Izzy has never been what I would consider an intelligent dog. She will never be a dog that can be trained to perform stunts in movies. she will never guide the blind or help hunt down criminals for the police. She will never sit on a firetruck, as she would probably fall off and die. She’s cute, but dumb. She enjoys the simple things in life. Food, nice walks and toys with squeakers inserted into them.
If you are a dog owner, you know that squeaky toys always seem a lot better in principle than they are in reality. In the store, they seem like the cutest and most fun, yet when you get them home, all of that goes out the window. Suddenly you realize that your dog is going to spend the next chunk of infinity chomping at that toy and making it squeak until at long last your hair falls out, a nerve in your brain explodes and you take the toy back, only to be met with the saddest puppy face of all time. Ultimately, you give in to your fate and give the toy back, accepting that you are just destined to be unhappy.
Izzy has an odd way of losing her toys. Often times, I will find a rogue ball or a lonely hedgehog hiding behind the television or couch so it should have come as no surprise when her squeakiest of toys found itself under the rug in our living room.
At first, she didn’t know it was there. No one did. Not even me. It may have laid there in waiting for weeks or even months, like a monster under a bridge, just waiting for the right moment to strike.
It began with a simple ill placed footstep.
Izzy suddenly jumped to attention, every fiber of her being knowing that a toy which once had been lost, now had been found. It was her Amazing Grace.
She went to work sniffing out the area where she had heard the noise. Granted, a good parent would have uncovered the toy and let her have at it but as a dog owner, you find that at a certain point, the over saturation of squeaky toys eventually breaks you. You become something darker, something sinister, something inhuman. I stepped on the toy again.
She spun around in a circle, her little mind trying to understand how a sound she knew could be happening without the source she knew it from.
She jumped, spotting the rug and identifying it as the source.
She went to work digging at the carpet. Izzy soon discovered that she could make the squeaking noise by stepping on a particular spot on the carpet. In her tiny puppy brain, the plot had thickened. She was John Locke and this was her hatch.
This should have annoyed me but I was too overcome with the giddy joy that is watching an animal try in cruel futility to get something that is just out of reach. She dug at the carpet and rolled on the carpet and whined at the carpet (Maybe it would give up the toy if asked nicely.) She glared at the carpet and sat on the carpet and chewed at it.
As I watched, though, the hilarity of the moment began to subside and I started to see something in Izzy. I saw myself. I saw me trying to start my first comic when others told me I couldn’t. I saw me trying to make a blog when I already had way too much to do and couldn’t find the time. I saw my life falling apart and I saw me trying to rebuild it even though it seemed impossible.
I became sad.
I was just upset enough that I decided it was time to give up the act and put Izzy out of her misery by getting the toy out for her when a magnificent thing happened. My dog, whom most had written off as dumb, lame or possibly broken in a mental way, pushed her snout under the side of the rug and with one large head flip, the likes of Willow Smith in “I Whip my Hair Back and Forth” she displaced the rug and found her toy.
Nothing is impossible and even when an obstacle stands in our way, we should never give up. People will say we are crazy or beating a dead horse or chasing after a squeak which has no source but in the end, if we prevail, we prove them all wrong. Life might not be about getting the last laugh but it is about succeeding, and getting to say “I told you so” is just icing on an already deliciously slobbered on, perfectly round, delightfully squeaky chew toy.