Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More about dogs

Some of us here at Select Editions have already written about our dogs (you can see previous postings by clicking on the Dog stories label below). This is because it seems everyone these days is writing about their dogs, so why not us as well?

Of course, it helps to have something dramatic to write about. A lot of tears have been shed over the untimely passing of a loyal companion (see Anna Quindlen's recent shortie Good Dog. Stay.) We recently ran a great story in our nonfiction series called My Life with George, about a cute but very spoiled Cavalier King Charles spaniel named George. When he contracts a deathly illness, you really felt for his family. (Luckily he survives.)

My Welsh springer spaniel, Tanner, is young and healthy, so no sob story there (yet). What I find interesting about him is how he reacts when I'm reading a book. He sits at my feet and stares at me. Big brown eyes fixated on my face. Right there below me. And then he starts making throaty little whimpers that gradually escalate in volume. I try to ignore this performance but inevitably I soon laugh or glance down at his face and am greeted with the canine equivalent of a wide grin. I've come to realize that my reading looks to him like I'm just staring into space, sort of in his direction, but not quite. It must seem like some sort of maddening teasing game, until finally I look at him. How many books have been put aside to give Tanner's furry white belly a big rub? Too many to count.

The picture above of Tanner checking out Marley & Me might look staged, but it wasn't entirely. I caught the dog sniffing the book intently, due to some dropped chip dip on its pages. Mea culpa about being careless with my book, but at the time it seemed a fitting homage to good ol' messy Marley.


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