Mood: crushed out
Topic: "Alpha Dog"(7)
The story has been told of Lovey, the border collie who adopted Frodo and Sam and thereby re-defined the role of one "just like a child." She was an adult, and was the dog that should come into the life of everyone. Secured from the local animal shelter, the requirement was that she be spayed, and if there was ever a dog from whom one would want a puppy, well, that should explain itself.
Frodo and Sam made the decision as Lovey gracefully aged that they would adopt a puppy and let Lovey be the surrogate mother, teacher, and counselor. Fiona was but six weeks old, and this "runt of the litter," was everything anticipated, and more. She was so full of energy that she was wearing Lovey down, and the Hobbits quickly determined a need for a playmate. Thus entered Mick, the Wonder Dog, born 15 years ago on Mother's Day. Immediately Lovey sensed that this is he who would replace her, and she warmed quickly to the task at hand. Although Fiona was totally disinterested in being trained to do anything, she was an "alpha" personality, and Mick, the Wonder Dog, accepted his position in rank.
Lovey passed away with the light still in her eyes, and Mick, the Wonder Dog, became Frodo's companion. Fiona and Mick, the Wonder Dog, became fast friends however, and shared in all the adventures of good friends enjoying life with friends and family.
Time is given to us, and when it grows short, it is difficult to appreciate its wonder. The loss of Fiona occurred as Mick, the Wonder Dog, was diagnosed with a stage two cancer. At the same time, Dr. Porsches (the veterinarian who owns two motorcars because of Frodo) felt the need to remove eleven of the teeth of Mick, the Wonder Dog. It was a very trying time for all, but surely thought Frodo, it would be toughest on he who had never spent a single day as an "alpha."
Although Sam remains broken-hearted over the passing of Fiona, there is a determination to not seek out the gifts of the "puppy angel," until such time as the Hobbits are convinced that nothing threaten the role of the "alpha," known as Mick, the Wonder Dog. Amazing it is that he seems to be adjusting a little bit everyday, and uses his time wisely and appropriately.
In days now past Mick, the Wonder Dog, would capture a tennis ball bounced off a brick wall at the apogee and turn 180 degrees in mid-air to land facing Frodo and pacing to return the ball for another toss, and more after that. After his surgery the routine was abandoned, and most physical games were forgotten amid the miasma of sheer ssurvival.
Today, the weather has turned cooler, and the need for Frodo's companion to spend all of his daytime hours on an air-conditioning vent is not required. There was a bit of a spring in his step, as he sought out aromas on the wind and looked for activity in the underbrush. Frodo saw it first, an errant tennis ball, just sitting there, waiting.
Frodo picked up the tennis ball and began to bounce it on the driveway, soon his friend noted the activity, and it was as if a light had been switched on as a canine grin and flashing eyes awakened from slumber. Frodo gently bounced the ball off the wall of the house and Mick, the Wonder Dog, let it bounce twice, and he grabbed it without straining the pull of gravity. He turned to Frodo, and dropped the ball for a repeat of serve. All told, the game probably lasted three or four minutes, but it was two friends, with laughing eyes, making the best use of time available.
Mick, the Wonder Dog, carried the ball in his mouth back into the Shire itself, to show Sam, and to give Sam the honor of bouncing the ball about the kitchen.
He sleeps now, at the foot of the Hobbit, and he listens to the magical clatter of he Hobbit reflecting back on a day that was just plain perfect, both for the Hobbits, and for an alpha dog.