|Image: Teece Aronin|
When I was two, our next-door neighbor plunked me down in the grass of her back yard, face-to-face with her cocker spaniel, Reggie. Then she shook some colorful and crunchy-looking dog treats into my tiny, cupped palms.
"Reggie loves treats," she said, and walked away.
I looked at Reggie. Reggie looked at me. I took one of the treats between my finger and thumb and held it in front of Reggie's black-lipped, drool-y muzzle, at which point, he tilted his head, leaned in, and gently took it. Cheerfully he crunched it up, then looked expectantly at me.
He must be waiting for me to take my turn, I decided, so I put one of the treats in my mouth and chewed. The dog looked crestfallen.
Then, I gave a treat to him; the dog cheered up. Then I took my next turn; the dog looked devastated.
And so it was that Reggie learned to share. And a little child shall lead them.
One Friday night a few months ago, my daughter's best friend spent the night. Both girls are "dog people," and since I ate enough dog treats with Reggie that day to become part dog, my daughter might have earned her dog person status partly through genetics.
It was early Saturday morning when I stumbled into the dimly lit kitchen, yawning and rumpled. Both girls were asleep in the living room. On the counter were these cute little ginger snappish-looking things, and without thinking, I popped one into my mouth. It turned out to have come from a box of treats my daughter's friend had brought over for our dog.
"Rule Number One:" lectured a friend," If it's in your kitchen but you did not buy it, do NOT put it in your mouth."
Actually, it didn't taste that bad, and it brought back happy memories of when I was plopped down in the grass and told that Reggie loved treats.