OA: Samantha Stiles Column November 07, 2008

How can you resist a puppy with a hat on?

SAMANTHA STILES/The Daily Sentinel
OLIVE, Samantha Stiles’ pampered dog

Reading stories about dogs that do great things makes me feel one of two emotions.

Weepy or disgruntled.

I have come to the realization that my dog will not do great things.

She will not save kittens from a fire, she will not save me if I’m drowning, and she will not provide comfort for senior citizens or sick children.

It’s just not going to happen.

Cats torment her. I don’t know if she can swim, and even if she could, she’s not big enough to drag me to shore.

She also likes to bark at people for attention, which scares small children (just ask our trick or treaters) and hurts old people’s ears.

Nope, Olive is as regular as dogs come.

At first, I had high expectations for her. I was a naive new pet owner. She was going to be the best most well-trained dog in the world. The envy of all dog owners.

I’ve been to a dog show. Olive couldn’t stand still around that many dogs if her life depended on it, and she surely wouldn’t like being picked up by her butt.

The truth is, we nearly failed obedience school. I’m pretty sure we were next to last. If it hadn’t been for the dog that refused to walk on a leash, we would have left puppy class with our heads down.

I’d run her for a mile, shove her in the car, drive to dog class and she was still the most energetic dog there.

I stopped reading my Ceasar Millan desk calendar. There’s only so many times you can be reminded daily that you are not acting like an alpha dog.

None of that matters, she’s still the best/worst dog in the world.

She’ll wear T-shirts just because I think it’s cute. If you call it a treat, she’ll think it’s a treat even if it’s old green beans. She tolerates ridiculous haircuts and likes to sleep under the covers.

It’s with great pleasure that I read excerpts from “Bad Dogs Have More Fun: Selected Writings on Family,

Animals and Life from The Philadelphia Inquirer” by John Grogan author of “Marley & Me.” Marley, ahhh, the king of all of the best/worst dogs.

As a fellow columnist, I can appreciate the randomness of Grogan’s musings.

I, too, feel like writing about shoes one week and meatloaf the next.

Considering how Mesa County fell in love with “Marley & Me” when it was the 2007 One Book, One Mesa County selection, I was almost surprised to find two copies of the book on the shelf at the library. It was placed, oddly enough, in the poetry section.

You might also be interested to know that the “Marley & Me” movie should hit theaters next month, around Christmas, according to IMDB.com.

The film stars Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. You can watch a trailer for it on YouTube.com.

I’m pretty sure that movie will make me weepy.



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