YOU GOT ME, BABE...
You know our Golden Retriever, Willa. I write about her all time - and talk about her all the time. Everyone in our family does. When one of us is out of town and calls home, the first thing he or she asks is, "How's Willa?" The answer is usually, "She's great! But she misses you...." And she does. "What a lover!" is usually what people say about her, even when they've just met her for the first time - on the street, in the park, wherever. She is. But being a "lover" isn't all that easy. Because the "missing" part goes hand in hand with the "loving" part.
A couple of Saturdays ago, everyone at our house had taken off to play various sports - except for Willa and me. I was sitting at the kitchen table hunched over my computer ("Don't hunch!" Abigail had said as she'd headed out the door...), writing a Monday Morning Motivator, and Willa was at her post by the back door...waiting...waiting for everyone to come back so she could jump on them, lick their faces and "do doggies." "Doing doggies" is a tradiiton. When the person who's been gone returns, he/she plops down on a small step that leads to the breakfast room and Willa (all 83 pounds of her) leaps into their laps, rolls around wildly, snorting and grinning all the while. Of course, the thing about grinning is that it tickles her nose. And a tickled nose makes a person - or a dog - sneeze. But Willa's too happy to care.
This particular Saturday was no different. Willa sat staring out the window of the back door like a sentry: Ears up, at full alert...waiting. After awhile, she gave a big sigh and lay down on the floor - as close to the door as she could get. I could see her from my kitchen chair. "It's okay," I said. "They're coming back, honest." Willa thumped her tail once, acknowledging my futile attempt to console her. I was about to go back to my computer but instead, I got up, walked over to her and said, "Hey, it's okay. Really, it is. You got me, Babe..." I leaned down and rubbed her back for a minute and then I got totally carried away which isn't all that unusual for me, and launched into a sort of bastardized version of "I Got You Babe." "Babe, you got me, Babe, you got me, Babe...Put your little paw in mine, there ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb..." Willa loved it, okay, not as much as "doggies," but at least she put her ears down, "smiled," thumped that gorgeous tail of hers and...gave me her paw. And for a tiny moment she was happy. So was I.
I've been thinking about that small, happy moment and about people whom I'd like to sing that song to - or at least say those words: "You got me,babe.." People I care about who might not know it. People who can count on me and might need to hear it. People who could use a reason to thump their "tails" while they're waiting for their "people to come home" so they can do their version of "doggies." I bet there are people you can think of, too. People whose backs you have, whom you'd go to the mat for, whom you'll be there for... through thick and thin. Maybe now would be a good time to remind them.
So let's just go ahead and tell them, okay? Or sing to them! It's okay if they sneeze...
And listen...you got me, Babe.
Here's some inspiration from Sonny and Cher...
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