Phoebe is my ultra quirky, one hundred and twenty pound majestic Saint Bernard. She is three years old, and still has the mind of a puppy. She and I walk at least a couple of times a day.
Walks are never boring with Phoebe. They are slow, ‘in the moment’ and sometimes very unpredictable. Did I mention she was quirky? Oh yeah, I did. Well, here’s an example of what I mean by that…when most dogs see another dog they quicken their pace to try to get to it, to say hello or socialize as dogs do. Not Phoebe. When Phoebe sees another dog she mechanically goes into “sit” mode and I can’t move her, budge her, coerce her, or divert her incredibly powerful focus. She becomes the most stubborn Saint Bernard on the planet and she’s not moving. With her laser beam eyes glued to the ever approaching target, and her mountainous strength firmly planted, we wait. We watch and we wait.
The other dog owners think I have this precisely trained, oh so polite, well disciplined animal. Nope. She came this way and I guess I shouldn’t complain because there are far worse habits – sometimes. Every once in awhile we come across the unfamiliar owner and dog. What this means is…the on-coming dog doesn’t always think she is mindful and mannerly. I guess in dog world (like everywhere else), there are those culturally diverse canines who interpret her stately and dignified posture as an intimidating challenge. This is when we have problems – (strained biceps tendinitis problems for me) and awkward “what emotion am I supposed to have right now” for her, as I try to hold her and her crushed feelings back when the dog she has patiently waited for – goes into attack mode. Amid the commotion, the embarrassed Mom in me comes out as I apologetically try to explain her behavior to the frightened owner. I know she meant well, only wants to “meet” a new friend, she just can’t help or doesn’t have a concept of her monumental size.
All that to say… I am very grateful this week because… my big, beautiful Saint Bernard has a new friend. Her name is Peaches. Peaches is a tiny, fur ball of hyperkinetic energy who loves Phoebe and never goes into attack mode as Phoebe sits and waits for Peaches to come by and say hello! Once Peaches arrives, she looks up at Phoebe’s grand, noble head as if to say “whoa!”
This causes my highly sensitive and sweet Phoebe to lay down, as they greet on common ground nose to nose. Here, in this moment, I am a super proud Saint Bernard Mom.
Inevitably, Peaches will use Phoebe’s head as a glorious jungle gym, and Phoebe won’t mind one bit. Peaches will jump onto and climb over Phoebe’s awe inspiring head, all the while wagging her tail in absolute celebration of her new best friend! I am happy, Phoebe is happy and Peaches seems to be the most happy little puppy in all the neighborhood! Cue Friends music!