Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nice To Meet You Baby.

My new granddaughter Holland is surrounded by a group of dogs. There's Moo, who we consider her brother; Lulu, her aunt; and Xena, her cousin. I know it sounds silly, but there you go.

Each dog had its own particular method of first meeting the baby. Moo decided to lick Holly's head at first. Lulu ran about the room acting like she had lots to do and worry about because a baby had arrived; and Xena, with a tail that could knock you off your feet, held her tail in check and licked baby's feet upon first meeting the baby.

I think it's fabulous how understanding dogs are of small children. Of course, I am not overlooking the rare occasions when dogs attack kids. It happens. Even a Scottish Terrier I owned nipped my granddaughter Anika when she was small. That dog was a handful, but to be fair, Anika tried to pull a blanket out from under the dog and I think he got scared.

I recently heard about a dog that "kidnapped" a baby to take to the woods to care for it. Luckily the child did not die but problems did occur due to the dog's mothering instinct.

Don't worry. I don't think dogs should be left alone with children. I do think they are a great addition to the life of our kids though.

Unfortunately, in this day and time, I don't think kids really get the relationships we older folks had with our animals. Playing outside is becoming something you have to tell kids to do today. God knows, if I had video games, the internet, and 120 channels on the tube, I never would've gone out either.

We had three channels when I was a kid. On Saturday mornings, there was a smoking cowboy with a pencil thin mustache on tv who ran old cowboy flicks all morning long. My grandmother had to kick me out of the house cause I'd watch cowboys named Johnny Mack and Buck ride all over the same So Cal backlot for hours on end. (Funny, the transmitter for that station was located in Tijuana and the backlot probably housed the Manson family in the 1970's.)

We had two dogs at my grandparents' house in La Mesa. First came Mack, a standard-sized collie that would follow me about the yard. Then came Beau, a standard-sized poddle. It wasn't so much that I played with them, but they followed me about my grandparents' huge yard. They owned about 2/3 of an acre and I roamed it as if it were the size of Hearst's place in San Simeon. There were Eucalyptus trees to climb, a pepper tree that hid an area for a fortress, and a six-foot wall my grandfather built that made a great fort. I used to man the walls, holding off Indians (sorry, Native Americans), redcoats, and other nasties with a Eucalyptus branch shaped like a musket. Some years later I went back to my grandparents, found that branch and you know what? It didn't really resemble a musket at all.

Ah, the loss of innocence.

Welcome Holly. Welcome to a world where dogs lick your toes, where tree limbs look like magic wands, and where all boys want to be cowboys and all girls want to be ballerinas. You're a lucky little girl. I hope you have wonderful imaginings. Remember, a dog can be a guest at your tea party.

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