Rosa Parks has been in my home longer than either of my other two dogs. Persistent ear infections have left her partially deaf; fatty tumors under both front legs limit her ability to run. She is blind in one eye. Rosa Parks takes it all in stride. She is confidant of her place in this family, and in my heart. And, for what she lacks in any other department, she makes up for it with attitude.
As a dog owner, it’s easy to become accustomed to blind adoration. Dogs are good at that. Rosa Parks, not so much. While the other two dogs gaze at me adoringly, she’s the one to raise a skeptical eyebrow, or offer only a cynical expression. She loves me, but she holds no misconceptions about me. She may honor me my sharing my seat, or sitting in my lap, but she won’t beg for it. She accepts a treat with a snap of her jaws that says, “about time!”
Likewise, Rosa Parks makes no excuses and feels no shame for her own behavior. Though it only takes a solemn, “This is not good, Darla,” to cause my big dog to hang her head in remorse, Rosa Parks feels no such compunction. In fact, if I’m reading her expressions correctly, she’s got a snappy response for every misdeed.
- When she has used the laundry room floor as a bathroom: “Well, you were asleep. You don’t expect me to hold it, do ya?”
- When she snarls and snaps at the veterinarian: “Hey, he was asking for it.”
- When she digs her teeth into my hand: “You should’ve stayed out of the way; I was aiming for the vet.”
- When she refuses to come when called: “I never heard a thing.”
- When she hears the refrigerator door open from three rooms away: “Were you getting something for me? I’m starving!”
When others look at Rosa Parks, they may see a dog that shows some wear. She’s carrying a few extra pounds. She walks a little crookedly, and she has that cloudy eye. In this household, none of that matters a bit. Those of us that live with her can easily tell from her demeanor that Rosa Parks is royalty!