark and bark and bark and bark until you either kick her under the table when you think no one’s watching or throw it, again.

This will cause the cycle to never, ever end.

The Hubby tried once to wear her down. He threw that ball until she was dragging herself back, dropping that slobbery, bacteria-laden circle of crud at his feet and panting and gagging as if she were trying to save herself from cardiac arrest. She never gave up.

But, even with her serious compulsive ball disorder, if I put the ball in time out away from her crazed sight, she easily goes back to being a regular dog.

She has a big old bark when the doorbell rings, but as soon as you open up the door, she will lick the doorbell ringer to death.

She sleeps wedged up against me like I am her momma dog. She is my constant companion and as I bustle about the kitchen doing mom things, she lays on the floor, her eyes tracking my every move.

She likes me the best.

My girls hate that. They’ve tried to win her over through the use of cheese and bacon, but as soon as Bella has gobbled up their bait, she’s right back to me.

I am her Dog Whisperer.

The girls said she was really depressed when I was gone last week.

The dog, that is. The girls could have cared less.

I left them with Hot Pockets, (Something only seen in our house when Mom goes away. It’s their cheese and bacon.), a wad of cash and their older, fun cousin.

They weren’t as excited as the dog when I walked in the door at midnight. The dog jumped on me, licking my face over and over, again and crying with joy. When I went to the girls’ bedrooms and snapped on their lights to announce I was home, they each mumbled, “Hi. Shut off the light",  before rolling over and going back to sleep. The youngest didn’t even interrupt her snoring pattern until I dangled the stuffed bunny I brought back for her, in front of her face. It’s funny how a new plaything jolted her out of her REM cycle, but her mother’s kisses-nada.

I think I’m the only one in the world who hasn't see the viral video about Christian the Lion. My sister sent it to me, thinking she was the only one who hadn’t seen it, because “it’s been on Oprah.” And Hellooo, if you don’t keep up with Oprah, then you might as well stamp that big L right on your forehead.

I try, but the TV and me, we’re just not good friends.

I am an Oprah Loser. Not that I don't love her. I love, love, love her. She has dogs, too.

I watched the video this morning as I snarled at my children to get ready for school. They were annoying me terribly at dawn. I was tired. I'd been up late, staring at Brendan and drinking wine. They were whiny and unable to find matching socks in the bottomless laundry basket where I keep them all. 

Bella, on the other hand, sat next to me, with one paw on my lap. I kid you not. If I am sitting, she has to be touching me. It's very sweet.

I can't download the video due to copyright crabsters, so let me sum it up for you. It's about a lion cub raised by two dudes. The dudes raised Christian until he was old enough to be released back into the wild. A year later, they went to visit Christian, not knowing if he would remember them or try to eat them. They find their lion in the jungle and 30 seconds of viral suspense as Christian stares at the two men, he finally goes bounding into their arms, coating them in lion saliva with his slobbery kisses. It was a lovefest reunion. 

As soon as I watched the video, with tears in my eyes and goose bumps on my arms, I turned to my sweet, faithful companion who was staring up at me in unabashed adoration, and said, “You’re my Christian the Lion.”

I hope you have a Christian the Lion in your life. It’s always good to be adored.

Today’s Definite Download: “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. This is one of my favorite, favorite songs from the last year. It’s from the little, charmer of a movie, “Once.” The song won the Academy Award last year. It deserved the win. It’s quietly beautiful with an acoustical arrangement that is just lush and pure and gorgeous. The two artists also starred in the movie. You can hear their longing-for-each- other performance in their voices. Simply a magnificent song.

I loved it last week, when our Kris Allen sang it during Movie Week on Idol. After hearing his abridged version, my girls were curious. They’ve been listening to it on my IPod all week and singing it around the house. One of my favorite things, turning my kids on to good music. I hope it stays with them for the rest of their days.

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