Love Lives On

One of my rear car seats has been in the down position since I moved more than a month ago.  I failed to remove the headrest before pushing the backrest forward and down and the seat became jammed too tightly for my wimpy little self to be able to pull it back upright.  So I asked the guy at Mr. Lube to do it for me while my oil was being changed.  He cheerfully complied.

He had to tug on the seat a few times before it came free and when it did, up popped an old tennis ball from somewhere below.  It was crusted with a bit of mud and worn from hundreds of tosses.  It had belonged to my Border Collie Lee Roy, who died a few years ago now.  Lee Roy truly lived to retrieve a well thrown tennis ball,  It was his favourite thing, above belly scratches and being told he was perfect.  Seeing the long forgotten ball gave my heart a little start.

Every time a doorbell rings on a TV show a mild fight-or-flight response still kicks in.  Dogs can’t distinguish between TV and real life so a television doorbell would send Lee Roy into a frenzy of barking.  Sometimes he’d miss the first bing-bong so if I was quick enough on the mute button, I could save him the needless upset.  Commercials that featured people maniacally ringing doorbells used to make me crazy. Lee Roy too!

When guests were over a couple of weeks ago, I actually hesitated before placing munchies on the coffee table. When you have a dog, that’s just an invitation to lose your goodies to the bottomless pit that is a canine’s appetite.  The old reflex still tried to kick in and force me to put the trays on higher ground.  When I drop a piece of food in the kitchen, my instinct is still to let the dog get it! 

These impulses are very brief but they’re indicative of how entrenched the behaviour becomes when there’s a dog in the family.

Finding the tennis ball didn’t make me sad, as it would maybe even a year ago.  It made me smile in memory of one of the best pals I’ve ever had.  I miss him.  And I guess I always will.