Now most of you who know Babe know that she is the friendly, outgoing, attention-whore sort. But the arrival of the Big Brown Dog nearly three years ago forever changed the level of attention she gets because A) Rufus is an even BIGGER attention whore; B) Rufus is just plain bigger and will thwart her attempts at getting lovies every chance he gets; and C) Rufus is so damn freaking cute (still looks like a puppy, even though he is huge and beefy) and funny (still entertains us daily with the strategically-timed recital of the Super Happy Butt Wriggle Can You Feel My Jungle Heat? Dance, and smart (is currently completing his thesis on Deconstruction of the Suburban Compost Pile).
But let’s be clear: Babe is no freaking slouch either. Pugs were bred hundreds of years ago for the express purpose of being companions to Chinese royalty. When it comes to breeding, she is built for one thing only: to be as adorable and cuddly and charming as caninely possible. But at some point a year or so ago -- could be her older age, or just no longer giving a crap -- she just sort of threw in the towel and let the big guy get the lion’s share of attention and petting and squealing and cooing while she just loped off to her bed for another nap.
So I recently received an invitation to attend an intimate slumber party at my dear friend Milli’s house to check out her pad and sleep out in her little Shangri-La backyard, and that dogs would be welcome. So I packed up my blanket and pillow and Babe’s little leopard print faux fur bed (no, she’s not spoiled) and schlepped over to Milli’s house. Little did I know, I was about to make Babe’s millenium.
First of all, there was only one other dog there to compete with, Milli’s chihuahua mix Chela (aka “Scoops”). And she is WAY smaller than Babe. If Babe were so inclined, she could totally trounce Scoops. But Babe is about the love, so that wasn’t an option. Then, there was this yard full of all sorts of interesting plants and waterfalls and smaller-dog-butt to sniff. That alone is like Disneyland for Babe. She got to poop on a strange lawn -- always a treat. Then there were chicks, a bunch of them, passing out lovies for FREE and lavishing unrestricted praise upon Babealicious like it was freaking Christmas. Then she was given handouts of cauliflower, a new and exotic treat the likes of which had never before been savored! It was a magical evening for a neglected pug.
But the best part came early, very early the next morning whilst we slumbered in the tent, sleeping off the mojitos. Babe was in her bed at my feet (placed as far from earshot as possible to reduce at least some of the decibels from her deafening snoring).
It should be noted here that my dogs have always had their own beds since I don’t believe in having dogs in bed with you. It’s not only confusing for the dog, thinking they are on the same level with you and thus, not buying it when you try to train them, but also rather unsavory when you think of all the dog poo that gets mashed between a dog’s toes when he performs the post-poop hind leg scooting ritual. Yeeaaaah, not for me. I like my bed pristine and dog poop and dog hair-free, thanks. I give them plenty of cuddles and snuggles throughout the day -- they can live without being next to me for eight hours every night.
So there we were in the tent, and as the morning light began to permeate the tent, Babe awoke and realized, holy shit! -- she was in bed with three chicks! Dear lord, what have I done to deserve such unadulterated bliss?!!! This sort of thing only happens in a pug’s wildest dreams!!! She went from one warm snuggly body to the next and was cuddled and pet and cuddled some more, and she squealed and looked around at the scene before her and I swear, the look on her face was something I have never seen before. It was like when a Buddhist master reaches the highest level of enlightenment: This was the Holy Grail of Pug Existence. Where could she possibly go from here? What on earth could ever top this? Then the tent was unzipped and wheeeeee! -- more smelling to be had out in the beautiful yard!
Later that morning as I arrived home, I noticed what a pig sty my own house had become. After being gone for five days last week, then starting back to massage school, I haven’t been home much to clean or pay attention, but the squalor was becoming more unavoidable, and it stood out in sharp contrast after being in Milli’s beautiful, clean zen-like pad overnight. So I did what any girl would do. I put on the soundtrack to Flashdance (amidst Derek’s “Oh Dear Lord” looks) and started to clean my ass off, while Babe, my little party girl, slumbered happily back home in her little bed, having had the time of her portly little life.