“Did I get any mail?” I asked one afternoon.
“You didn’t,” Lamar said. “But Doodle did.”
Sure enough, the little caramel colored pittie-mix had mail.
A birthday card of all things.
Of course, we aren’t sure when she was actually born, but I count the day I brought her home as her Big Day.
The day I left work early to pick up dog food and came home with an unplanned puppy.
Seven years later, Doodle has this cabin and all within it, wrapped around her little paw.
“They have birthday cakes for dogs!” I exclaimed reading my dog’s mail.
Is that a federal offense? I mean, she can’t read it. Or maybe she can. We often say she has more smarts than we give her credit for having.
“We should get her one,” Cole said.
If any pupper deserved a cake, Doodle — or Angel, her Christian name — did.
She’s not as vocally intimidating as the German Shepherd, Ava, whose rich baritone makes her sound far more ferocious than she is. In fact, Boo, one of her many monikers, has only barked twice and both times were at Mama.
Doodle could care less about being in control; that’s the Border Collie, Pumpkin’s, thing.
Instead, the little parking lot pup of the unknown pedigree decided she was going to live the life of a spoiled toddler, and that’s what she’s done.
She’s normally curled up between Lamar and me at night, shortly after Lamar declared he was not having a dog in the bed.
“I didn’t do it with my German Shepherds, and I am not doing it with any other dog,” he stated firmly.
Two nights later, he had her curled up in the crook of his arm, her little head resting on the pillow and the blanket tucked under her chin.
“She was crying,” he explained, defending his actions. “She’s so small and helpless.”
The look the little pibble mix gave me let me know she knew exactly what she was doing, and she had already whimpered and whined her way into Lamar’s heart.
She was often rocked to sleep as a puppy and even now, must be cuddled.
She will cry incessantly if left alone for any length of time and is terrified of the dark. I can’t tell you how many times she has spooked herself when she sees her shadow from the porch light when she goes out at night.
Of course, this fear means we have to leave a light on so she can sleep peacefully.
But Doodle is the one who immediately rushes to give us love and puppy kisses anytime someone is upset or hurt. If we are sick, she won’t leave our side, thinking she has healing powers in her nuzzles, especially if she lies on top of our head.
She’s also the one that makes sure no one is left behind. Whenever any of us are coming in, it’s Doodle who will run back and wait for us at the gate as we make our way to the house. The other two will run back in, waiting to see what treats await.
“Have you ever thrown a birthday party for a dog?” Cole asked.
I had. A few times actually.
Pepper, may she rest in peace, had quite a few birthday parties.
She didn’t get a cake though. Instead, the Evil Beagle, had Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets, waffle fries, and her Frosty Paws frozen treats for dogs.
I wondered if Doodle would want her own cake and if so, what kind of frosting she’d want, and what kind of layers she’d prefer.
Maybe a chicken flavored layer? Or cheese?
Maybe I could make breakfast for her birthday dinner. Breakfast is her favorite meal, probably because she was babied even more as a puppy in the morning.
Her favorite routine was a breakfast burrito in the mornings, with turkey bacon, scrambled eggs, and cheese on a street taco tortilla.
But she also enjoys her own small plate of chicken. She doesn’t care if it’s fried or grilled. And broccoli and baby carrots but only if we dip them in Ranch for her first. I’m starting to wonder if she’d like me to chill the plate for her.
She’s also quite partial to mac ‘n cheese.
Knowing Doodle, she’d expect tons of presents, too.
A new tutu may be in order, since her ladybug one is really too big for her.
It wouldn’t hurt to get her a few new bandanas. She had lost her favorite pink one with the big lipstick lips on it in the yard, and even though it was washed, once it had been covered in dirt, Miss Priss didn’t want anything to do with it. She still had a sugar skull bandana, but it wasn’t girly enough for the pittie-mix.
I had been eyeing a hot pink collar for her rhinestones with on it. She needed some new accessories for spring.
“Don’t tell her about this card,” I urged Lamar and Cole. “She will want her a full-blown party.”
They both seemed a little disappointed at this news.
But every day we celebrate Boo.
And that’s how every day should be for every pup.
Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.