Friday, June 7, 2013
Retiring the Mutt
Most of you know that Faith the Dog (www.faiththedog.info) is my dog. She is the one that has for the past 10+ years lived under my bed during the day, and she sleeps with me during the night, taking up more than her fair share of the queen-sized bed. The queen-sized bed also happens to be the place where the other dogs in my family find rest at night as well. Most of the time I am sandwiched between the yellow dog and the Dachshund (a rescue) named George that I just happened to stumble across while desperately looking for another dog. Faith is my main mutt. She's the one I've traveled the world with. She's the one I've spent too many hours on the road with, visiting too many airport bathrooms with while dragging both her and my suitcases. She's the dog I sit next to in the airplane, she's the dog I carry over my shoulders while dragging the suitcase and shaking hands with kids and other passersby who are more than happy to watch the show as I try to balance the dog and drag the suitcase through O'Hare or Washington Dulles at rush hour trying to get to the next terminal. Faith is the best dog out there; how many other dogs do you know who would put up with hundreds of kids petting them, screaming and laughing asking questions? How many other dogs do you know who right after these said screaming and laughing petters would be the first to jump in a hospital bed to see another one who wasn't strong enough to leap down to do the petting on the floor? That's my girl. Faith is the one dog I've ever ever owned who if you say "Let's go" is out the door before you can get your keys and it doesn't matter if we're just going to the bank or to an opening of a new pet store; she treats the ride as if we're going to Paris on a big jet-liner and she's going to be served her First Class cookies and cream. (But it's probably because she is hoping for the cookies and cream treatment, just sayin') After ten full years of traveling, visiting, public speaking, and greeting soldiers at bases and airports alike, Faith the Dog is retiring from all public appearances. She has in the past 10 years met with leaders of our nation up to the highest level. She has been kicked off the White House lawn for sticking her nose in the fence to get a better look at a squirrel. She has jumped into the National Reflection Pool, and laid beneath the WWII monuments for a rest. She's scaled the steps of the Thomas Jefferson monument to interrupt a school tour. She has interrupted a funeral as well, and a really cool wedding in King of Prussia one evening as her manager and I were conversing and not paying attention to where she had just wandered off to. She is the constant reminder of what it is like to travel with a toddler. She has the attention span of a 2 year old kid, and she's not afraid to pee in public if she needs to. This has happened...OH..so many times. My favorite was in front of the police in NYC on Broadway where yes, she walked and peed and literally created a little wet pretzel on the sidewalk. We all laughed. Faith has interrupted the Westminster Dog Show, news reports, and she's photo-bombed so many others to mention - YOU may have a photo bomb of my dog running through what would have been your moment in Chicago, the Original Starbucks, the Seattle Space Needle, or perhaps the Grand Canyon, she isn't shy about popping her face into your camera's len's eye. FAITH believes all applause if for her, and she thinks all cameras are aimed at her. It's just a way of life for her, so retirement hasn't really been all that easy. I've taken to taking the dog to the TV stations in Indianapolis and sitting for tea with the hosts just to pretend that she's being covered on one of their shows. They don't mind. She's always welcomed into the green rooms and on stage when no one is actually filming. She's been taken to openings of the new Barkafeller's in Avon, Indiana just so she could be seen hanging out with the really cool people and their dogs. She goes to the store and bank with me. Her thoughts may or may not be changing as we drive less and less to the actual airport, but because Indianapolis airport is open and very dog friendly, I can take her there just for the fun of it. I can afford a couple of dollars for parking to let her run around in her military ACU jacket and see as many soldiers as are available. She just doesn't get to go past security at this point. She's so awesome, security comes to her now. LOL Retiring the most famous and wonderful dog in the world has not been sad really. She and I have discussed if for a couple of years and I think she's good with it. As long as no one forgets her, and everyone loves her, she's good. Now, if you have a Flat Stanley or Flat Chuck that needs to be "seen" with Faith please send it to me (with a self-addressed stamped envelope) and I'll try to get that photo opportunity. I think she's met about 200 so far. Faith is and will forever be, the dog the world loves. The world needs FAITH and I think Faith enjoys knowing that the world is her arena too. She may not be up and at it for long, but her legacy (can I say that? Leg-acy?) will be that she is the most genuine dog out there - - nothing stops her from being a normal dog, not even the greater fame she has accomplished. She is what she is, and that is....FAITH. Thank you Faith for the many years of snuggling and cuddling, lessons, and laughter. It was all very worth it. I love you Yellow Dog.