One day her dog sitter, not yet speaking “Charlee,” left a note: “I think Charlee wants a bath. She sat beside the bathtub all afternoon, barking at me.”
I finally bought red plastic Solo Cups, filled them with bathtub faucet water, and placed them beside each bathtub. “Et voilà!” I thought with satisfaction. (Admittedly, after filling Solo Cups for nearly 10 years now, I often think that was one of my less brilliant problem-solving initiatives.)
Why do I share this anyway? Well, having the privilege of wearing golden handcuffs during much of my career, I have eaten at some notable restaurants over the years. While I appreciate fine food, the Muleshoe, Texas girl in me cannot help but take note of the disdain with which many fine dining establishments sometimes offer water. Yes, water.
“Still, sparkling, or tap?” the server asks, often with an exotic accent and slight grimace before offering the “tap” option to ensure you feel uncivilized (despite being clad in haute couture) should you be pondering “tap” as your choice. Next time I encounter hauteur for not choosing the $12 water, I may just pay a bit of homage to my quirky Charlee and ask, “Got tub?”
Reporter: What’s it like being a celebrity dog?
Charlee: I am photographed a lot more than most dogs.
Reporter: You mean you dislike that? You’re so photogenic!
Charlee: Thanks. It means my mom weighs me a lot. Remember, I lost eight pounds two years ago and have to keep it off. That’s hard when you are a foodie like I am.
Reporter: I see. Well, you have beautiful brown eyes, although I understand they were green recently. Can you explain?
Charlee: Sure. That would be Mac-too, my grandparents’ new Westie puppy. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about him … maybe somewhat jealous, according to the blog post. We’re okay now though. He understands I am still the favorite.
Reporter: Speaking of favorites, I understand from your most recent and quite impressive sonnet that your mother takes you on an adventure everyday. What is your favorite adventure and why?
Charlee: Well, Petco sells ferrets. They live in big glass houses. I love the ferrets, but they get sold quickly. So, a long-term relationship is not possible.
The guinea pigs at both PETsMART and Petco are fun. I get photographed with them a lot. They have glass houses, too.So do the fish.
I think PETsMART is my favorite adventure overall because I get a complimentary treat when I leave.
Reporter: How do you respond to people calling you a spoiled princess?
Charlee: I just matter-of-factly point out their inaccuracy, and explain how I would characterize myself as a “well-behaved” princess. Yes, my mom treats me very well. It’s true. However, she does have rules. I follow the rules.
Reporter: Give me some examples of the rules.
Charlee: That’s easy. I am not allowed to nap on the sofa unless I am on my blanket. I am not allowed junk food of any kind. I have to get my teeth brushed regularly.
Reporter: What’s your sign?
Charlee: My favorite sign is PETsMART. Remember … the complimentary treat?
Reporter, chuckling: No, what’s your Zodiac sign?
Charlee: I don’t know what you mean.
Reporter: Rumor has it that you have a great disposition. Is there anything that irritates you?
Reporter: What or where is the famous “magic window” we have heard about?
Charlee: It’s at In-N-Out Burger. Once a week, my mom drives there to sit in a long line so she can talk to a black box. Once it talks back to her, she drives forward behind other cars until she gets to the first of two windows. She pays at the first window. Then, we sit with other cars and watch people prepare delicious food behind a huge glass window. Finally, we pull up to the second window. That’s the magic window. The teenager at the magic window hands mom a protein-style double meat, and my mouth waters. My mom always laughs and says, “Pavlov,” as she gives me a bite. It’s magical.
Reporter: How did you prepare for this interview?
Charlee: My mom prepped me. She does this for a living and is very good at it. She gave me a bath.
Reporter: What made you consent to an interview on M&A Monday?
Charlee: From what I hear, the M&A scene has been pretty slow this summer. So, I was not concerned about the timing.
Reporter: Well, I’m so glad you took the time today. Thank you for sharing what it’s like to be a dog celebrity. I wish you the best in your blogging.
Charlee: Thank you. It has been my pleasure. I appreciate your interest and that of my readers. I wouldn’t be a celebrity without their support. Until the next blog post …
She spoils me is what some may often say.
PetSmart, Petco, Pet Club and sometimes Lowe’s …
She takes me on adventures everyday,
(and wants to take me flying with “Dog Bose”).
She bathes me weekly and brushes my shedding coat,
Puts cream on my paws and checks my face for stains,
Fastens the pretty pink collar around my throat,
In the ‘Benz we speed to Starbucks drive-thru lane.
An iced venti unsweet’nd green tea for her,
Grande water (and treat she brought) for me,
To the pet store next where cats are adopted and purr.
Lizards, parrots, ferrets and fish we see.
Adventures with my mom are always fun.
But my favorite with her is watching the rising sun.
In the “About” section of this LoveMyDogHateMyElbows blog, you may have read how Charlee loves spa day. It all begins with my simple question to her: “Does Charlee want a bath?” Her whole backend seems to wag as she walks into the bathroom for a soak in the tub. She sits patiently as the tub fills with water. Once the water is just the right temperature and depth, off comes her collar, and in his tub she goes.
Charlee seems to thoroughly enjoy the lavender-infused organic dog shampoo with natural skin and coat conditioners and thick, foamy suds. She tilts her head to one side as I massage the suds around her neck and on her spotted back. She lifts each paw, allowing me to work the suds between her pink and black toes where all sorts of small gravel, flowers, grass and other debris seem to accumulate. Once she is pristine and smelling heavenly, it is time to rinse away the thick suds and enjoy no less than 15 minutes of lying-in-Mommy’s-lap time, snuggled in a cozy towel.
Mmm. Can you just imagine … an organic bath with rich, lavender-scented suds, a 15-minute snuggle, a paw mini-pedi? From my perspective, it’s a dog’s “spa day” dream. (No doubt you have already deduced that “from my perspective” is the key phrase here.)
Today, we skip the blow dry (which is part of our fall/winter regimen) and sit outside to dry naturally in the sunshine. Charlee suns herself for about five minutes before something white and gooey on the pavement in front of our condo catches her eye. Still a bit damp, she decides to check it out.
My reality check for the day: Charlee really is a dog.