Last Sunday, my dear friend Robyn took her six pound Maltese, LuLu, to the Civic Center dog park for a play. They had been there many times and as usual the park had a mix of large and small dogs all scampering around chasing balls and frolicking as owners exchanged friendly conversation.
But in seconds that seemed like an eternity, as Robyn set Lulu down to play, an aggressive brown lab and a golden retriever attacked her, ripping open her neck.
LuLu, their precious 11 year old dog, was gone.
Things happen with dogs. We don’t know what goes on in their heads or what can cause an otherwise well-mannered dog to attack. But what bothers me most about this sad story is that despite LuLu’s bloody collar with Robyn’s contact information still lying on the grass, the owner of the dogs who killer LuLu made no effort to follow them as they ran to get her to a vet, or call, or even have the decency to report to Civic Center officials.
What Robyn fears most is that those dogs will hurt or kill another small dog if the owner continues to take them to dog parks. She doesn’t want anyone to experience the horror of that morning which is haunting her and probably will for some time.
A few months ago, we adopted a 4.5 pound, 10 year old Chihuahua, Charlie. Since then, Charlie has become a constant companion, traveling with us, sitting on my lap as I work, following me wherever I go. She has become my shadow, and in so many ways brings me happiness and joy in her sweet, funny personality and unconditional love. To think of something happening to her like what happened to sweet LuLu is simply inconceivable.
I wrote a little poem about Charlie based on the well-known poem by Robert Fulghum,“All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” I’d like to dedicate it to little LuLu.
All I Really Need to Know I Am Learning from My Dog
Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I am learning from my dog.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the doggie graduate school mountain,
But there in the sweet countenance of my constant companion.
These are the things I am learning:
Share treats whenever someone does something good.
Play, sleep, eat, play some more.
Don’t freak out if someone makes a boo-boo on the carpet.
Put things you don’t want chewed away.
Clean up messes with a smile, the reward is greater than the hassle.
Don’t take things too seriously.
Look genuinely sorry when you do something bad.
Wash up before you go to sleep.
Steamed chicken, rice and carrots are good for you.
Live a balanced life (refer to above).
Learn a new trick and ponder those you have yet to learn.
Squeak and squiggle and chase your tail.
Be frisky everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic, big dogs, distracted people.
Enjoy the wonder, each day is new.
Columnist and Charlie’s foster mom Lynn Selich is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of OCSocialScene.com and co-host of Sunday Brunch with Tom and Lynn on KOCI 101.5FM. Reach her at [email protected].