THE DOG’S LIFE HANDBOOK

THE DOG’S LIFE HANDBOOK

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As I write this, I can feel the soft, cool underbelly of the big, older dog snoozing on my feet.
The puppy appears to be asleep except her eyebrows give her away. They signal that she is following my every move. She is plotting another caper and is patiently waiting for me to quit writing, get up, and leave.

“Everything that falls on the floor is MINE!”

That is their credo, their theme song, and the canine unspoken agreement.
If I’d let them get tattoos, that’s what they’d say.
But that statement gives ME a pit in my stomach. It sparks a crusty, old, unkind memory that hits me like a sucker punch.

“Everything that falls on the floor is MINE!”, is a quote is from the cover of a book about dogs.
It’s kinda funny, but it got me to feeling and thinking, which makes me run to start writing. Isn’t it weird how something as innocuous as the title of a dog book can trigger an emotion?

“Everything that falls on the floor is MINE!”
That is a declaration of ownership of…the scraps.
The stuff that is tainted enough that it isn’t fit for public consumption.
It can’t even pass the five-second rule.
Most likely the crap on the floor came off the bottom of someone’s shoe — literally.

“I call it! It’s mine!” That’s fine for Fido, but not for us.

“Everything that falls on the floor is MINE!”
It is the cover page and the first rule in the Dog’s Life Handbook.
Not ours. Our first rule is “Call Your Mother.”

But what about us? How many times have you and I settled for the scraps in life?
From the blouse at Target that is marked down to 99 cents but is missing a button, (which as much as we say we’re going to—we never replace), to accepting pity sex from your ex-boyfriend?

That shitty “bridge” job that was just supposed to get you through the summer?
What happened? It’s five years later, why are you still there?

I’ve been so broke I have lived off scraps. Specifically, days of leftovers salvaged from one meal or my sister’s “doggie bag” from El Toritos. The irony of the name does not escape me.

I drove a piece of shit car that wanted nothing more in its life than to shimmy sideways.

I’ve also settled for the scraps of affection thrown to me in a dying relationship.
I’ve been seated at the table. I’ve enjoyed the love feast. But when I sensed the end, I did not push away and say my goodbyes with dignity. I dove for the scraps.
Ouch. Oh, hi Fido, funny to see you down here.

I have pretty healthy self-esteem, but there have been some glaring lapses.
I wasn’t alone. Gwen Stefani of the band No Doubt had a hit song “Bath Water” during that time.
Part of the chorus being: ‘Cause I still love to wash in your old bath water, Love to think that you couldn’t love another, Share a toothbrush….you’re my kind of man.’  UGH.

At a certain point, I’m gonna say around my mid thirties, I said: no more scraps.
And I meant it.

No more second-hand clothes, no more beat up chairs-full-of-promise fished out of dumpsters. Enough of the stuff left on the curb because it didn’t make the cut at the neighborhood yard sale. Enough of the sloppy seconds from lovers. I was finished being broke, I was done with settling.
I deserved better than that. I deserved the best.
The best love.
The best life.
The best-made plans.

“Everything that falls on the floor is MINE!”
That is my dog’s credo, I’m clear about that now and they can have it.

Tell me, have you ever settled for the scraps?

Carry on,

Xox


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4 Comments
  • Shawn says:

    Your wring is fluent,it seems happening in front of me!Thanks for sharing your thought so beautifully.Keep it up.

  • wishing4peace says:

    Not sure where that graphic came from though. I’m not sure I really deserved THAT?!?

  • wishing4peace says:

    I can make a material analogy. (Yep, I guess I am going to admit that I am still this shallow.) I was discussing diamonds and hand bags with a client. Long gone are the days when a generic bag form Target would suffice me and when a 1 carat stone would suffice her. (I have not quite made to Hermes-level, but I will get there eventually.) However, I am Coach-ed out, I have several Dooney’s and a few other specialty bags in a growing collection. (Not bragging, just sayin.) My client and I decided that we had “graduated” and deserved what we wanted. I’m not a little girl in high school anymore. I work hard and have a good job. If I want something, I deserve it 🙂
    Hugs!

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