I forgot to mention how grateful I am for the nieces and nephews in my life.
Right now, five of them are staying with my parents. I've been over to visit a couple of times this week. If I don't bring Buddy, he is the first topic of conversation.
"I left him at home, because I just went running."
"Because I ran ten miles and he can't do that."
"Because he's old."
"Can you go get him?"
So last night, I brought Buddy to a family pizza party, where the two local nephews joined the five out-of-towners to create the annual cacophony of familial joy. Buddy's arrival was heralded by the shouts of seven (well, maybe six, since the baby doesn't care) nieces and nephews. He was, once again, the first topic of conversation.
"Buddy! Buddy's here. And Alex!"
"Buddy! Buddy! Buddy!"
"Did Buddy have a bath?"
"Sit! Buddy! Sit! Sit!"
"Did you bring any treats for Buddy?"
"Can Buddy fly on the airplane?"
"Buddy! Lie down! Play dead! Buddy!"
"Buddy licked me! Why did Buddy lick my leg?"
"Buddy! Stand up! Stand up!"
Did I mention that I'm grateful that Buddy is such a good dog? He doesn't know what all of these children are yelling about (and he only obeys their insistent commands to sit when I'm in the background with a stern look), but he accepts their eager attention with a calm submissive demeanor which endears him to them (and to their parents), even though he obviously doesn't know any tricks.