This morning I had the great pleasure of taking darling Mina to the veterinarian to get her yearly checkup and shots. After shaking in my arms for five minutes, she got her game back and started strutting around the office, growling at the other dogs and exuding her particularly adorable brand of sass. As she settled onto my lap, and I settled into my book, I noticed a couple with a young dog, talking to him in that human-dog-lover to dog way, that, ok, I'll admit, I do sometimes, too ("Who's a good girl? Who's that cute dog? THAT'S MINA! Who loves Mina? Who's so good?") but I don't really endorse. I mean, in public, for instance, that's annoying. It's ok when you're physically shoving the dog's head up your armpit in order to avoid hysteria while the vet tech's drawing blood and all, but otherwise, shut up.
The couple approached our side of the waiting room with their dog in order to get his weight on the big scale. I then watched in awe as for ten minutes, at least, they attempted coaxing the animal on the thing using only vocal persuasion. "Rex, get on the scale. Mommy's on the scale! Look, Mommy's on the scale! Get on the scale with Mommy! Get on. Look! Treats on the scale, Rex! Mommy's got treats on the scale! Get those treats! Who's a good boy, Rex? Who? Mommy's up here, come up here with Mommy!"
I finally learned that the dog weighed 31.8 pounds, confirming even more securely the fact that he could have easily been picked up and placed gently on the damn thing. Later in the examination room, while Mina clawed her way through my first layer of skin as we waited for a fecal-collecting rod to be shoved up her ass, I thought about taking the dogs up to the bay, and how great that is for them. We let them out of the car and they immediately run to the water. They get wet and dirty. They run off to go on various adventures, but we know they will come back, and what's more, we know the neighbors don't care because their dogs come over to our house, too. Our dogs come back because they're dogs, and they're loyal. We feed them and they love us, and they're not worried at all about being thrown on a scale because they forget that the minute they're back out in the fresh air. All they've got to worry about is the biting flies, and who's going to score the most food when my dad sneakily drops it on the floor in the kitchen while exclaiming, "WHAT? I dropped some cheese and crackers on the floor accidentally, so what?"