– Bo –
“Come, Bo! Come!” That’s all I used to hear. My parents would enter the room, they’d call me over, and the wagging of my tail would propel me forward. Hugs, scratching, and loving words were poured over me while I sniffed and licked their sweet, salty faces.
Since Baby has come into our lives, I hear “Not now, Bo” from Mom and Dad a lot more often. Even worse, I get a forceful “Go away!” and “Shew!” from guests’ mouths even more frequently. A scratch behind the ears or pat on the belly when I roll over is always welcome. But, they’re usually too busy to wrestle, play tug-o-war, or even fetch lately.
So many people are coming to our territory lately. People I’ve never seen and people I haven’t seen in years. Musky and floral scents are wafting in and out of our home – enough to choke on sometimes. Our couches reek with the aroma of guests even after they’ve left. The only place that still smells of Mom and Dad is our bedroom.
I usually like visitors. Meeting new people and seeing old friends gets me jumping with joy and panting with exhilaration. But, a lot of these guests tend to ignore me, spending their time holding our wriggling Baby, or even just staring at her. Everyone hovers around Baby. But, when I try to join the group, that’s when guests shove my shoulder with a knee or push away my snout with a hand when I try to sniff Baby’s head. She’s mine to guard, and yet Mom and Dad let these strangers push me away from her.
It’s a very confusing time. Enough to make me slump to my corner pillow, head and tail down, hoping my parents will read my body language.
Sometimes Mom and Dad are a bit oblivious.
At the end of the day, when all guests leave and I’m alone with my pack, I can hear Mom and Dad give sighs as they slump in their seats lingering with guests’ scent. Dad rubs Mom’s neck while she feeds suckling Baby. Tensions relax and my tail wags freely.
As I lay on Dad’s feet, I get a whispered, “Hey, buddy,” and scratch on the head. All is right in my world while I snuggle against the warmth of my master’s legs to the tune of Mom’s humming lullaby. The sugary scent of Baby’s hair wafts to my nose, and no one stops me from reaching up to give her a quick kiss.
Tomorrow, our new routine will start all over again – piercing doorbells and knocks at the door will announce more guests entering and leaving piles of shoes in front of our doorway. Mom and Dad will pat my head as they walk off with guests and I trail behind with a drooped tail. And, through the forest of guests legs and arms, I will just spy Baby’s wiggling fingers and toes. As she drools and stares back and forth at the sea of strangers, I’ll catch glimpses of her unsteady gaze staring in my direction.