Sunday, May 31 2009
Pookie jumped straight up in the air! There it was again! It was soft and fluffy It was also the nosiest bit of stuff he had ever met!
Every time he tried to lie down for his usual nap, there it was . . .tickling his toes, pouncing on him from around corners. It even had the nerve to curl right up beside him, just as sweet as you please.
Frankly, he was jealous. He had been king for so long. And now to have to share the attention of HIS family with, of all things, a CAT! Granted it was a mighty little cat, and a mighty cute one, too. But POOKIE's feelings were ruffled by this unexpected addition to the family.
He told himself it was not that he wasn't big enough to share his family with another. It was. . . well, it was a nuisance! It took over his favorite spot by the heat vent. It pushed its way into his dinner plate and helped itself. And every time he wagged his tail, little paws pounced on it! He was getting afraid to wag it. Then how could a little dog talk?
To boot, he had to endure the final insult. This bit of fluff was always waiting when he came in from his daily stroll. So he had to close his eyes real tight and pretend to like it while a little sandpaper tongue washed all the rain or snow off his face. Nobody said what a good dog he was to allow such an invasion of his privacy. All they did was ooh and aah over the "cute" little kitten. It was enough to make a small sausage-type dog run away from home!
As if this wasn't enough to try even the most patient's pup's heart, last night this invader climbed merrily up on Linda's bed and settled down in HIS usual place in "purrful" content.
THAT DID IT! That REALLY did it! He spent a gloomy, restless night in the big chair in the living room. The coziness of the chair did little to comfort his little dog heart.
The next morning the first time the front door opened, out he scooted. Maybe he could find some peace from a small nose poking him and kitten-size paws grabbing his tail. He had to think about this. He really had a situation here. Something had to be done.
He thought about running away. He pictured the worried looks on the faces of the family when he did not answer their calls for supper. He could see Linda peeking in all of his favorite spots, getting more and more anxious . . .maybe even crying a little.
But this would leave the field wide open to the bit of fluff! No. Something else would have to be done . . .and soon!
Happily, he saw Wise Old Dog meandering down the street toward him. Now experience had taught POOKIE that Wise Old Dog always seemed to have a solution for every problem. So he greeted his friend affectionately and got right to the point of his problem.
Wise Old Dog listened with that patient, thoughtful way he has. He was quiet for a moment. His silence made POOKIE a little afraid that maybe he had run across a problem even Wise Old Dog could not solve.
Then Wise Old Dog looked him squarely in the eye and said: "Do you think that your family does not love you anymore?"
POOKIE thought about that for a minute. He admitted that, yes, the thought had crossed his mind. They certainly seemed to pay more attention to the newcomer than to him.
Wise Old Dog looked hard at him; then surprised POOKIE. "Have they asked you to leave? Or talked about giving you away?
POOKIE's heart almost stopped at this horrible thought! But he had to admit, honestly, that no such awful things had ever been suggested.
Again Wise Old Dog kind of shook him up. "Then what are you so steamed up about?"
POOKIE looked at him blankly. Hadn't he heard a word he'd said about the worrisome things this invader was doing? Especially about sleeping in HIS place on Linda's bed!
Wise Old Dog sensed his young friend's confusion, and added: "I mean, Pookie, you live in a big house where there is much love. Surely such a little kitten can't take up all of it. Isn't there room and love enough for both of you? Could you see this little kitten as a friend? As somebody to keep you company when all the family is out? A cozy, warm buddy on a cold night to sleep close to?"
Wise Old Dog looked at POOKIE a lttle sternly. "Maybe your family has not made much fuss over you because you are not being very nice about this. Maybe you show your jealousy and act cross about it. You know ATTITUDE toward something often sets the course it takes --- and the response it brings from others. Whether it becomes a nice thing and helps you. Or whether it becomes something that makes you not very nice to be around."
Wise Old Dog continued. "Do you remember when you were very young and left your mother? You were lonesome at first, weren't you? And you missed your brothers and sister, didn't you?" POOKIE nodded.
"The little kitten is lonesome, too, Pookie, and maybe she crept close to you because she feels sort of lost inside. She's still too young to take care of herself completely. She still needs help in many ways. So the extra care the family gives her is not to be mean to you, it's because she needs it. Just as you did when you first came there as a little puppy. They know you are strong and can take care of yourself. So they do what needs doing for the littlest member of the family." Wise Old Dog smiled at him. "You could be a big help, you know."
POOKIE looked at his friend. He knew Wise Old Dog had a special way of seeing right inside a problem, but at first he resented Wise Old Dog's Words. Still, he tried to be 'big' about it. "What do you mean, Sir? What can I do to help?"
His friend looked at him a minute before answering. He knew something of the struggle going on in Pookies heart, so he answered very gently. "Why you might try going outside with the kitten and making sure no big dogs or cats harm her. You know, Pookie, you are very brave."
POOKIE suddenly FELT very brave.
Wise Old Dog nodded to his young friend. "She needs a protector right now. Most dogs don't stop to think of something as young and helpless. They just smell CAT! --- and away they go! Some of them would hurt her, too, if they caught her. She is used to you. You are her friend, so she is not aware that other dogs may not be friendly. She needs you, Pookie."
The thought of being needed, even by a silly bit of fluff, made POOKIE feel important. As usual, Wise Old Dog had the answer. POOKIE thanked him for his help. Wise Old Dog wagged a smile and went on down the street toward his house.
POOKIE sat on the front porch for a long time, thinking about the things Wise Old Dog had said. He knew in his heart that Wise Old Dog was right. The kitten could be hurt by the big dogs in the neighborhood. There was that grumpy boxer next door who could really be mean. Towser chased cats, squirrels . . .anything he could make run scared.
POOKIE remembered his first meeting with Towser and how his own heart had thudded at the size of the big dog. POOKIE had stood his ground, and now the two were friends. If he set himself up as the kitten's protector, he felt sure Towser would honor this and leave the kitten alone, no matter how tempting she might look bouncing around.
So he made his decision. He would do as Wise Old Dog said. He would change his ATTITUDE. He would make a friend of the kitten instead of seeing her as an invader, something to resent. With this, he WOOFED his signal to be let back in the house.
And do you know, POOKIE did just as he decided to do. He helped the little kitten in so many ways. He guarded her when she was outside. He let her curl up close to him at night, and found he actually enjoyed her soft little body close to him. The purring noise was nice to listen to as he drifted off to sleep. He even got used to the rough little tongue washing.
And you know what? Something wonderful happened. When the family saw his protective and loving ATTITUDE toward "Cuddles," as Linda named her, they oohed and aahed over him. They held him especially close and told him so many times: "What a smart little dog you are. What a good little dog you are."
So you see, Wise Old Dog was right. By changing his ATTITUDE, POOKIE changed the whole situation into one that made everybody happy . . .especially POOKIE!