“Riley, don’t lick the dog!”
Sadly, that is a true quote and a real frequent incident in this household. If you have read any of my previous rambles you have probably heard me type about Hurley Jayne, my shepherd/lab mix that is more of a baby than a dog. She even wore diapers for a few months during her puppyhood, we even have pictures to prove it. And if you haven’t already figured it out, I am one of those sickening animal lovers. My animals are the sunshine to my mornings, the cream cheese icing on my cupcake, they are just as much my pride and joy as my biological offspring (sometimes even more, but don’t tell my tot that). They have their own personalities, attitudes, preferences, insecurities, flaws and niches. Each and every one of them is an individual. But back to the point.
Hurley, being the lovable, sweet girl that she is, loves to give kisses. Pretty much everyone she comes in contact with has to earn her slobbery seal of approval before fully being accepted into our home. The only thing she might actually like more than kisses is a little person. Perhaps it’s because they are more likely to play with her. Perhaps it’s because they are right at tongue level. And to be very specific, her favorite face to saturate is Riley’s. And Riley’s new way of showing her strong fondness for the pooch is a hug and a lick to the snout. I yell at her to not lick the dog and she tells me, telepathically of course, ” She kissed me first.”. I then respond, verbally, ” You don’t kiss with your tongue, Riley.” I then realize how awkward it is going to be when she grows up and I have to tell her about french kissing. Now that I think about it, I’ll probably just leave that lecture out. She comes back with, again telepathically, ” But Hurley kisses with her tongue.” I then just give in and decide to just start disinfecting the dog’s head.
When we first brought Riley home from the hospital, we were nervous. Not only because I had no idea in hell how to keep a baby alive but because of our older children, the furry ones. We were terrified Maxx, the border collie, would nip at her if she got to close. We were scared Hurley would be too rough and jump on the tiny squeaky toy look-alike. But I was the most afraid of the diva of the house, my feline
dictator companion, Kia. Once we got home everything was completely different from what we expected. Yes, Kia was angry but she didn’t try to kill me in my sleep like I expected. Now, Kia is one of the first to investigate a cry and is the best nurse when the tot gets sick, she won’t leave her side. Yes, Maxx would scream and run away when the threatening, stationary infant got within five feet of him but he has never shown any aggression towards her. You can even catch them cuddling up to one another every so often but of course only when they think no one is looking. And yes, Hurley was idiotically excited but surprising was very gentle and protective of her new squeaky toy. With all the success between the four and two-legged kids, the most successful and rewarding one has to be the one between the kisser and her tot.
THERE’S NO GREATER STORY THAN THAT OF A GIRL AND HER DOG
I think it was from day one, maybe two, that I think Hurley fell in love with Riley. Which kind of baffles me because what could Riley do for Hurley that made the adorable pooch love her so much? She couldn’t play, pet or feed the canine so why the impromptu, unwarranted devotion? I think it was the infants eyes, remember TIP#1. From then on out they were inseparable. Before Riley could even sit up, Hurley would deliver toys to her and plant them in her lap as she sat in her bouncy seat. Riley would then giggle and kick the toy out of her seat, Hurley would chase after it and return the toy to her new-found friend. This would go on for hours until one of them passed out. Then came the cuddling on the couch together. When the infant turned mobile, the game became, what I called, doggy roadkill. They’d chase each other around the house, Riley close on Hurley’s tail with her push buggy. From that to blowing bubbles, watching movies, playing dress up, and getting into trouble. Always together.
TIP #5. If you find your friends’ kids to not be up to par as a playmate;
dogs, cats, guinea pigs and ducks make excellent replacements.
I do advise staying away from the smaller buddies, that almost always ends badly.
They play like sisters and they fight like sisters just the same. When Dad gets home from work, he heads to the bedroom to change and there are his girls, fighting one another to be the first to get to him. I will be in the other room listening to them giggle as they play on the bed, all three of them. Occasionally giving out a fuss if one of them is getting more attention than the other. Hurley knows how to get under Riley’s skin and vice a versa. My favorite is to watch them fight over the godly blankie. Hurley might decide to use it as a pillow, Riley screams and tugs it from under her. Hurley might decide it looks like a good bed, Riley screams and tugs it from under her. Hurley might decide it looks like an excellent toy and take off with it, all hell breaks loose. Riley never really wanting it but will be damned if her canine sister does.
It’s the same thing during meal and snack times. Hurley will never take her eyes off Riley in her highchair, always waiting for something to drop but is also always helping with cleanup. During snack time I often find them both sitting together, one apple slice for Riley, one apple slice for her accomplice.
I always knew Hurley was an exceptional companion and a good family dog but she has exceeded all of my expectations. Sure, having a child has made our family complete (yada yada yada) but Hurley has added even more excitement and gratification to the package. She’s my little Xanax in a world of stress and restlessness. My doggy savior, my Hurley Jayne.
There’s no greater story than that of a girl and her dog.