They say a dog is man’s best friend, but for me, it’s all about a woman. I like to call her “Midge”. Our relationship began when she and the girls sprung me from a chain link cage at an animal shelter back in 2003. I was only 9 months old at the time, confused and sad to have been dropped off there in the first place. I would have gone with anyone who’d have taken me.
The girls named me after some character in a pirate movie, Captain Jack. As far as I can tell, my main function in this family is to allow everyone to love me. I willingly put up with group hugs that squeeze my middle and pats on the head that make me blink. I also tolerate kisses on the sides of my face and occasionally a full body bath, after which I’m hugged, patted and kissed even more than usual.
Most of my days are spent following Midge around. She likes having me nearby, and I like that, too. If she leaves a room, I usually follow. If she goes upstairs, I go, too. If she shuts the bathroom door, I wait just outside. I understand everything she says to me and do my best to look intelligent when she says it.
Midge and I have walked miles together over the years, and we try to get to the beach every day, even if it’s stormy. She tells me my black coat gets soft and shiny after rain or snow has soaked me. As we walk, I do a lot of sniffing and snoofing, but I always keep one eye on Midge, making sure we don’t get too far apart. I wouldn’t want anything to happen to her.
Recently there was a major shift in our home. I can’t tell you exactly what happened, but I know that Midge’s husband, Pidge, doesn’t come through the front door holding his briefcase and coffee mug anymore. I used to greet him with enthusiastic wags, and he’d give me a few reassuring pats. I never-but-never would jump on him. He had a suit on, for goodness sake.
A couple of weeks ago, Pidge drove in the driveway. At least I thought it was him. His car turned in, just like old times, and I ran out to greet him, happy he was finally home! But when the door opened, it was Klaus. Pidge never appeared, which was a shame, because his absence has been a problem for Midge.
Sometimes she makes strange noises. She sniffs and sobs. When this happens, I move in close. I focus my brown eyes directly on her face and just wait like that till the sniffs and sobs end. Sometimes she’ll tell me what she’s crying about, but other times she just reaches down and strokes my back. She could do anything she wanted to me at those times, and I’d still stay right next to her.
Today I overheard a conversation I could hardly believe. Midge told Louisa and Birgitta that when they drive to Florida to help with the new baby, they’re going to take me along! I was so ecstatic, I almost wet the rug, but that kind of thing is frowned upon.
As for travel skills, I get A+, sleeping quietly in the car for hours at a time. I think the reason they’ll be taking me is strictly for Skylar. She’s a fast-moving mini-person who thinks I’m her plaything. I have to be on red alert when she’s around, but toddler-love is a small price to pay to be included on the road trip. The words “Jack, you have to stay” are the last words I ever want to hear.
For some reason Midge told the girls I’d have to stay behind when she goes to England in the spring to help with a couple of other new babies. I try not to think about that. I heard Midge’s sister Modge say she’d be willing to let me stay with my cousin-dog Sydney during that time, which would be a major treat, but I know she’ll have to OK that with Podge first.
Oh boy, there’s Midge with my leash. Gotta run.
“A friend loves at all times.” (Proverbs 17:17a)