Bella & Diamond
Aug 02, 2010 12:05PM, Published by Style, Categories: In Print
That’s right, Bella. I didn’t stutter, Diamond.
The fawning looks of adoration, the over-the-top celebrations whenever I arrive home, the way you lean into a scratch like I’m the only one who could ever scratch you that way. Ha. You are not fooling me. Not anymore. This thing we have, it isn’t about us. It isn’t about loyalty or love or even the walks, is it? It’s about food. Yes, it’s always been about the food.
I’m right, aren’t I, Diamond? Our beautiful white Labrador. You’re gorgeous and you know it. A canine supermodel, I suddenly feel like your aging rock star husband. I used to believe that when you gazed up at me with those big, black fur seal pup eyes, doing that panting-smile thing, it was out of pure admiration, like a groupie in my front row. All you needed was a lighter to hold aloft. Little did I know I was just your one-hit-wonder.
And you, Bella, our freaky little chew-weenie dog. I brought your hybrid hiney home from the animal shelter and was instantly smitten with your clownish ways. Just pulling into the driveway sets you dancing and leaping into the air like a wild trout. And as you walk me into the house, your wagging tail inevitably overwhelms your entire body and your butt side-winds past your head, sending you into a clockwise spin, a sort of canine Coriolis effect. To me, it appears you‘re saying “OH MY GOD! TOM‘S HOME! HE‘S HOME! TOM! TOM IS HOOOOME!!!” In truth, all you‘re thinking is, “This is going to so totally score me some fresh cooked bacon in the morning.”
I first caught on one day when I was eating a slice of pizza on the couch. Both of you sat obediently at my feet, staring up as though you wondered how I could be anymore incredible. Then I noticed it: a slight twitch in your eyes as they followed…my hand…from…the pizza box…up to…my…mouth. You weren’t looking adoringly at me. You, instead, adored my thick slice of Original Pete’s Pepperoni. And hoping like hell it would slip from my grasp. I was heartbroken. Now I notice it all the time: your attempts at nonchalance as you follow me to the kitchen; that quick lick of your lips as I’m lifting burgers off the grill; the heavy sigh as I scrape my dinner plate into the trash.
Diamond, I used to the think you escorted me the 15 feet from bed to bathroom at 1 a.m. because you cared about my safety. Now, I know it’s really because every night you hope I will emerge with a plate of fresh cooked ribs. And Bella…to think I was convinced you’d stand up on your hind legs and tip-toe around like a tap-dancing prairie dog just to entertain me. Instead, you were just hoping I’d be wowed enough to tip you the rest of my grilled trout.
But you know what you guys? It’s OK. Sure, I could vanish tomorrow and as long as your new owners have a fresh bag of Snausages, you’ll be fine. However, I find solace now in the words of an aging rock star who was once asked about the real motives behind leggy supermodels who followed him around. His reply? “Who cares?”
You two critters are in my life and I am better for it. My whole family is, even though you work them every bit as much as me (we should’ve known what was really happening with our boys’ portions of Vickie’s “Chicken Surprise“). Whatever your true motives, your company is still worth its weight in milk bones. In fact, c’mon…let’s see what we have in the pantry for you. But please, Bella, you can lose the piddling. It never was all that cute anyway.
Find more of Tom's Takes here, and make sure to catch Tom on the Pat and Tom Morning Show on New Country 105.1.