In the big Blue dropoff of 2009, I got to see my parents interact with Blue for the first time since they've "owned" him for longer than a week. I mean, I've been getting random phone calls that go something like, "I'm worried - it's raining and Blue is afraid of the rain. How will he go to the bathroom?!" or "His nails are so long? How do I cut them? Do I just use nail cutters?" or (my favorite) "This dog FARTS! You didn't tell me that he would FART!!" So I knew that the adjustment was going well and Blue was well on his way to being spoiled. I just didn't get a chance to see it firsthand.
When I came home to find my parents waiting for me and Blue's crate was sitting on my porch ready to be moved in, I wasn't surprised. It makes sense to bring his crate for the week he would be here. What surprised me was the twenty-five pounds of dog food, dog treats, blankets and leash that also accompanied him. Um, they DO know that I already have one dog, right? And thus all the tools to be able to take care of two dogs? In fact, it wasn't very long ago that I used to HAVE two dogs.
Well, they wanted to bring "his" things. Hmmmm. Casey's things are apparently not acceptable. Hmmmmm.....
And then (AND THEN!) we were moving everything in, and my mother says to me, "Watch this." I obediently watch. She then proceeds to say, "Blue! Sit!"
Blue, of course, sat.
Following this, a series of high pitched words in BABY TALK (the likes of which I have never heard come out of my mother's mouth ever before in my life (ever!)) erupted from my mom, "Ohyouaresuchagoodboy! Youarestartingtobemydoggie, aren'tyou? Aren't you?? YouareSOGOOD!" All this was done while she was squeezing his head in a sort of hug that Blue didn't even TRY to wiggle away from.
I couldn't have been more surprised if she had taken out a gun and shot him. Seriously. More disgusted, maybe....horrified....but not more surprised. I mean, what just happened??
By the time my vision cleared and I was certain that I was not going to faint, it was too late to delicately ask if Blue was still considered my dad's dog.
As the evening progressed, I heard stories of how Blue is starting to bark at strangers who come to the house (a sign that he's accepting the house as "his" house) and how he puts his "big heavy" head on my mom's lap. Which she used to complain about. Until she realized that the farts are in dad's direction. Then we came to the subject of clipping his nails.
As I explained to my mom, Blue's nails are clear, so clipping them is fairly simple. You can easily see where the quick begins (where you don't want to cut because he will bleed) and just need to cut off the tips. She first cringed at the possibility of making Blue bleed, but I did my best to get her to see how easy it was to avoid. The problems began when she realized that getting his nails trimmed wasn't his favorite thing to do (he doesn't fight it, exactly....more just moves his paws out of my reach) So she made me stop. No putting Blue under any stress. If Blue doesn't like it, apparently Blue doesn't have to go through it. (Which means I'll be trimming his nails in secret apparently.)
I was seriously floored by these revelations. I mean, Blue's a great dog, don't get me wrong. He's loving and easy, and relaxed and endearing.... I just didn't realize that my lifelong "cat person" mother would be so easily taken in.
On Mother's Day, I called my mother to sing and let her know that I was thinking about her. She told me what they had planned for the day, and then asked "How's my baby?"
"Oh, I'm fine mom. I've got a whole Sunday stetching out before me with no plans..."
"No, no. I meant Blue."
"Erm, of course you did. He's fine."
"Is he? Because earlier I heard him barking at Casey. Is she stealing his bone again?"
"We're fine mom. We're all going to walk to Broadripple later today to visit the boy at work. It should be fun."
"Good. Give him a kiss for me."
"Um, okay. I love you too!"
I have this sneaking suspicion that my brother has been bumped from the position of "favorite child.*" I just can't believe I didn't see this coming. Not one little iota. I mean, there was baby talk. BABY TALK! I don't think my mother even uses baby talk on BABIES!!
*Which he SHOULD since he had to call his big sister to get his mother's cell phone number in order to call for Mother's Day. How did I get second place again?!