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the dog under the table

I just stuck my foot out beside my desk and petted a certain big yellow dog, and I remembered our first days together. I was in class with miffis, who has already written her one-year tribute. I've never been good at doing anniversary tributes on the exact day--I have to be in the mood to say something. But petting Loretta with my foot made me remember...

My deepest grief about retiring Meg was the loss of the dog under the seminary table. Meg was truly in her element at seminary, and I was angry that so little of her working life was able to be spent in that kind of enjoyment. She should have had three or four years there with me, but she only had one.

In dog training, the instructors encourage us to do what we can to simulate our daily life. So in addition to my normal training activities, I trained Loretta to lie under my desk while I did my Hebrew. Her preferred place at home when I am typing has always been right beside my chair, and she is a champ at getting under my chair in seminary. It is perhaps a silly way to bond, but it is a very emotional thing for me. During those long hours in class or doing homework, all I have to do is move my foot and rub some place on her: her back, under her floppy ears, under her chin... I wear slip-on shoes, and I'm not above slipping them off in seminary so that I can feel her fur while I'm studying. She, in turn, often rests her head on my foot as if she knows how much I enjoy being close to her. I doubt she really knows. I think she just enjoys having a place to rest her head, and it's nice that the place happens to be me.

Loretta is born to work. If I stand still and chat for too long, she whines. But she has no problem being under the table. It's as if she knows she belongs there.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 1st, 2008 09:58 am (UTC)
I think she may know that you like being around her. I've learned that animals (especially dogs) know more than what most people give them credit for.

(Deleted comment)
Jun. 2nd, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
Nixon dos the same thing, rest his head on my feet! There were cases, in my classes, I took my shoes off and give him belly rubs, and he'd be on his back, awaiting for more. He is the type of dog who absolutely *LOVES* this.

July will have been 8 years since I've been using guide dogs. Those anniversaries can be interesting to look back upon. i cherish each one of them!
Jun. 1st, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC)
Jess, like most German Shepherds is just now at a year beginning to do the bonding things that most Labs and Goldens do from infancy . . .and she's discovered under the desk when I work - never thought that would happen!! LOL.

I'm so glad you had that year with Meg in seminary. I think God gives gifts of a short time because they probably wouldn't have happened at all, and it is His pleasure to do so. I think of all the things in my life that were for brief periods, and all of those things were beyond wonderful.

Happy year for Loretta!!! :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah Blake LaRose
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