Monday, March 13, 2006

the day he slept at my feet

He came to my door often, this oversized over-exuberant St. Bernard. The exuberance coursed through his body in every drop of excited blood. Tense tendons trembling. The air around him bounced with eagerness. He stood there with ears lifted, eyes alert, toy in his mouth, as though begging to play. His sheer size overwhelmed my doorway. His eager energy filled my house. Yet only an occasional tremble could be seen in his brow. And an underemphasized wag.

I would invite him in and he would respond immediately, moving quickly with each eager step. I was in constant anticipation of the exuberant leap, which would level me and put us nose to nose, licking and slobbering everywhere. Ugh! I feared the moment. I anticipated it every time. I braced myself for it. Yet it never came.

One day, however, I detected the slightest invitation. The Bernard inclined his head to my hand. I scratched his ears and patted his head. He rolled over and I rubbed his belly. I checked his eyes and he was sound asleep, paws hanging in mid-air. The eagerness and energy abated into a restful calm. Eyes closed. Ears fallen. Toy forgotten.


espíritu paz said...

On second thought. I checked the web to see if I picked the right type of dog for my parable. Here's what I found...

So you think you want a St. Bernard
Think twice. Or three times. The Saint requires as much devotion as he gives. His size dictates the need for basic manners training and moderate exercise for big bones and muscles. His good humor can become destructiveness if he does not learn to channel his energy. His coat needs regular grooming, particularly if he is long-coated or if he spends time in fields and woods, and he drools.

I think I got the parable right.

Anonymous said...

Known worldwide as "the dog that rescues people," the St. Bernard is much loved as a gentle family companion, perhaps somewhat clumsy in the confines of a suburban home, but with a big heart and friendly demeanor
They accompanied the monks on trips into the valley, and their ability to sense avalanches often saved the lives of the clerics.
All told, the St. Bernard has saved more than 2000 weary and trapped travelers in the mountain pass that shares its name. The breed is a great tribute to the monks whose duty it was to serve mankind
Saints can be easy to train because they like to please their people, but difficult to train if the owner waits too long or is inconsistent in training methods or commands
But for those willing to spend extra time and money, the dog is well worth the effort.
The complete picture is one of power and endurance; the demeanor is of gentle character and devotion to family.

Yes, too bad he drools.

espíritu paz said...

Ah! Yes! You must love dogs very much. Those certainly are good qualities: loyalty, desire to rescue, pleases people, familial devotion and gentle character. Worth the price of drool I think. I’ve never had and inside dog before though. The thought of it makes me apprehensive. Open farm and wood can easily contain a bounding, happy, eager dog. I’d prefer to give them their freedom. The house seems too small to contain all that energy. And it does seem a shame to put reigns on a free creature. Yet it seems that the in-house dog requires training in manners. This one does seem to have manners.
Thanks for posting.