Monday, October 12, 2009

Talkin' 'Bout My Girl

"At times like this a guy could use a dog ..."
with liberties from Lynn Ahrens

DAY 3:  So, I've got this girl in my life ... she's UBER-smart, quiet, unconditionally devoted and loving, well-behaved, and she makes me smile at least a few times every day.  She's never more than a few feet away when I'm home during the day and often sleeps within arm's reach from my bed at night.  She greets me with the same enthusiasm whether I've been gone all day long or I've popped down to the grocery store for fifteen minutes.  And NOTHING beats the "SQUIRREL!" look (if you've seen the Pixar film "Up," you know what I'm talking about), except maybe for the "ball-in-mouth-chin-on-the-arm-of-the-chair-get-off-the-phone-and-play-with-me" look.

I lost my dear friend of 15 years, Simon, a little over five years ago, and it was devastating.  I was certain that it would be a VERY long time before I would get another dog - pictures of Simon can be found all over my home and his ashes are sealed in a wooden box that stands guard over me from my bedroom vanity.  However, it's been kind of a rough year for me personally and emotionally (that's a subject for another post somewhere down the line), and my dear friend, Carole, suggested this past Spring that maybe it was time.  She couldn't have been more right.

A trip to the Humane Society convinced me ... I wish I had been able to take most of those dogs home - it was more than a little heartbreaking.  But, I came across a cage that didn't contain a dog wildly barking and throwing itself at the cage door.  I had to bend down to look in and see the timid puppy staring back at me.  She was clearly afraid of her own shadow and nothing I did could coax her out to say "hello."  Simon had been extremely quiet and shy, and I was looking for a dog just like him.  Here was Annabelle, and all I could think was "No one's going to adopt this dog ..."  That's how we met, and Annabelle came home with me a few days later.

It's a great match.  She's still quiet - in fact, she startles herself as much as she does me on the rare occasion that she actually barks.  She's no longer afraid of everything, in fact she's incredibly alert, loves to explore, and can be social (when she wants to be).  But, best of all is her wagging tail every time I speak to her and how she stays even closer when she somehow instinctively knows I'm not feeling well or I'm upset.

I miss my buddy Simon, but Annabelle's my new sweetheart, and when she's around life isn't quite so lonely ...

A friendly face.
The kind of face
That melts you with a grin.
The kind of eyes
That welcome you
The minute you walk in.
A tender glance
You simply can’t refuse.
At times like this
A girl could use…
A dog
He listens when
You tell him things.
There’s nothing you can’t say.
And unlike certain people
You can teach him how to stay.
And if the world is giving you the blues
He cheers you up by chewing up the news.
It’s things like that
That make you choose…
A dog.
Other people need romance!
Playing around!
Other people need constant fun.
Well, I’m not one.
I have my feet on the ground.
A quiet night.
A stack of books.
A tuna melt on rye.
A simple walk together
Underneath a starry sky.
And suddenly the night is something rare
And all because there’s someone special there
Who’s gazing at the views
His head upon your shoes.
At times like this
I sure could use

A dog.
"At Times Like This"
from the musical Lucky Stiff
(lyrics by Lynn Ahrens)


  1. YAY, I was right ... AGAIN! :-) Love you and love Annabelle.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to such a special member of your family. I bet Annabelle knows how lucky she is to be living in Simon's castle.

  3. It is hard to love the next when you still have love for the last. But it isn't disloyal to love another. It is a tribute to Simon's memory that you have room in your heart for both. And what a lucky girl is Anabelle!

  4. Once again we are in agreement bro. My "buddy" is always there for me. As I wrote after losing "our girl" a few years ago - I believe the love of a dog is about as close as we can come in this life to understanding the love of God. Always there, never failing, and asking nothing in return.