They say the dog is the God of Frolic.
If you have ever been a parent of a canine, you already know this is true. Dogs frolic. They play, dance, shimmy, romp and rollick. They tease, joke and prank. They frolic.
Take Amore for instance…..
At a young age, Amore’s sense of frolic made its first appearance. Amore was born to frolic. Her favorite antic was teasing Malcolm. That dog was all about Malcolm.
If Malcolm was prepping to sit down on the couch, Amore would quickly jump into his spot. Refusing to move, rolling over and playing dead. If Malcolm moved to another spot, Amore would follow. When Malcolm finally made it to the couch, Amore was right besides him, playfully pawing his book or newspaper for attention. Malcolm’s job was to scratch and rub her belly, not read.
When Malcolm was ready for bed, Amore would jump up on the mattress to deny access. She would move to where ever Malcolm stood, interfering with his efforts to pull back the covers. She would romp back and forth, keeping Malcolm from crawling into bed, this silly grin on her face as she played her game. Malcolm would dodge to the left, Amore would tag to her right. A swift bluff around the foot of the bed only encouraged her. Pillows were squashed, blankets were pawed into a big mess. Her high jinks were entertaining for me – exasperating for Malcolm. It was a nightly routine until she crashed for the evening.
Loading up in the SUV – another fun prank for Amore. Tailgate down, Malcolm would call for the girls to jump up. Dolce, always the sweetheart, would leap right in and head for her fave spot in the car. Amore would come running flat-out and at the last second circumvent the back-end to run around the vehicle. The chase was on. Every time. And Malcolm encouraged it, allowing extra time when leaving the house so Amore could have her joy. Her frolic. Once in the car, passengers were warned they would be sharing.
Amore had no boundaries. Your lap was her seat. She didn’t step over you, but on you. She didn’t run up to you, she ran you over. Your space was hers. It was never a dominance issue, she just liked to be on top, milking the love and hugs. Where ever you were, she was.
Maddening? Yes. Tiresome? Absolutely. But there was no denying the happiness in her eyes as she played us. The sparkle of fun always shined bright in her eyes. There was no disputing the joviality she showed or the entertainment she provided. Amore was the epitome of frolic.
Amore was that type of dog that just loved life. Why walk when you can run. Why do a slow trot, if speeding through the day is more fun. To Amore, it was all about the fun. Days were just an euphoria of doggy shenanigans and canine frolic. Just shy of being naughty, just on the left side of being spoiled, Amore always ‘got-away’ with it. She was that dog that lit up a room when she ran in to do her drive-by. She had a presence you couldn’t deny. She brought laughter to our hearts. There just wasn’t a serious bone in her, well, unless she was napping.
It’s been enlightening to watch her sense of humor develop over the years. At 9 1/2 years she still loved to tease and taunt Malcolm. Throughout her years, she badgered him, poking her muzzle and then her paw to get a reaction. She knew which buttons to push, which mischievous ploy to pull on him. Then she would curl up along side of him, content to rest her head on his shoulder as Malcolm took a nap.
Last month, Amore unexpectedly passed away. Our little girl, whose life had been so full of fun, so full of frolic, was gone. Her excited bark silenced. Her sparkle dimmed. Her silly grin is now a memory, her pranks are now stories told and retold at dinners. Our hearts hurt. It’s been hard, especially for Malcolm, who had a very special bond with Amore. It’s amazing how tight those paws wrapped around our hearts – we just don’t want to let go. From day one, Amore stole our hearts as she peaked over the whelping pen, ready to take on Malcolm.
We miss her. We miss the jingle of her dog tags as she ran through the house. We miss the pitter-patter of her paws across our brick floors. The rattle of her dog bowl as she licked it clean at chow time. The swish-swhoosh of the dog door flap as she entered and exited the dog pen. We miss her 5:00 a.m. breakfast call, her tail whacking the wall as she came up to the bed to wake us. I even miss the muddy floors she bestowed upon us after a summer rain. God, we miss her. Our Amore.
When we bring pets into our lives, we do so knowing their life span most likely will be shorter than ours. Especially Berners. I consider these past couple of years with Amore and Dolce bonus years for Malcolm and I. Overtime. The 10th inning. Everyday was a joyful gift. Everyday we are thankful for her unconditional love and loyalty. Everyday with her was free baseball.
We buried her in our garden under a juniper bush and beneath the stately branches of a pinon tree. One of her favorite spots to lay when Malcolm was working outside. Her shade in the summer where she could watch the birds. Her lookout point while waiting for her opportunity to cause mischief.
I have no doubt Amore is up in Doggy Heaven frolicking in a green field of clover, stealing treats, creating havoc, and grinning with amusement – happy. She is our God of Frolic. Her smile will live forever in our hearts.