Silly Sweet Stella
By: Shannon Ralph
I love my dog. I love that animal more than I thought I’d ever be capable of loving a critter. Despite having only lived in my house for a few months, I have already come to the conclusion that she is canine perfection incarnate. Yea, she has repeatedly chewed the eyeballs off of my daughter’s favorite stuffed animal. And yes, she (accidentally, I am convinced) chased down and killed a cute, fuzzy little bunny in my back yard. And, despite numerous pleas to stop FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, she can’t seem to stay away from the garbage can. But these actions are just a dog being a dog. They simply endear her to me more (with the exception of the dead bunny I had to dispose of…that was just plain morbid). I thought I would take a few moments on this fine morning to expound on the reasons why I love my dog.
I love that she is a wiggle-butt boxer. I love that she, without any provocation, assumes the pillow position every morning for our son, Nicky, to lay on her and watch cartoons. I love that she follows me from room to room with utter devotion. I love that she scratches on the bathroom door when I am trying to pee in peace. Because she misses me, of course. I love that she positions herself in front of me as my protector and growls at strangers she envisions as threats…even when it is only my brother-in-law who is about as scary as a chocolate-covered marshmallow. I love when we play fetch in the house and she gets so excited by the chase that she forgets the kitchen floor is slick linoleum and slides head-first into the dishwasher. Repeatedly. I love that she has accepted our decision, for our own peace and sanity, to buy her a doggy bed and kick her out of our bed. I also love that she patiently waits until we both fall asleep and THEN quietly and stealthily sneaks into our bed and snuggles up to my butt. I love those chilly weekend afternoons when I am exhausted and climb the stairs with Stella in tow. I love when she jumps in bed with me for a little nap. And we spoon. Is that too much? Is it weird to spoon with your dog? We don’t think so. I love her boxer grunts and snorts. I love that she snores louder than Ruanita…okay, in all honestly, that’s not so much an “I love” as an “I tolerate”. I love that my sister Jennifer can’t stand my dog, but Stella is convinced to win her over. I love that Stella jumps up on the couch and snuggles Jennifer every time she comes over to visit. And I secretly love that Jennifer goes home smelling like a dog. I love the way she patiently allows my kids to bathe and dry her in our bath tub. I love that she is a morning person…er…dog. I love that she wakes up all happy and wiggly-butted. I love that she feels everyone in the family needs to get up together in the morning and, therefore, jumps up on my mother’s bedroom door at 6:00am and flings it open to wish her a happy day. Every. Single. Morning. I love that she is happy. And I love that she makes everyone in my family happy with her sweet, gentle, silly ways.
Man, I love my dog.