The Invincible Dog Goddess

I remember exactly when I realized my father couldn’t fix everything.

My sister and I had gone shoe shopping with my dad. In those days, they had these little x-ray machines and you would put a shoe on and then put your foot on this  machine that would x-ray your foot in the shoe. It would ensure a PERFECT FIT.

Apparently this machine was called a shoe Fluoroscope. Here is a picture of one from Wikipedia, the Definitive Source of All THINGS; just in case you are thinking I made this whole thing up.

It does look a little like a medieval torture device, which is why, I guess, they would give small children a balloon after your shoe was fitted. It is amazing I don’t have cancer of the toe.

When we got home, I sat on the front porch with my dad and sister with my helium balloon and somehow it came untied from my finger. I watched it floating upward and asked my dad to get it back for me. He said, “Well, honey, I can’t reach that.” I was dumbfounded that he couldn’t get it. This was a cosmic turning point in my relationship with him, I mean I still loved him, but realized in that moment that he wasn’t invincible. To be honest, he came down a notch in my five-year-old world. And in a way, the world became a scarier place, a place where everything can’t be fixed.

Buddy hasn’t had that “aha” moment with me.

He thinks of me as the Invincible Dog Goddess.

If you have ever been the object of dog worship, you know what I am talking about.
In complete doggy bliss he will lie next to me on the couch, belly-up, front feet curled against his chest, hind feet pushing against my leg. He rests in complete assurance that his every need will be met, every problem will be fixed.

He doesn’t know that I too can’t reach a balloon in the sky. He thinks that the world is a wonderful place and that he is completely safe in my care.

I am going to try to keep it that way.

Balloon photo: yellow_Balloon_7415.jpg
Fluoroscope photo: Wikipedia Public Domain


The “It” Factor

Buddy has “It.”

This has been confirmed repeatedly to me over the past five years of life with Buddy.

Once when watching my son at a tennis match with Buddy at my side, the opposing team’s bus came to a screeching halt behind me. Startled, I turned around to see the bus doors opening quickly. I thought there might be some sort of emergency. The bus driver called out to me,
“Hey! What kind of dog is that? That is the cutest dog I have EVER seen!”

This kind of random stranger appreciation has repeated itself through the years. Buddy has that “it” thing that some movie stars and politicians have. John F. Kennedy Jr. had it. So does Barack Obama. Princess Diana had it. People are somehow mesmerized and drawn like moths to a flame; an indescribable attribute, a can’t-put-your-finger-on-it but know-it-when-you-see it kind of thing.

A walk through our Gold Coast Chicago neighborhood confirms it. People say, “Hi Buddy!” on the street. The doorman at a neighboring building will actually run across the street to give him two treats; once a tourist asked me if she could take some pictures of him.

I think I know some of the secrets of his success:

Put a little bounce in your step.
Wag your tail a lot.
Be friendly and approachable.
When someone talks to you, tilt your head to the side and listen intently.
When walking down the street, look people directly in the eye and SMILE.