Oh Unhappy and Biscuitless World!

Recaptured thanks to the wayback machine:

Well, once again, I have been taken to task over an issue of food, by the Border Collie.

Generally, breakfast around here is a cup of yogurt, a bowl of cereal or oatmeal and several cups of the magnificent Mystic Monk Dark Roast or Monk Blend Coffee. But I’ve been off my feed for a few days (which is no cause for alarm since I, unhappily, carry my own reserves on my Irish hips) and this morning nothing tempted me except a Stella D’oro Breakfast Treat. (Having married into this Italian family, I have come to love the lightly-sweet-and-crispy biscuits my sainted MIL creates, and when those aren’t around, Stella will do.)

Hearing me remove one from the crinkly cellophane bag, the dog came prancing over, and then followed me to my desk. “You’re gonna share, that, right?” she asked.

My husband has a bad habit of sharing his morning bagel with the dog. Now she thinks anything you are eating is actually meant for her.

“Go away,” I said. “you had breakfast, this is mine.”

She sat erect and tilted her head, looking none too pleased. Her head tipped forward and she followed my every move as I dunked my cookie into the coffee and bit. Narrowing her eyes, she leaned forward, obviously pissed.

“Mine.” She said, softly.

“Get lost,” I repeated. “My cookie; my breakfast. Everything is not always for you.”

She put her snout under my arm and flipped. Globby bits of coffee-saturated cookie flew all over the office, and was I happy? No.

Unamused, I gave her the rest of the cookie and sponged up the mess. I started working and realized I still wanted my biscuit, so I went back into the kitchen and the Border Collie followed me, dropping a prodigious amount of new hairballs onto on my just-vacuumed floor. “Why do I have a dog,” I muttered.

“You ascared at night,” she muttered back. “You need me more than I need you.”

“Oh, really, and who feeds your greedy little mouth every morning and night,” I countered.

“Who barks at the UPS guy and anyone else that comes to the door, and threatens to rip their arms off, for you?”

“T’agh!” I said impatiently, “anyone could come to this door and if he was smart enough to bring you a pizza, he could walk out with the whole house.”

“T’agh!” she said back, “as if you had anything worth stealing. I class this place up!”
Gad, I hate other women. So catty.

I went back into the cabinet and rattled through the cellophane to get another biscuit and the dog went nuts. If you’ve ever seen a border collie romp and jump, you know they can get pretty rambunctious. She was flipping around like a cat on amphetamines. “Biscuit! Biscuit!” she cried. “Gimmee biscuit!”

I closed the cabinet door and pointedly bit into the cookie, in her face, and walked away.

She’d been dissed, and she knew it. Scurrying, she beat me to the door and parked herself in my path. Her pretty countenance was transformed into “I mean business” in the way only a female’s pretty face can be transformed. “Cookie. Now.”

And then suddenly the light went on. “Oh, right. These things sort of look like your dog biscuits, don’t they?” I said. “You dogs think the rest of us are dogs, too, right? And you think this cookie is one of your biscuits. And you think since I’m a dog having a biscuit, you should be a dog having a biscuit, too, don’t you?”

Her tail slapped the floor, happily. Finally, Mom woke up! “Now biscuit, please,” she said.

“T’agh, well…” I said, “it sucks to be you, doesn’t it?”

You must understand, I was feeling a little peeved at her ability to get so cute, so quickly, and I needed to lord it over her for a while because…well, yes, because I am that pathetic.

Vanquished, she followed me back to my desk and parked herself under my chair, as usual, and there she silently rebuked me with her obedient and faithful presence.

That’s a dog for you, loyal to the death, even when you’ve cheated them out of something they believe they are owed – she couldn’t have singed my conscience more if she’d begged and howled. Her loving silence and unconditional adoration heaped hot coals upon my head.

Stupid dog. Dogs are stupid. They love you even when you’ve been petty toward them.

And in this case, my stupid dog was proving the words of Jesus, that when you repay evil with good, you heap hot coals upon the one persecuting you.

Yes, I find Jesus in my collie. Not in me. In my dog.

But then again, the Holy Spirit has been known to use whatever is handy to teach a lesson. Even my stupid – actually pretty brilliant – best pal.

An hour later, I went back to the kitchen for another cup of coffee, and the doggie dutifully went back with me, because she is my loving shadow.

And yes, when we came back to the desk, she trotted happily beside me, with a dog biscuit between her teeth.

Who’s the chump, here? Who’s the sucker?

That’s right. Mommy is the chump. Mommy is the petty and pathetic sentimentalist. Mommy is the one who needed reminding that a friend is a treasure not to be abused. Mommy is the one who constantly needs to be coached in love, because love is the challenging gambit at which she fails, almost every day.

More importantly, the dog, rather than banging her head against the wall trying to get what she wanted, simply got out of her own way, sat back and waited, and eventually it came to her, as if it were meant to be.

Ah…my retreat is still reverberating with the same message. I guess it needed to be drilled home to me, one more time, that when we stop fretting and freaking out over things, life pretty much unfolds as it should.

Meanwhile, the pooch is Queen.

It is good to be the queen, and she knows it.

About Elizabeth Scalia

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