In itself this might not seem a blog-worthy event, but ever since Sunny came into our lives, having children over has become a bit of a chancy endeavour.
Mind you, Sunny lurves children.
He loves people very generally.
He adores cats - as prey if they happen to be fleeing, though he's just as likely to see them as especially fluffy and graceful playmates if they sit still long enough.
He's devoted indiscriminately to all canines on the planet. We may encounter an angry mutt - vainly trying to tear through his leash in order to reach Sunny's muzzle and leave an impressive imprint of his fangs - and our poor, misguided lab will start whining and wagging his tail, intent on meeting the angry mutt midway. Accommodating, yes?
Still, children, it's starting to dawn on me, are a category onto themselves for our big and impetuous lab.
So there I am - a half dozen bruises on my legs testament to my dog's motorically limited skills - trying to keep my 72 pound dog from toppling my 5-year-old niece onto her back and slobber all over her face.
To make matters worse our sweet Misses Cuddle and Sprite aren't exactly sanguine about dogs. They do believe that small dogs are kind of sweet, but even there they're wary of closer acquaintance. Sunny is not a small dog. His 24 inch shoulder height puts him pretty much at the perfect height to buss Miss Cuddle's cheek. He knows it and he is willing to take full advantage of that fact.
In any case, after an entire evening of teaching the dog to stop harassing the children and keeping a forcefully affectionate dog from being tragically misunderstood - thus traumatizing the girls for life - we reached some blessed sense of calm and quiet.
Out of nowhere and after finally finding herself at leisure to safely observe the dog, Miss Sprite cocked her head and wrinkled her forehead.
"What's that on Sunny's collar?"
Miss Sprite might be only eight years old, but her eye rolling skills are impressive.
"That stuff on his collar. The pictures?"
"Oh that! That's skulls."
"What? Skulls aren't bad. They're just skulls."
Miss Sprite looks at me skeptically.
"Look, they're even funny skulls. You know, whimsical an all that..."
A long while after the girls left I gave in and had a closer look at the whimsical skulls on Sunny's collar and you know what? Miss Sprite was right. The skulls aren't funny or whimsical, or even ironic. They look rather like evil, leering little deceivers and they do not suit Sunny's character at all...
|having a bit of a cujo moment there|
... or do they?