Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy birthday to me

[This is a guest post by my dog, Lupita, who turns 10 years old on Wednesday, June 1, 2011. I typed this verbatim transcript on her behalf. Any grammatical or spelling errors are my own.]

On the occasion of my 10th birthday, I'd like to take this opportunity to reflect on my life thus far. As a pug of mature age, it seems appropriate to chronicle this important milestone in my life, and to ensure that some fragment of this moment in our family's history is preserved beyond our years on this earth. Writing has been an important means by which I ask questions about life's larger questions and meanings, and so I offer this brief letter to myself, and to you, my adoring friends and family, near and far.

As dogs' lives go, mine has been filled with fortune, comfort, and love. I have also experienced considerable difficulties, but I can look back and feel proud of my aplomb under duress. For example, I have, on a couple of occasions, been subjected to The Cone. Generally preceeded by a visit to one of my many dedicated medical specialists, The Cone imposes a kind of emotional and psychic blindness that exceeds the actual blindness that deadened my right eye from a very young age. Nevertheless, I have persevered and overcome this additional layer of disability, and on both occasions, found myself feeling better and stronger in the end.

In the realm of relationships, I admit to ongoing challenges with my somewhat imperious feline siblings. The cats and I have recently received a gift of a new sectional, which may signal a welcome turn towards reconciliation, given the additional space. I try to maintain a demeanor of calm, respectful deference towards the cats, although Jackson's periodic right hooks, some of which actually make contact, leave me disconcerted and vigilant about my manners.

Greg remains, now and forever, the primary object of my undying affection. Wherever he is, at any moment, that is always where I would prefer to be. He is not always equally appreciative of my presence, particularly when he is cooking and trying to maneuver through a rainstorm of falling food, of which I am continually vigilant, helpful cleanup team member that I am. But in spite of his occasional harangues against the impediments I place on his mobility, he still lets me sit on his lap until his leg falls asleep, and sneaks me table scraps that Emily wouldn't approve of. And on the weekends when he sleeps in, lets me under the covers to snore loudly for the last legs of slumber.

Emily is increasingly kind. I attribute this in large part to our recent viewing of every episode of Dogtown available on Netflix. There, she developed a more nuanced appreciation of the difficulties, and gifts, of being a dog.

My greatest regret, and my most promising area of growth, is in my hostess skills. I have a tendency to bark insistently upon guests' arrival. I wish to signal my family to potential harm, which I surely could avert through my imposing carriage. However, I fear I may work against my own interests in deterring affection from warm-wishers. Still, once my hackles settle a bit, I
take extreme pleasure in meeting, and exhaustively sniffing, new acquaintances, particularly those with beards.

Thank you for your indulgence, for I have thoroughly benefited from this moment of reflection and gratitude for joys, sorrows, and ordinary pleasures I've enjoyed in my many years. And as I look toward the future, I face it with an open heart and mind, and a capacity to be present in every moment beyond that of my human companions. This has been, and will continue to be, one of my greatest gifts to them.

No comments: