Be Ye Perfect

It’s a good thing we don't have to be perfect to be loved--we’d all be pretty miserable if that were the case. We have a little dog, medium little, not purse size little. He is our family mascot. He is chief greeter and bringer of smiles. He sits on my lap while I write. He is inexpensive; he earns his keep with affection and an extra dose of irresistible cuteness.

He loves us in his wonderful doggy way. And we love him.

But, he’s not perfect.

Nope. He was a wee one when he first came home, about three and a half pounds of apricot fluff.

He latched onto me, settling comfortably right over my mommy heart, and I was in love. First time in my life that I understood that people could fall in love with a dog. We had dogs before, but they weren't ‘mine’; they fell under the care and affection of husband and kids. But Frankie, oh, he is my little boy.

At first, Gene promised to not get too close to this little fellow. He much preferred real dogs, big, that is. My kids were grown and away, so Frankie was my baby replacement, just like all those silly women who carry accessory pups in a purse.

But Frankie had his way with Gene, who tried to be stern and detached to this little mess of a pup who, in his infancy, greeted him each morning with the rising smell of puppy pooh in his crate.

Not his favorite way to start the day.

But, Frankie was smart. He parked himself in a triangle at the feet of Gene’s desk. Before long I would arise to the sight of my husband, who wanted a real dog, being silly and lovey with this tiny little guy who grabbed hold of Gene’s heart as surely as he did mine.

I made excuses for Frankie’s extended period of house breaking. ‘Well, he’s so little that peeing in grass as tall as his little legs must be uncomfortable.’ Not much of an argument, but I do defend my children.

He did grow to be taller than the grass (not much taller) and still I had to make excuses for his less than stellar performance as a house-broken dog. Along the way I gave up and just accepted the situation. He’s four years old now. He’s gotten better, much better. There are many days when we don’t have to pick anything unsavory from the floor or sop up a puddle.

You see, we love him. We love when he peeks out the front window, moving the curtain for better viewing, to howl like a wolf at a passing dog or the noise of lawn mowers. We love that when we return home, whether after twenty minutes or several hours, he’s wagging and jumping with delight at our homecoming. We love that he knows when its time for ‘Daddy’ to come in from work each day and he sits sentry near the front door until ‘Daddy’ comes back from the salt mines. We love that he snuggles with us and is a funny little guy. We love that he’s a fluffy mess in between haircuts.

We love that he’s not perfect.

And that’s just perfect. For us.