So, we’ve been on the Foxy Brown channel pretty much 24/7 here in our house. Every morning, I jolt out of bed, remembering the poor girl hasn’t peed all night. I have to withstand a half hour or so of her wild puppy energy, nipping at my ankles, pouncing on my slippers, until Supergirl wakes up and feeds her and takes her outside again. She can barely fit a tennis ball in her mouth, which doesn’t matter because she doesn’t seem to have the instinct for fetching. She’s always looking to be in physical contact with us. When I’m cooking, she’ll lie on my feet and when I move she gets up and lies on my feet again. I find myself stretching and reaching so as not to disturb her sweet little slumber. She’s still little enough to carry around like a baby and man, will I ever rue the day she gets too big to pick up.
I find myself outside with her at times I never used to be outside. Six a.m. when everything is dewey and fresh, I see a whole other breed of people out and about: early morning joggers, ladies doing boot camps in the park, dog people who are not in their pajama bottoms spilling coffee as they walk (note to self: get it together, because people talk to people on the other leash-end of a cute puppy). At night, after dark, I walk with senses awakened. The dark trees whisper and rustle down at the creek, the scent of the cherry blossoms seems to form transparent pink clouds, the houses look inviting and lived in, with glowing windows that signal the winding down of another day.
Doctor Dash has set the DVR to record The Dog Whisperer and I see him channeling Cesar Millan’s white toothed, Jedi mind tricks. Yesterday he was purportedly weeding in the garden, but every time I looked out the window he was using his say-everything-with-a-firm-touch touch on Foxy to keep her from chewing the rebounder net. It cracks me up and reminds me of when Saint James was a baby. We were off-kilter, unsure of ourselves, learning how to do everything. We laughed a lot – probably due to a combination of nerves, the joy of discovery and our own ineptitude. Maybe we’ve been getting a little too savvy, too blasé – like, we’ve got this parenting thing down, mo fos. Tantrums, sleeping, potty training, swimming, reading, manners, moods – BRING IT!
Foxy has got us scrambling again – running to see what she’s up to in the next room before she pees or chews on something. She’s got us potty training again – waiting for poos with baited breath and cheering those little turds like they’re solid gold. She’s got us preening again, like proud peacock parents, we take her around, we show her off, we smile when people gush. She’s got us guessing again – Is she still hungry? Are we giving her enough food? Why does she keep going back to see what’s in her bowl? What did the pediatrician, I mean, vet say, again? Is her nose too wet? Too dry? Is that a tick? Can she see with all that hair in her eyes? What if she goes blind like those fancy chickens?
Time has slowed down. Foxy has forced us to slow down. We pay attention to half hour increments now for potty training. We have to remember to bring things for her when we take her to a soccer game (bags, water, leash, chew toy). We hang around our house more, sitting on the floor in the kitchen or in the backyard watching her romp in the grass and wreak havoc in the garden. It’s hard to blame her for using the tulips as her own personal screen to bust through because, well, for a pup, that’s quite an entrance. And she is Foxy Brown, after all.
It’s nice to go back. It ’s fun to remember what it’s like to welcome a new little being into our lives, to see one another anew, each of us suddenly shifted to a somewhat different position, cast in a slightly new light.