Forgiving Doodle

I should have known the pittie mix was in the dog house when Lamar quit making her breakfast.

Unlike the other pups, including the German Shepherd, Doodle’s routine involved having her own little plate of food to eat alongside her ‘daddy.’

One morning, I heard him tell her, “You don’t get any today, Doodle.”

I didn’t think anything of it at first; that little caramel colored dog is always doing something to get in trouble.

But her punishment went on for a while, which was odd and signaled something was terribly amiss.

Doodle is the pup who can get away with everything.

While Ava is a drama queen and Pumpkin is quite judgmental towards us all, Doodle is the one that came into our lives five years ago and somehow stole my husband’s heart from his favorite breed.

She has been spoiled because she is, as he calls her, his baby girl.

He has rocked her to sleep as a puppy in the middle of the night when she didn’t want to be alone.

She has eaten cycling gloves, socks, and a few remotes and he has declared she was just a sweet little baby girl and didn’t know any better.

For him to not have breakfast with her for several days running meant something was amiss.

“What did she do?” I asked him.

“You don’t want to know,” he said as he sat his coffee cup in the sink. “Trust me.”

I giggled to myself thinking of all the gross crimes the chunky little dog could have committed.

A few nights later, Cole went out on the porch to bring Doodle in and rushed into the other room to get his father.

“Again? No!” Lamar exclaimed as he headed outside.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

Cole shook his head. “You don’t want to know.”

Why does everyone tell me that? Don’t they realize if something usually gets handled it’s the mama who takes care of it?

“Yes, I do. Tell me.”

Cole took a deep breath. “You are going to be very upset when I tell you. We decided not to tell you this because we didn’t want to upset you.”

That statement right there sent off my mama-alarms. Telling me you kept something from me because you didn’t want me to get upset is a sure-fire way for me to freak out and over-react when you do tell me.

I was trying to be calm though. It was Doodle and she seemed okay, so it probably had to do with her eating my furniture again.

“Tell me,” I repeated.

“Doodle killed a baby opossum,” he said.

“What?”

How could she kill a precious little baby opossum?

I was crushed.

“Daddy is getting it now to bury it with the others.”
“The others?”

He nodded.

“How many has she killed?”

“Six,” Lamar said walking back in. “It’s the pit in her. I know good and well Ava wouldn’t do this and neither would Punky. But Doodle has killed a whole litter of opossums.”

I felt worse. I had named the mother opossum Penny; we loved seeing her offspring each spring.

“Is this why she hasn’t been allowed to have breakfast with you?” I asked.

Lamar nodded.
“I love her, but it is hard to love on her knowing she is a killer.”

As he said that, the little assassin plopped her head in my lap and pawed at me to pet her.

“No, Doodle,” I said. “I can’t. I am so disappointed in you right now.”

A few nights later, I heard something on the back deck.

It was Fiona, the baby opossum that had almost came to me one morning.

She had pink little ears and a cute little black nose. She was adorable, and my goal was to hand feed her this year. She often would get in the corner of the deck and watch me feed my cats in the early hours of daylight.

“Fiona is still here!” I exclaimed, grabbing the bag of cat food to give her some kibble.

She hid as I filled the bowls, peering between the wood slats on the deck to watch me.

“I am so sorry for your littermates,” I told her. “Doodle doesn’t come out here, so you are safe here.”

But, the little opossum didn’t stay on the back deck and eventually got on the front porch.

I cried, angry, sorrowful cried. I loved that little marsupial.

I couldn’t look at Doodle for days. Weeks actually.

I wouldn’t even let her curl up by my feet at night, telling her it was a cuddle-free zone.

I was hurt beyond hurt with her.

How could she kill something that didn’t pose even the remotest threat to her?

“Have you loved on Doodle yet?” Mama asked me.

“No,” I said. I even refused to kiss the little spot on her head that she insisted I kiss each morning.

“Are you going to forgive her?”

I wasn’t sure. My heart was so saddened by her actions.

I was so disappointed in her. This is the dog that has head butted her own shadow once because she is so goofy. Why would she kill an innocent little animal and one I loved?

“She didn’t know any better,” Lamar said softly one evening as she climbed up in his lap and put her head on his shoulder. “She thought she was doing a good thing. She didn’t know we loved the opossums.”

I don’t think it would have mattered if she knew we loved them or not, and I said so.

“What does matter though, is that we love her and she’s ours,” Lamar said. “We may not like what she did, but we love her and that means we have to forgive her.”

Love and forgiveness do go hand in hand. Even, or maybe especially, when we don’t like the actions.

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Boo-Anne’s Betrayal (6/29/2016)

Doodle, a.k.a Boo-Anne, had been betrayed.

By the very man she loved more than a Milk Bone itself: Lamar.

The chunky little red dog was curled up on the couch, taking her post-dinner, pre-bedtime nap one evening when Lamar decided it was time for a bath.

She had artfully dodged bath time previously, ducking behind the couch or my chair anytime she saw Lamar.

He had warned her she was going to get a bath this time.

The little pibble mix stuck her chin up defiantly as if to say, “No, sir!”

She had outsmarted him and ducked to safety enough times to feel confident she was in the clear.

But alas, she was not.

Just when she thought because of the time that she was safe, she hopped up on the couch for her nap.

Lamar saw her reposed position – head on the arm of the couch, eyes closed in blissful slumber, and her belly slightly exposed in case anyone just had to pet it – and went in for the grab. He scooped her up in his arms like a baby.

“Get the bathroom door, Cole,” he instructed.

Cole ran to get the door, shocked his daddy would betray his baby girl this way.

The look on her face was priceless. At first, she may have briefly thought Lamar was going to cradle her like he did when she was a mere little puppy, holding her against his chest as he sang to her.

That look gave away to shock and horror as she realized he was walking towards the bathroom and she knew what that meant.

“Close the door, and do not, under any circumstances, open it until I tell you to,” Lamar told Cole.

Unlike the German Shepherd who nearly takes the wall down, Doodle just took her bath with great shame.

When done, she shot out of the bathroom like a pinball, running through the house, hitting one hiding place after another before settling on her spot behind my chair.

“Boo-Anne, did he not dry you off?” I asked her. “I have a towel….”

Big brown eyes peeked from behind the chair cautiously. She glanced right, then left before scurrying towards me.

I swaddled her in the towel and rubbed her somewhat dry.

When Lamar walked in, she ran back to behind my chair, going to the side between the arm and the shelves to look at him.

“I can’t believe you betrayed Boo-Boo that way,” I said.

Boo-Boo, Boo-Anne, Doodle—that dog was a true Southern belle because none of those were her given name of Angel.

“She needed a bath; she got out of them last time and she just thought she was going to get out of this one.”

She may have, but she didn’t expect to be so abruptly snatched from her nap to be chunky dumped in the tub.

“She will get over it in a few days. She loves me.”

I wasn’t so sure. Doodle could hold a grudge.

It didn’t take a day. Hours later, the pudgy pup was curled up beside him on the couch.

She may have forgiven but she didn’t forget.

When she saw him with the bottle of all-natural flea spray, she ducked behind the couch.

“I forgot to put conditioner on her but I want to make sure it’s not a flea,” was Lamar’s explanation while I watched him try to coax her out from behind the couch.

Boo-Anne peeked out before burrowing further behind her barricade.

It took a few days but he was finally able to spray her, sending her behind my chair for safety.

This time she put her little head up on my arm rest as if to ask, “Why do you let him do this to me?”

“Doodle needs her nails trimmed,” Lamar said. “I’ve got the clippers by the door. I need to grab her and take her out on the porch to trim them.”

“All you do is betray her, you know. She’s gonna get to where she doesn’t trust you anymore.”

“She trusts me fine,” Lamar said. “She knows I am taking care of her.”

Maybe she did.

And maybe the little weeble-wobbling dog also felt like her puppy rights were being violated and her trust was being equivocally betrayed.

Lamar even tossed the spray to Cole one evening for him to chase her into her hiding spot to spray her.

“She’s going to get you back,” I warned. “Payback is going to be bad, I’m afraid.”

Lamar didn’t think so. He was confident of the little dog’s love and loyalty.

As we returned home from church one evening, Lamar went into the bedroom to change and found Boo-Anne’s payback waiting for him.

“I told you she was going to get you back,” was all I said.

A woman scorned is one thing; a Boo-Boo betrayed is another.

Dog Envy (12/10/2014)

I admit, I make a big fuss over these pups. These sassy, spoiled girls are pretty special to me and I do tend to love on them constantly.

I don’t have a favorite – I love them all the same.

Really, I do.

But Cole will tell you Angel Doodle, the curvy pit-mix, is my baby girl.

I was on the phone one night with Mama, telling her the Doodle’s latest escapades. She is quite the mischievous little whosa, getting into quite the pickles and jams but getting off scot free due to her adorableness.

How can you not adore a little weeble-wobble who wakes you in the morning, putting one paw on your shoulder while she pushes her head into your other for an embrace? It’s preciousness!

She still thinks she is the teeny tiny puppy I brought home from Walmart last spring and tries to get up on my lap. As a puppy, I could position my laptop to one side, her in a corner and she would sleep for hours. Now, that arrangement is not working so well.

And said laptop is looking worse for wear. Three buttons are missing, thanks to the Doodle.

Not entirely her fault. She was playing with Pumpkin and the Border collie got a wee bit too rough for her.

Of course, if you raise your voice at the Doodle, she will hide behind the couch and cry.

But she jumped up on my lap and took off two buttons one night, another the next.

I was telling Mama how the Doodle’s newest theme song is “All About That Bass.”

Yes, she has a theme song….and yes, I sing it to her.

As Mama and I laughed about the goings on of my girls, particularly the pit-mix, Cole glared at me over his laptop.

“She can do no wrong!” he exclaimed.

“Who?”

“The Doodle,” he said, sounding disgusted. “If I tore three buttons off your laptop, you would be mad, but Doodle does it and it’s ‘oh, heeheee, bless it, she was scared!'”

“That’s not true,” I said.

“Yes, it is. You are always loving on the Doodle, kissing the Doodle -”

“That little spot between her eyes just begs to be kissed,” was my defense.

It does. Really. If you saw her, you’d want to kiss it too.

And she loves it – she pushes her little head in to get more kisses.

“You call Nennie to tell her the Doodle News. It’s ridiculous.”

Where did this come from? The Doodle was actually curled up next to the child on the couch, sleeping good and looking oh, so adorable. She had even been able to win over Lamar, who had proclaimed one night if the German shepherd couldn’t get on the bed, she wasn’t either. We found her later, asleep with her head on his stomach.

“What?” he said defensively. “She’s just a baby.”

“He’s jealous of the Doodle,” Mama said on the phone. “You’re not paying enough attention to him!”

That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. The president gets less attention than this child.

“Mama, he gets plenty of attention. Trust me.”

“No, I don’t!” Cole cried. He woke the Doodle from her pre-bedtime nap. Sensing his agitation, she licked his face, pawing at him to say everything was OK.

“Cole! You get plenty of attention! If you got more, I’d have to hire someone to come here!” I exclaimed. “I hate to say this, but I think you are being a tad bit silly.”

He dropped those lashes and said ruefully, “Said the woman who was jealous of a cat.”

“What?” Mama asked on the other end. It’s hard having a discussion – one in person, one on the phone. And now Doodle was needing to be cuddled; her nap was cut short. It was 8 p.m. – bed time would be soon. Who was going to soothe her?

“Who was jealous of a cat?” I asked.

“You.”

“Who?” Mama said. “You haven’t had a cat in years. Is he jealous of Kate?”

Kate is my uncle’s million dollar cat. She is fierce, wild and rules the western corridor of Walton County from her perch in my grandmother’s closet.

“I believe he’s referring to me,” I said.

“Why were you jealous of a cat? Oh….wait a second. He means my Bennie, doesn’t he?” she said.

Yes, he meant her Bennie. Her Bennie, who was, I will admit, a beautiful, sweet heart of a cat. All black and white fluffy fur, she would mold to you when you hugged her. Unlike other cats, Bennie wasn’t aloof but quite the hostess, entering a room, tail high to greet company when they arrived.

When I had returned from my honeymoon with the ex, we went to see Mama at her post-retirement, trying not be bored to death, job at Walmart. Mama called a co-worker over, saying: “I want you to meet my baby.”

The woman looked at me confused.

“Jean, I thought Bennie was a cat?”

I promptly shrugged Mama’s arm off my shoulders.

“Your baby is a cat? You talk about your cat more than you do me? You love that cat – more than you do me!”

Mama looked at me straight faced and said: “Well, Bennie’s not going to ever up and marry and leave me, now is she?”

I didn’t mean to do it. But I had been making a big fuss over the Doodle – her firsts, her puppy cuteness.

“She’s almost two and weighs more than I do. She’s not a puppy anymore!” Cole will say.

Maybe not. But I was making him feel like she was more important than him and that was not right and not true.

And if anyone knew how wrong that was, it was me.

Living up to a cat was tough enough, I shouldn’t expect my own child to live up to a Doodle.

http://www.dawsonnews.com/section/30/article/15842/