Leftovers: A Guest Post by Shona Cole
I have had this dog for over 12 years. When we got him from the dog pound he was called Jo Jo. Somehow that name didn’t suit him and we renamed him Joe Man.
He is short and thick with long black hair. Over the years he has elicited comments like ‘oh, he’s so cute’, which in reality is the polite way of saying ‘that dog is weird looking’. He is a cocker spaniel/basset hound mix. And a strange mix it is.
Like a basset hound he barks a whole lot. And like a cocker spaniel he follows me around, craving the company of his people. He is very stubborn - if you open the door for him to go out to pee he will dart under the couch, if you want him to come in for dinner he will avoid the kitchen until you have quit calling! The worst part about Joe is that because he is so low to the ground, he is constantly dirty. I have cleaned many a floor on account of this dog.
But Joe Man is loyal. He has been with me, as I became a mother 5 times over and been a friend to each of my babies. I have been very caught up in being a Mom, an artist, an author and so on that there is often precious little time left for Joe Man (and his sister/playmate Molly).
Oh how wonderfully forgiving he is! No matter how much I have ignored him and yelled at him to move or get those dirty paws outside, he still loves me. He greets me with joy when I return, even if I have just popped out to the store. And he still follows me into the bedroom and sleeps by my bed, every night guarding me and being there for me.
I know this is the same with many dogs the world over. I know I am not saying anything that dog lovers say every day when I say ‘what a marvelous gift dogs are to humans’. Those silly, smelly, expensive animals are a treasure of comfort and security.
At 15 years old I don't know how much longer my Joe Man will be in the world, but I vow that in my effort to experience my life to the fullest I want to enjoy him while I can. I will take the time to pet his head and let him lick my arm, as he likes to. I will pause a second to say ‘hello’ to him before I open the door and demand he go ‘out back pee pee’. I will remember to include him in more of our photoshoots.
Through the fog of motherhood & busyness, I still do love my Joe Man.
Am I alone in this, or do you have a pet that is often forgotten or sidelined due to the busyness of life? Wanna make that commitment to love them a little more this year?
- Shona Cole
,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸-(About The Author)-,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸
In addition to being a mixed media artist and a photographer as well as an artist-on-call for Stampington; Shona Cole is the author ofThe Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide to Fitting Creativity into Your Life. She is currently working on a poetry book and has been published in numerous Stampington publications.