Sunday, January 11, 2009

Understanding George

Sometimes the simplest events remind us to keep focused on the lives we lead.
Sometimes they remind us of what is important in life and sometimes they make us take a deeper look in who and what is in our lives and what it all means to us.

I went to the movies a few days ago to see "Marley & Me". It was a true story about a family that was turned upside down by an out of control but lovable Labrador retriever.
This would turn out to be one of those times that I unwittingly looked at something so different in my life.

George the dog

George, very much like Marley, is a one hundred pound, lovable, goofy Labrador that believes the world around him is all his own.

I am somewhat responsible for George. I was with my friend Gary when we went into a pet store a few years back to buy a new collar for Sheffield, his Labrador. Gary made me promise I wouldn't let him buy another puppy if temptation called.

An hour later we were driving home with one of the cutest, sad eyed puppy I ever saw.

Because of me dropping the ball, I promised to always be there for George and Sheffield and to help out as much as possible.

George the misunderstood

People don't see George for what he really is. They see him as the over sized, in your face, eating machine he sometimes proves to be.

Let's face it, George could down food, along with other things in the past such as pieces of baseball caps, books, pictures, frames that held the pictures, money, paper, chunks of furniture and candles.
Then there are the strange, chewed up objects that sometimes show up in his poop that make you wonder what it was and how in the world it passed through his body.

Unlike George, his "brother" Sheffield is a perfect example of a good dog. Sheffield seems as though he was raised in a old stuffy English manor where he was taught to be a perfect gentleman.
Sheffield is obedient, loyal and down right polite as far as dogs go. Sheffield even acts as an older brother to George. The type of brother that is sure to tattle on his rambunctious little sibling as he runs to Gary with a funny look on his face while trying to bring attention to the fact that George has his head stuck deep into the trash bin nosing around for pre-dinner snacks or as George chews away on yet another precious household idem. This "tattling" approach earned Sheffield the nick name "Sheriff Sheff".

George on the other hand is the total opposite of Sheffield.

People seem to fear George or lose patience with him, especially when they first arrive at Gary's front door.
George believes in greeting people as though they were long lost friends he hasn't seen in years. In a flash George is standing eye to eye with his visitors.
This could be intimidating to some because George stands slightly over five feet tall when on his back legs.
Then his tongue seems to take on a life of it's own. The saucer sized object shoots out of his mouth and attempts to cover as much ground with saliva as possible.

Gary tells me that George sees me as a "toy". He says this because the minute I walk into the house I'm greeted by this galloping one hundred pound, tongue licking over sized puppy who wants nothing more than for me to kick a ball across the yard so he could chase it.

If I don't immediately respond to his request for play time I'm met with a low pitch whine and a stare of desperation.
This has earned me the nick name "daddy fun". A name that both George and Sheffield identify me with.
Gary told me that with the simple statement "daddy fun is coming over" he gets a response of barking and a race to the window to see if I'm pulling into the driveway.

That's a pretty darn good feeling in the wanted and loved department.

I don't agree that George looks at me as a "toy". I think George sees me as someone you gets him. Some one who understands that beneath this giant, fluffy, hyper behemoth is a loving, playful puppy.

"George & Me"

Some have stated they are taken back by George. Some might think he's more trouble than he's worth. Some might think he's way to much to handle and he's out of control.

I would tell anyone who thinks of George in that way or anyone who has a "George" in their life to go see the movie Marley & Me or pick up the book it's based on and read it and I would guarantee they would see George in a whole new light.

Now I won't tell you the out come of Marley & Me but I will tell you that it made me realize that George, like Marley, is love in it's most simple, purest form.

George sees the world as something that is his own. Something he will always be so loyal to. Something he could give 100% of his love to and all he ask for is some love back.

You could see it in his eyes as you walk through Gary's front door. You could see it in the excitement he expresses when you toss him a ball as his tail wags so hard it seems as though he has a motor attached to it. You could see it when a simple pat on the head is enough to brighten his day. You could see it when your sad and he cuddles up to you, resting his head on you with all the care anyone could ever ask for.

George is a true and devoted friend. A friend that will always stand by you and have nothing less than love to give you.

These are the reasons why sometimes, when the George in our lives are acting up we need to step back, take a deep breath and remember who they are and what they really mean to us deep down inside and then I could only hope you'll see why they are the misunderstood.

They say a dog is a man's best friend. I say George is a true and fine example of that saying. I love you George... even though you ate the top of my brand new 30 dollar winter hat I bought in NYC at Christmas time.


Lynn said...

George could pass for my Lab, Luc. I am still embarrassed when people come to my door - actually it starts at the fence. After two six-week obedience sessions and watching hours of the Dog Whisperer, I'm still a failure on the leash and guest arrivals.

He's almost killed me 4-5 times. Read "Marley and Me" when Luc was about 18 months old...I couldn't stop laughing, then crying. :D

I'm beginning to think all Labs are a Marley. Wouldn't trade a moment since we've got him in 2005. George sounds like my kind of dog!

nuclearmango said...

Cute. The movie Marley&Me reminded me how out pets are here to just love us even when we yell at them and want them out of the house (see: angry Jen Aniston scene).

TC said...

See my blog for my own "George" or Marley, his name is Mugsey and there's a pic of him on the first page, laying on the ice because he couldn't stand up. He's ate the irrigation system and lighting system out of the flowerbeds and the pump out of the yardpond. We still love him. Love him even when he jumps onto my tan leather seats in my car when he is totally covered with mud. Just have to accept them!!