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  • Unconditional Love

    Olivia went to the groomers today for her bi-monthly grooming. She knows when she is going for a ride in the car, a great adventure for her. When I clip on her leash, she is almost pulling me out to the garage, dashes in the door when I open it, and heads directly to the car to wait for me to open the door so she can rush into the front passenger seat and put her paws on the sill to look out the window. She barely clears the sill, but she still gets looks from passers by as we drive to the groomers.

    By now, she knows the scent of the groomer's building as well. When we get out of the car, she is all over the place, sniffing about and leaving her scent along with the rest of the dogs who have been in the side yard. I give her the lead, allowing her to reconnoiter the various scents, then give her a gentle pull and call her name once. That's all it takes. She heads straight up the steps and waits for me to open the screen door to the groomer's office.

    As soon as I open the door, she bolts in and greets the groomer, who picks her up, gives her a nice rubdown, and calls her by name. Olivia does her little “happy dance” by standing on her rear legs and waving her front paws in the direction of the person she wants to pay attention to her.

    She's normally there about two hours, so I leave and head home to accomplish some chore around the house or spend some time here at the keyboard. They have my cell number, so the groomer usually calls just before Olivia is ready.

    When I arrive, as anxious as she was to come to the groomer, she is just as anxious to go home. The groomer opens the gate and out she comes, front paws waving in my direction, tail at attention. I put her sweater on, since she has just had her hair clipped, pay the groomer, and head to the door.

    No dawdling this time. Out the door and straight to the car, ready to return to her familiar domain. On the return drive, instead of looking out the windows, she cuddles up in my lap. (Thank God she's a Shih Tzu and not a Great Dane!)

    As soon as I open the car door after I have parked in the garage, she is out of the car waiting patiently for me to open the door so she can survey her back yard and make sure nothing is amiss. Squirrels and rabbits scatter at the sight of her, and she barks loudly at them, though she is yet to catch one. After a few minutes of prancing about and sniffing to make sure her yard is secure, we head into the house.

    She gets a couple dog treats for being a good girl, and once we have spent 20-30 minutes playing or just petting her, I am ready to return to my keyboard. She has a small blue dog bed just to the right of my chair by my filing cabinet and bookshelf where she curls up and naps while I work. If I get up, she'll be right behind me, wondering what we will do next.

    Originally this was supposed to be my daughter's dog. Now, I honestly couldn't think of a day without her. Oh, well. I guess my macho image is a bit tarnished, but I think I'll survive it.

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