Notwithstanding, my obvious feelings...significant sniff... and a spirited campaign, promoting the benefits of canine companionship including, but not limited to, hounding my husband of 43 years, seconding my daughters, who litigate for a living, to badger their father, attending mass on St. Francis Sunday, although deplorably dogless, never mind lacking any connection to the Catholic church, wearing tasteless T shirts festooned with all manner of magnificent tail wagers, and emblazoned with poignantly pithy, poochy sayings like, "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole..." said husband of 43 years, who invented stonewalling , stuck his nose nearer the New York Times, muttering almost inaudibly, “sorry...just not ready”
Conceding, defeat after 5 long years, I’d called off the dogs, eschewing even a faint hope clause, when my husband came home carrying Ava, a 6 pound, 5 year old poodle with achingly soft, downy white fuzz , Imploring, liquid black eyes, oozing earnestness in a tiny, white face, searching for an inside pocket exactly her size
Donning a somewhat hang dog expression, my husband introduces Ava as “my wife’s dog...” Resembling, the princess of powder puffs, she prissily prances beside this largish man, well over 6 feet, causing even committed curmudgeons, to crack a smile. Upon hearing her name, the usual comment is, “Ava? You mean Ava as in Ava Gardner? Deadpanning, my husband responds: “No...It’s Ava as in Ava Maria.”
Watching, my husband of 43 years, holding wee Ava in a particular way; co-mingling complete confidence with exquisite gentleness, opens a window to remembering why I fell in love with this man.