Why did I wake up smiling? Well, I have written in the past about my tendency to have some horrific nightmares. The previous night, I had the sweetest of dreams. I was in bed and under the covers. Right next to me, also under the covers, was our little dog Paris. Paris crossed the Rainbow Bridge just over three years ago, so seeing her in my dream was a precious moment. She was sprawled out on her side with her hind leg politely moved out of the way so that there was unrestricted access for tummy rubbing. In my dream, Trent asked what was under the covers. I told him it was Paris getting her tummy rubbed.
In my dream, I could even feel the softness of her tummy. I have never felt a dog tummy as soft as hers. Calling it as soft as velvet just doesn't do it justice. Compared to the soft silkiness of her tummy, velvet feels like burlap. Okay, not quite, but you get the picture. When she was a tiny puppy, she didn't want to have her tummy rubbed. I imagine she was thinking about being in a submissive position, a behavior that harkens back to the days when dogs were wolves. After we got her to try it, though, she realized that it was definitely a good thing.
This eight-and-a-half pound poodle was very generous with sharing her tummy. She allowed us to use it as an armrest while watching tv or reading a book. She would place herself next to you so that you could rest your arm on the tummy and have the hand available to stroke her face or neck. So considerate of her! If I went out on a wintry day and came home with cold fingers or ears, she was more than willing to offer her services as a hand- or ear-warmer. And we never could figure out why that cute little belly of hers always smelled like flowers. I'm serious! She could go for a walk and come home stinking to high heaven, but that tummy still smelled fresh and clean.
Our Paris was a smart one, too. She learned very quickly to use a litter box. If I woke up during the night to use the bathroom, I'd wake her up and put her in the box to go as well. When she was done, she fully expected to be held and given tummy rubs. We always complied. She was trained within days.
Her litter box was always in the bathroom, and that sometimes provided us with a good chuckle. Like a small child, she'd be in the middle of playing and realize that she had to have a tinkle. She'd trot off to the bathroom to take care of business and quickly be right back to where she was in her playtime. The funny thing was that if I was in the bathroom she would come right in and take care of business, so to speak. If she happened to go into the bathroom and Trent was in there? When she caught sight of him you could actually see her change her mind and decide that she didn't need to go right now after all. When she heard him leave, she would go back in, confident that she had her privacy.
When she first joined our family, she liked to sleep under the blankets, down by our feet. If she decided it was too warm under there, or if we called her to come out, we would see little sparks of static as the sheets dragged on her back the whole way up to the head of the bed. One night, when we getting a chuckle out of the light show, I said to Trent, "Wow! I guess the sun does shine out of our dog's backside!"
We still miss our little girl after three years. It was a special relationship and she was different from any dog I've ever known. The time we have with a special dog or cat or any special creature never seems to be long enough. When they first leave us the pain is very raw and difficult. Time softens the pain, and we are able to remember them without the wrenching pain we once had. We are able to focus on the memories of the happier times, the times that made us laugh and smile. What a wonderful thing that is. May we all be so lucky as to have that effect on someone's life. I hope that we all can become someone's sweetest dream.
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