“Put a saddle on it!”
“How much does that dog weigh?”
“How much does that dog eat?”
“Is that a dog or a horse?”
Trust me, I’ve heard them all. Actually thought about making t-shirts answering all of the standard questions.
“How long do those dogs live?”
Seriously, people would ask that. And I’d want to smack ‘em.
But as of today, I don’t have a Great Dane.
When Cadence came to live with us seven years ago, after her show career, Axel the Pug tried to help her get adjusted. He’d alert her, vigorously, when there might be leftovers.
What are you, crazy? Interrupting my nap? She’d go right back to sleep.
Cadence cared less about food than any dog I’ve ever seen. I often had to coax her to eat. But somehow, Axel figured out what Cadence did care about. My whereabouts. He’d actually give her a heads up when I would leave the room.
Cadence stuck to me like glue. Car? Fine, she’d go anywhere. (But, please, not the vet.) She figured out that if my purse was on the stairs I was around. When I changed purses, total confusion.
I’d catch her sometimes, looking for me, not with her eyes, but with her nose. She’d stick her nose into a doorway, lift it slightly, then move on, sticking her nose up in the air again at the next doorway. Once in a while I’d be in the bathtub and catch her looking for me in the closet. Maybe I didn’t smell so much while I was in the bath.
Cadence had her quirks, and then some. She loved apple cores and would stand patiently, a foot away, eyes locked on the fruit, until you finished the apple. Down dog? They call the yoga pose that for a reason. She’d hold the position for a couple minutes sometimes. She liked to chase tennis balls, but if there were several balls on the ground, she’d sniff around until she found HER ball.
She got the name Cadence for her beautiful gait. Watching her move was a joy to behold. Graceful, easy, and incredibly long stride. Tiger stripes, with a bright almost orange base color, she was gorgeous.
“You have a beautiful dog,” people would say, as I was walking Cadence and Axel.
“Thank you,” I’d say. “Which one?”
“The big one!”
The size and presence, made her seem somehow more human. She took up just as much space as one of us, exuded the same amount of love. Sometimes more. No problem if you were late. She was always thrilled to see you. The big happy welcoming committee.
And she wasn’t here to welcome me this evening.
My answer to the rude question, “How long do those dogs live?”
“Every day is a gift.”