Saturday, December 30, 2006

Emma the Dog

For those who know me knew that a post about Lil Emma was inevtible!

"My little old dog, a heartbeat at my feet." Edith Warton

I love this quote. I know it may seem silly, but I feel priveleged to own this precious little dachshund (aka Emma the Dog.) Chad and I have this small little animal that lives with us, and sleeps with us - we feed her, bathe her, walk her, play with her. I know some people feel that attributing human characteristics to dogs is wrong, but it is so hard not to. When you spend years caring for and communicating with a dog, it's hard to keep that "me master, you dog" mindset.

One theory that I've been developing over the past few months touches on why we tend to view domesticated animals as if they have human characteristics. For most children of my generation (I'm 23, who the heck knows what this generation is called) we were raised on Disney movies. We watched the trials and triumphs of the 101 Dalmations. We sang along with a young lion cub who just couldn't wait to be king. Our bodies were racked with sobs as we watched the final scenes of Homeward Bound. These animals spoke English to one another, they understood love, fear, loyalty, compassion, and joy just like I did. Sure, I've never seen a singing hyena or tap-dancing rat in real life, but I have seen and experienced the joy that comes from the unconditional love of a puppy.

When my twin sister and I were in 3rd grade, my parents got us an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie puppy from the Houston ASPCA. When my parents finally had him put to sleep last summer at 14 years old, it was like losing a little brother, not a dog.

When we took Emma to get spayed, I couldn't even bear to watch the Vet Tech take her back into the surgery room. I went out to the car and sobbed as Chad finished the paperwork. Recently, we flew home for a few days and had Emma boarded at a local kennel. I wasn't strong enough for this either - Chad had to do the dirty work of dropping her off. I would much rather have my last image of Emma getting scrubbed down for surgery in a shower cap and backless robe, or running around with her pals at the kennel, than the reality of her frightened brown eyes looking into mine with such a helpless look.

It is past 10:00pm and I'm getting delirious so I should probably cut this short.

From the Brooks family to yours, here is Meredith, Chad, and lil Emma signing off.


Kath said...

Lovely post!

I love love love weiner dogs...had a mixed poodle/ weiner breed (had to put her to sleep when she was 18) and then (after moving from CA to FL) picked out a precious little 3 week old red-mini-shorthair from the breeders. Visited her every week until I brought her home at 8 weeks of age.

Whatever you do, don't look into the brown eyes when it comes to saying no :-)

Adam Caldwell said...

Congratulations!! You've been 'spitboxed'. Read your post at:]

God Bless!!

hbl said...

Cute doggie. My first dog, when I was a wee tyke, was a daschund.

Nice timing on the shutter release!