Absorbed in the everyday grind of working, housework, bill paying, taxes, etc., it is often hard to conjure up a smile. Therefore, I rely on my Boxers every day to supply me with a few reasons to smile. Boxers are always dependable in this exercise. I am never disappointed. For those who may need an extra incentive to smile, I will share some of my own Boxer smiles with you. Perhaps my smiles will allow you to take note or recall your own Boxer smiles. Let them carry you through the day to day routine called "life".
Early each morning, the alarm rings loudly in my ear. I roll over to turn off the dreadful noise and a gentle face with dark eyes stares into my own half opened eyes. A soft, sensitive muzzle brushes my arm and a warm tongue washes my face. Who can resist such a warm and loving greeting? A good morning smile!
As I rush through the morning routine, feeding and exercising the Boxers, getting dressed, applying makeup, curling my hair and trying to budge the last teenager from his bed, I am always ably assisted by a Boxer or two. Their tactics for raising the dead (a teenager always sleeps the sleep of the dead) induce another smile. This morning it's the youngest of the pack, "Fallon the Felon". I grin as she speeds down the hall ahead of me. She darts into her unsuspecting victim's room and makes a calculated raid on her victim. She launches her body on the human form asleep under his covers and retreats just as quickly. She snatches up and carries off a stolen sock as her trophy. I hear the teenager grumbling to himself about the rude awakening and the stolen piece of wardrobe. He's sure I put Fallon up to her latest crime spree. I smile with satisfaction. He's up. I chuckle to myself, "They never learn do they Boxers, we have our ways." I must admit there are times when I find little amusement in the morning games when they may include a pair of my panty hose or one of my shoes. Then it's the teenager who gets to chuckle to himself.
When the morning routine is done and its time to go, I receive another smile as I behold each boxer standing in their crate. Their heads bob up and down in unison awaiting their special "goodbye treat." Occasionally one lone rebel is reluctant to end the morning's activities. A short chase around the house brings another smile. I realize it's one more Boxer game. A small sign of "independence". Like the teenager and emptying the trash, they will eventually do what is expected but it will be on their own terms and at their own pace.
Now the drive to the office and the day's work will begin. My Boxer smiles will have to last a good part of the day. They invariably do.
One of the best smiles of the day is upon my return home. As my car pulls into the driveway, I can see Boxer faces peering out the front window. Sometimes only one or two are there. The number depends on who is out exercising in the backyard. Regardless of the numbers who greet me, their genuine delight at my return never fails to bring a smile. The absent Boxers bark from the backyard; their barks declare, "Hey, don't forget us"! It's a shame our human loved ones can't greet us with this same tireless enthusiasm! I'm not saying our families don't love us, but when was the last time you saw your kids or your husband cheerfully wagging their behinds, their eyes full of excitement, watching at the window for your return? Our human family takes our return for granted, our dogs never do. Our Boxers are saddened by each departure. Each and every return (be in five minutes, five hours or five days) is truly cause to celebrate.
My evenings bring a never-ending source of smiles, playful antics with toys to share, hugs and praise to be handed out. Regardless of where the activities are, outside or inside as the weather permits, all of them compete for my attention and seems to covet the smiles I give them. Our evenings together go too quickly. I always find myself longing for these hours to linger just a little longer.
A few weeks ago we sat watching the Westminster Kennel Club show on TV. All the Boxers were busy, romping and playing about. Suddenly, just as "Tiggin" appeared on the screen another of our young dogs, "Marty McFly", stopped in his tracks. He sat down in front of the TV and gazed at the screen in awe. He turned back and glanced at me. I'm not sure if he wanted me to realize that there was a Boxer on TV or to simply see if he had made me smile. He did!
Sometimes obedience or conformation training classes are the evening's order of business. On those nights my Boxers provide me not only with smiles but an additional bonus of pride in their beauty or in the performance of their exercises. Even when the training class or exercise doesn't go very well, at least there is the laughter of my peers to sooth my frustration. Ah, Boxers, everyone knows they have minds of their own and they use them for their own purposes. It is trivial to them whether or not those purposes fit our own expectations.
Each evening between 9:30 and 10:00, our Traveler climbs over the side of my easy chair and lays his head on my chest. This is my cue for his special hug and his way of saying "bedtime". The last smiles of the day, like the first, are sweet as each one returns to his or her crate for a bedtime treat and kiss. Sadie, my morning wake up call, awaits her special time as I prepare for bed. As the senior boxer, she will be allowed to cuddle with me on the bed until the "lord and master" makes his entrance. Later I hear Sadie and the master's confrontation. Her hereditary deaf gene activates and it takes several commands for Sadie to acknowledge the master's wishes. Finally she gets off the bed and onto her own quilt. Now the last smile of the day crosses my face as I drift back to sleep.
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