Ezra loves dogs. And who doesn’t? (His Auntie Jen, that’s who. Also his Grandma.)
“Dog” or “DAH!” was one of his first words, and remains part of his very limited vocabulary. I also taught him what a dog says, “woof, woof, woof, woof” or, in Ezrian, “wuhuhuhuhuhuh.” The down side of this little lesson is that “whuhuhuhuh” has largely replaced “DAH” now, so we’re working on the “proper” name again.
Frequently as we are walking down the street, Ezra will start wuhuhuhuhuh-ing, and I’ll look around and lo and behold, there is a doggie across the way. Or some other animal. Yesterday he barked heartily at a squirrel. I like to think he was trying to scare the little varmint, but I am pretty sure that a squirrel and a dog are all the same to him. (In his defense, we do have a chihuahua that lives two doors down, so things can get confusing.)
We do not have a real dog. We have two as-yet-unnamed dog puppets, and I have several imaginary dogs. At some point in my 20s, I decided that fantasizing about a husband and children was a dangerous activity, since who knew what would happen or what they would or would not be like (nevertheless, I could name more daughters than I will ever be able to give birth to). So, I took to imagining a future with a dog. One is a little chihuahua mix, slightly larger than a real chihuahua, with a big dog attitude. His name is Reepicheep. There’s a medium-large mutt with pointy ears and somewhat shaggy fur who loves to run and hike and is good at leading people out of trouble. His name is Strider. I also have two medium-small dogs, Diggity and Tallis.
For now, we will just keep these dogs imaginary. Some day we may get a dog, perhaps when Ezra becomes a chorister in the St. Paul’s choir, and we have to be home every weekend anyway. (Mag-Nunc, the doggie.)
But for now, I just enjoy other people’s dogs.
I get to enjoy them even more with Ezra. It turns out some Dog People are also Baby People, and they enjoy seeing a baby get excited about their dogs. So we will sidle up to a dog and I will point and say “Ezra, look at the doggie. Dog! See the dog!” And if the Dog People are Baby People, they will tell their dog to sit down and ask Ezra if he wants to pet them.
And Ezra always wants to pet them. Or at least I do.
And this is where I sense Auntie Jen’s heart-rate is going up. I suspect she has taught her son to steer clear of strange dogs. But we march right up to them, pet them, and (are you sitting down, Jen?), let them LICK US IN THE FACE. Ezra got a big face lick on Saturday, the first since he has been old enough to realize what is going on (his very first face-lick came from Marley, his canine cousin, at the tender age of 100-days-old). Ezra was shocked for a second and then started giggling. Yesterday we met two adorable Cavaliers and Ezra put his hands out to be licked, then pulled them back and laughed, then put them out to be licked again. The cuteness factor of baby plus puppy was a little too much. Even the puppy’s human had to get a photo. Unfortunately, we did not really capture that irrepressibly cute combo on film. But you can see how much the adults are enjoying the moment. And the side benefit: yes! I get to pet the doggies too!
Ezra is smiling at another little cavalier puppy off-screen. The pup is being held by her human, who is also taking a photo of Ez.