To my great delight, Ali loved the picture, and it made her think of one of her beagles' antics. She told me that one morning she had put her son's cereal bowl on a table, as was her usual habit, and gone to wake him up. When she came back to put some cartoons on the tv for him, Sparky the beagle was happily enjoying a bowl of oatmeal and milk. Apparently Sparky was usually asleep when the cereal was set out, but this time, he saw the bowl go on the table. And when he saw it, he just assumed that she had put it there for him. She also observed that the comment about the nose was right - Sparky would have walked across her state and mine following his nose, and never lifted his head until supper time.
When I read this, I could hear Snoopy singing his "Suppertime" song from the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I quoted a bit of the chorus, which she used to sing to her dog (adorable!) and then went to YouTube looking for a video. Ali beat me to it, but I was so happy to have had a part in helping her recall some warm memories of her dear Sparky. I spent a good part of the evening with a big smile on my face because I love it when something like that happens. Being the kind and considerate person that I have always known her to be, Ali was worried that she had hijacked the post with her comments. To the contrary, her comments made my day. Anyone who has had the sort of relationship with a pet that leaves behind all sorts of delightful memories just waiting to be stumbled upon knows how delightful these unexpected moments can be.
After reading about Sparky and his cereal, I remembered a young Paris helping herself as well. When she was just a few months old, I was drinking some orange juice out of a margarita-style glass. I set it on the flat wooden arm of my chair and went into the kitchen to get something. As I looked up from the kitchen counter, I saw that Paris had jumped up on the chair to see what it was that her mommy had left behind. Here was my little girl, drinking orange juice out of my glass and not spilling a drop. It was so cute that I couldn't be mad at her, although I did make her stop drinking. This was the beginning of a lifelong love of oranges and their juice on her part. In fact, there were a couple of instances when she stole plastic cups of juice that Trent left next to the bed while he was dealing with a cold. We caught her once, red-handed (or red-pawed), with the glass in her mouth, trying to see around it to jump down off the bed. When she got there, what juice hadn't spilled would be lapped out of the glass which she placed very carefully on the floor.
She was also notorious for occasionally helping herself to things in shopping bags that she was certain were hers. Paris was very bright and therefore very curious. Every time we went shopping, she did her best to check out the contents of any and all shopping bags. Since she weighed all of eight and a half pounds, she occasionally climbed in the bags to make sure she was getting a good look. The first time she helped herself was when we got her a specially prepared bone at the grocery store. We were upset when we got home and it wasn't in any of our grocery bags because we were looking forward to seeing our poodle revel in her wolf ancestry when she got her treat. Just when we decided that the bone was gone forever, she came trotting proudly down the hall with her shrink-wrapped bone. "Look what I have!" her posture seemed to say.
When we left today to go to the grocery store, our neighbor was coming back from walking her West Highland Terrier. When Trent went to pat his head, the dog decided that Trent's mittens were a toy to be grabbed and played with. It made us chuckle because it reminded us of Paris and her shopping bag selections. When Trent bought a warm winter cap with ear flaps, he had a hard time convincing Paris that it was not a toy that we had picked up for her. She was upset and almost indignant when he took it back from her and put it on his head. I'm pretty sure that we made up for it a few days later by buying her a small toy and letting her take it out of the shopping bag herself. I understood exactly how Trent felt, though, having had to follow her around the house and explain that the small box of tampons that she was carrying around were indeed for females, just not for canine females.
I am hoping that my meanderings down Memory Lane have given you something to chuckle about. What I really hope, though, is that my memory meanderings have awakened some of your own. Some things are just too precious to be kept sitting on the shelf. Enjoy them. Let them warm your heart when the world feels like a cold, dark night. And when your oatmeal or orange juice goes missing, you may want to check on the dog...
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