King Charles is said to have kept 15 of the gentle breed in his bed to keep him warm. We have just one, impossibly cute Cavalier, and he warms our hearts by demanding all the love we can give. Thanks to a slight overbite, the breeder rejected Rocky as a show dog, else he wouldn’t have been ours. We, of course, think he’s perfect in every respect.
This is what a Cavalier does: If you and your husband are sitting at opposite ends of the couch, he takes turns cuddling with each of you. He flops down on your lap like he owns it. He follows you into the bathroom so you never have privacy. He is entranced by sparkly things, like light reflected through your eyeglasses onto the wall, and obsessed by his own shaddow during a sunny midday walk. It’s all part of the breed.
But our Rocky is special. This is what he does: He sticks his little tongue through the gap in his teeth so you see just the pink tip of it protruding. He gives nose bumps on command. He demands to be scratched on the chest, and loves a scratch on the rump. He licks my face when he thinks my nap on the couch should be over, and if I don’t rouse he comes and stands on top of me. He makes a nightly circuit of sleeping places on our bed, and snores to beat the band. A little nudge to my cheek lets me know when he’d like to cuddle under the covers for a while. Sometimes I’ll wake to an in-your-face Cavalier nose and glistening black eyes on my pillow.
Rocky’s signature feature is his luxuriant ears. Thick and fluffy, they need much toweling and brushing to get them dry after a bath. They hang down so low that they mop up whatever sauces are left in the cooking pot you set down for him when he’s “helping” with the dishes. I’m not supposed to share those leftovers with him, and whenever I do I’m busted by telltale stickiness and food smells at the tips of his ears. I've tried tying them back with elastic scrunchies, but he shakes his head and they fly off.
This little soul is the love of our lives, our personal therapy dog. We’re grateful for the twelve or so years he’ll be with us.
|Rocky and Dave at Niagara Falls|