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In her blog today, the incredible Suzie of Suzie81speaks challenges us, “We want to know from you what love is.”  She really wants an answer. The media is on alert.

So I started thinking about all the people I love: the grumpy Prince Curmudgeonly I married 30+ years ago, four amazing children, the UMAG (Universe’s Most Adorable Grandbaby), friends who would bail me out (or not because they’d be in the next cell over), family, and my dog.

But there’s only one who loves me with a single-minded intensity that eclipses all else—with the possible exception of meal times. And her ball. Being the center of my dog’s universe is heady stuff (even if it’s a canine universe that often smells pretty ripe, regurgitates disgusting things under my dining room chair, and farts a lot).

As I looked over old posts to see if I had any non-canine stories of love, I realized two things. First: Nope. Second: Some of the best parts of any post are often the comments from readers. And that brings me to today’s blog post.

Admit it: you didn’t think I had a thing to write about. Well, actually you’re right. But obviously, that’s never stopped me. Here goes. [Rolls up her sleeves.] Just remember: I’m a professional writer, boys and girls. Do not try this at home. 


Duncan, who owns Elyse

Last year I asked for love stories about pets, and posted several here. The stories were great, but I think the comments were better. One of my favorite exchanges was with Elyse, who blogs at FiftyFourandaHalf. It went like this:

  1. Elyse said:

    Barb, I sent you a picture of Duncan, along with the story of how we ended up with him.

    • barbtaub said:

      Ha! Duncan is gorgeous, but my favorite story is you, the psychotic German Shepherd, and the package deal. [And the heart-shaped beer bowl]

      • Elyse said:

        Did I mention he was an alcoholic? Must have slipped my mind.

        • barbtaub said:

          So were you like his sobriety companion? Or were you right up there tipping bottles with the lushpuppy?

          • Elyse said:

            I blogged about it a long time ago in a post called “For Medicinal Purposes only” — it’s in my favs at the right sidebar on my blog.  But it was not my fault. Really. I blame the vet.

            Elyse said:

  2. Oh wait! I didn’t know your dog is an Aussie! Duncan is an Aussie/Springer spaniel mix! Tell me, will he ever stop nipping?

    • barbtaub said

      Aussies are incredibly oral. At first I would buy chew toys, but it was breaking us. Toys the pet store assured us would last for months were gone before we got home from the store. Luckily, milk came in plastic bottles in the States, and my kids drank a lot of milk, so we would throw a few pieces of food into a bottle and let her at it. But the best thing we found were the antlers. She could chew one of them for days before it was gone.

      Luckily, before the local deer resorted to antler-hoarding (which would have severely impacted the home decorating esthetic in Montana),  she turned four, and all of it stopped. She still likes a rawhide bone here and there, but to answer your question: yes, it will stop. But before it does, you’ll feel like you’ve lived every one of those dog years in chew-land.

      • Elysesaid:

        Ahhhhhhhhhh. We have antlers but Duncan prefers my clothing. Esecially the nice stuff. Four years, huh

        • barbtaub said:

          I probably shouldn’t mention about the time we came home from a family event and everybody kicked off their good shoes in the mudroom. Apparently the excitement was too much—the dog ate one shoe of each pair. In under ten minutes, she went through about $400 in shoe leather. My husband just kept muttering about our “free” dog from the shelter…

          Elyse said:

          • Funny, that’s just what MY husband said when Duncan had to be rushed to $1,000 worth of medical care less than 24 hours after we got him. Pishaw. Money can ‘t buy you love, but it covers the damages!

            • barbtaubsaid:

              When our lab was a puppy and we rushed her for the obligatory emergency vet trip, he said the first thing he asks new Lab parents is “Have you counted the TV remotes?” Our remotes were all accounted for but the computer cable (one of those giant old-fashioned ones with the palm-sized ends) was missing. As were my daughter’s glasses. And her barrettes. After the computer-cable-ectomy, the vet asked me if I wanted to see everything he removed. I told him if he even attempted to show it to me, I’d be finding a new vet.

              • Elyse said:

                Yes, i often wonder why i love them so, and then, like just now, i get a surprise french kiss and admit, once again, dogs are gross.

So that’s it, Suzie. Love. Gross, sloppy, smelly, and absolutely unshakable. Unless a total stranger comes by with a tennis ball.

What do YOU think love is? Suzie really wants to know! Please pop over to her blog and join in the blog party with a chance to have your your definition of love read on the radio, plus request your favorite love songs. Don’t miss the party.

UPDATE: I almost forgot to put this in… the idea for this post came from a comment exchange HERE on Bun Karyudo’s hilarious blog.