The sun rises tomorrow on Spriggy’s 14th birthday. All hail the world’s best little dog, captured here on Sunday, a typical day in his interesting and action-packed life. He doesn’t usually wear his life jacket on boat rides, but this was his first time on the new boat, and we didn’t know how he’d handle sailing’s sometimes sudden changes in pitch — he’s been known to bail out of the kayak when he stopped enjoying himself, and I really didn’t want to go after him with a boathook.
But he was fine. He found a place in the sun, laid down and enjoyed himself. Which is pretty much what he’s been doing all his life.
Why do we love our pets so? It’s not the unconditional love, which isn’t really unconditional — Spriggy’s heart belongs to the person with a handful of crumbled bacon. It’s not the companionship, although that’s a big part of it; there’s nothing more peaceful than working in a quiet room while a good dog snoozes at your feet. It’s not complex, like human love, but I can’t quite explain it. Partly it’s because he’s cuddly and affectionate. Partly it’s because he has a sense of humor and approaches every day like the adventure it is. Mostly it’s just because, for 14 years, he’s been our dog. I remember the time we took him camping, and he woke up in the middle of the night when the coyotes started yipping. I remember when we introduced himself to the newborn Kate by letting him lick her feet. When he got lost, and we found him at a yacht club bloody-mary brunch in the Upper Peninsula — we thought he’d lit out into the wilderness after a deer, but he was cadging cheese nibbles and popcorn from a bunch of ladies who thought he was the cutest thing in boots. When he flunked obedience school for growling at the teacher. When I tried to send him down a groundhog hole, pointing and saying, “Get that groundhog!,” and he jumped straight into the air and bit my finger.
It sounds like I’m writing his obit, and I’m not. He’s still in great shape, and I hope he’ll be around a couple more years, even though by every dog-years calculator, he’s well into AARP territory. When he finally goes to dog heaven, I’ll be able to say we took good care of him and gave him a good life, and he enriched ours in return.
Yes, I’m baking a cake. Some will probably fall on the floor for the birthday boy.
Tomorrow’s my brother’s birthday, too. He’ll get a phone call. He’s enriched my life too, but never laid at my feet while I worked, so our relationship is a bit different. Happy birthday to Uncle Charlie, too.
The Free Press ran this story today, about women opting for genital plastic surgery. I’ve mentioned it here before, and ultimately I think it’s not worth worrying about — the number of women who will pay thousands of dollars to have a doctor reshape their ya-yas are probably so small as to be insignificant. There was a long section in the middle of the story, though, that made me despair of editors who, in trying not to offend readers, muddy the waters:
In 1997, she was happily married, the owner of a publishing company and a mother of one with a second child on the way. After giving birth for the second time, her life changed drastically.
“My uterus felt like it was going to fall out,” she says. The Free Press is withholding her identity because of privacy concerns. “The doctors said I already had two children. They suggested a hysterectomy. But to me that sounded radical and extreme. They would never tell a man whose scrotum was hanging to chop them off. I was annoyed and embarrassed.”
She fell into a depression. She became so self-conscious about the way her body looked that she avoided changing her clothes in front of her husband. Eventually, she refused to have sex with him. Their marriage ended in divorce.
For three years, she searched for a doctor who could help her.
…”I think being a mother is the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she says. “But that doesn’t mean I should sacrifice my sexuality or that my anatomy should look prehistoric.”
Just what, precisely, is this woman’s problem? Is her uterus coming through the roof? If so, she has a medical problem, not a cosmetic one. They’re “hanging”? What’s hanging? Look “prehistoric”? What does that mean? More info, please. I mean, if we can get a scrotum in there, we ought to be able to talk about…whatever her problem is.
Finally, more DetNews blogging.