Tuesday, May 20, 2008

love in a cold climate

Yeah, yeah, I'm a bad dog. So what? You still feed me.

Sometimes I almost hate our dog Millie. My regular readers know this already. When this 'family' pooch snapped at my infant daughter, (for taking a nut Millie was chewing on) I was furious. When Millie bit the friendly builder who stuck his hand through from the neighbour's yard, I was mortified. When I find her sleeping on the living room couch, and she merely raises her eyes to me, but doesn't budge, I despair of her awful canine behaviour. And when Millie burrows under the fence into the neighbour's yard (a new habit she's acquired), I'm well aware that it's not just Fatty and I who are seething with irritation. But just when I think she is a nasty mutt who cares for nothing except food, she softens my heart with proof that underneath all that acting out, there is genuine affection for her owners.
This morning, I braved the snow, icicles and blizzards (although I could be exaggerating again) to go buy bread. Millie was already inside the house, luxuriating in the warmth of our small heater, curled up on her comfy dog cushion near the back door. She gazed at me hopefully as I put my shoes on, and then looked doggy-disappointed when I reached for the car keys. I strode callously out the front door, without a backward glance.
I returned with a still-warm loaf, my breath smoky in the chill morning air as I rushed from the car back to the house. And there sat Millie, waiting for me on the veranda. She leapt to her feet as I arrived, tail wagging enthusiastically. In spite of the fact the rest of the family were awake and clustered in the cosy kitchen, Millie had chosen to keep watch for her mistress out in the cold. I bustled into the kitchen, telling Fatty about our winter-braving watchdog. "She loves me!", I exclaimed. "She really does love me!" I'm such a sucker for love.
Later in the morning, I passed Laura's doorway and noticed a small note stuck to the outside of her uniform.
Before I reveal the contents of the note, I should explain that lovely Louey has been in trouble a few times a week lately - mainly for being forgetful. Water bottles are left behind, hats lost, library books not packed (and all this despite repeated reminders). Even the daily things - such as hanging her bag & hat, and retrieving her reading folder on arrival at school - are regularly undone or half done (she'll walk away with hat still on, or without remembering anything to take into class). It's not deliberate - she's just a dreamy soul - but sometimes it drives her parents spare, and we get cranky with Laura-Lou.
Today I had to grasp the very sharp metal object that had penetrated my heart, and rip it painfully back out. Because this is what Laura's handwritten note said:
1) be good
2) be kind
3) try hard
4) be sencabal (sensible)
Laura, my sweet Louey. Forgive me for my own impatience. Forgive me for making you feel anything less than wonderful, just as you are.


thisisme said...

So, it isn't just cupboard love from Millie then?

What a gorgeous note Laura wrote - I think there are some rules to live by there - except be sensible - that one is overrated. My heart would be feeling ripped out too.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Millie loves you that's for sure.

And Laura has been paying close attention to you.

Heather said...

My heart just contracted a little bit.

Stomper Girl said...

She has her priorities right, for sure. How gorgeous. I have another dreamer like your Laura, and whilst I sometimes wonder how he gets through each day, I do delight in his sweetness and imagination.

Alice said...

That's a heart-breaking little note from Laura, isn't it?

Millie's devotion reminded me of a day-trip I made many years ago with neighbouring farmers. I walked across the paddocks to their house and left my rubber boots in their carport. When we arrived back at the end of the day, our dog was still lying beside my boots.

Remiman said...

I'm glad to see that you've come to your sences. Laura must get her sencabalities from her mom. ;)

My cats love me too. Especially with the can of food in my hand.

Heidi said...

Two views to love... each special in their own ways as love always is.

Jelly, what wonderful moments to have chosen to remember! Thanks for sharing. (Love the photos, too, BTW.)

Anonymous said...

yep your still a sweet person! A pleasure to read.

fifi said...

ah, sometimes those sencabal mothers have themselves a dreamy daughter,
and dreamy mothers get sencabal children . Funny old world innit?

bless YOU and your doggie and your little girl.


meggie said...

I can forgive the pee, when Leo gives me unbidden love, just for being!

I have a dreamy child like Laura. He is 40 now, & still a dreamer. When he was little he often carried his pyjamas down to the car, on the way to school, as he had forgotten to leave them in his room. Once he found them in his bag, when he got to school!

Mimi said...

It's those forgetful people that remember the very most important things, as Laura has. I needed to hear that too. I recently found handwritten prayers by my girls that will definitely be kept by me as long as I'm on this planet.