Friday, October 3, 2008

Photo of the Week: "Adora, My Reality Check"

This is Adora. Adora is a very, very affectionate and loving dog. She is super friendly and extremely playful. She loves to cuddle, go on car rides, and watch The Dog Whisperer with Pete and me. Adora also "talks" and is always trying to tell us something via phrases like "woo woo woooo!" and "wooarow ruff roof!" I have never heard a dog talk as much as Adora does. And she is very loving to Spanky, often grooming and licking him (especially his nether regions) while he grudgingly grunts his approval. Adora loves children and would never hurt a fly. And she is one of the weirdest and goofiest dogs I have ever known, which provides Pete and me with hours of entertainment every week. We simply love Adora and wouldn't trade her in for any other dog in the world (except maybe Spanky).

But Adora also has an dark side, you see. She likes to terrorize other dogs with Spanky as her apprentice. She cannot control her eating habits and will eat ANYTHING you leave out, especially in the car. We've lost chili dogs, bananas, candy, a Starbucks green tea latte, and even a sealed container of yogurt this way. Adora likes to chew things up too, especially when she's mad at you and you leave her alone for a while. So far we've lost a remote, part of our cordless phone, and eight pairs of shoes to her ravenous appetite, seven of which were mine. Yes, you can imagine how upset I was when this happened, and most were brand new pairs I hadn't even worn yet. Adora is also rather needy and will sit on Spanky or push him out of the way if she feels she is not getting enough attention, which is pretty much all the time. Sometimes she is so hyper it drives me crazy, and she has selective listening when it suits her. I won't even go into the whole running away from home to find a new family thing....

I only say these things because of what happened when I came home today. I am feeling like total crap again, but I was lucky enough to arrive home early for once, so I had planned on heading right to bed. That plan was foiled the minute I walked in the door. The stench of fresh bowel movement filled my nostrils, and Adora was sheepishly sitting in the corner, quiet. An impressively large pile of business was waiting for me to clean it up, which was not an easy task. Thankfully, Adora managed to do this on top of a few blankets on the floor, but I had to do a full cleaning operation anyhow. This included waste removal, laundering soiled blankets, cleaning the floor, disinfecting the air, and taking her out for a couple of potty breaks. It was a joy to experience on a day like today, let me tell you. Now, I know it wasn't Adora's fault for having an accident, but it really sucked all the same. I didn't yell at her at all, and she seemed to feel bad, but it still wasn't fun for either of us.

However, this particular incident made me realize that Adora is a sort of reality check for me, in a way. She is always the one to keep me humble, and to make me realize that this is what life is all about, the messes and broken stuff and destroyed footwear that is a part of my everyday existence. And I should be grateful that I have such a good life and such a good dog, too. If I was never challenged in these small but annoying ways every day, I don't think I would appreciate the good moments in my life. This is nothing in the grand scheme of things, when I could be dealing with unemployment, life-threatening diseases, family strife, or any number of much larger problems. I definitely would not see how wonderful life is without the little piles to clean up here and there along the way—okay, BIG piles, at least today. But I take comfort in the fact that I can see how blessed I am, thanks in part to my furry little ball of charm named Adora.


Claire said...

This is so special. I was thinking yesterday that my life is blessed, not because of the blessings, but because I am able to appreciate them all, having experienced the less enjoyable moments.

sandy said...

What a wonderful story, How true it is that the small inconvenient things in life can make you realize how good you actually have it.

Fifi Flowers said...

Beautiful dog!
Your illustrations are great!
Good luck... I've wanted to illustrate books too... you're right it is a tough market.