She really IS Magic!

So I did it. I entered Lila Belle in the "Choose the new ‘Magic’ Old Navy Mascot" contest. At post time, there are 119,325 dogs in the contest. I’m sure she’ll be in the top five (I mean, really, why wouldn’t she? Lila IS, after all, the cutest thing on four legs.) While the judges haven’t yet knocked on my door with the extra-large cardboard check in hand, I’m waiting with bated breath for them to do so. In the meantime, and while you check out her entry below, let’s talk about how great she is.

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Lila is funny. This is the only dog I’ve ever met that is creative in her awakening techniques. You see, if she decides it’s time for you to be up, she is nothing if not persistent. She stands on one side of the bed, barking her tell-tale "WOOF"; if ignored, she goes to the other side and repeats her strategy. Again, if she doesn’t receive her desired response (read: me getting up from my nice warm featherbed to go take her to smell where every dog this side of the Mississippi has lifted her leg), she employs Operation: Steamroller wherein she lays all of her (darling) 25 lbs. on my chest and rolls from head to toe and back again until the only alternative to this torture is to, in fact, do just what she wanted. Featherbeds lose their lustre after being repeatedly steamrolled by an overzealous dog (tail-wagging ensuing).

Lila is smart. She knows the difference between "Duckie" (her favorite Old Navy toy – and no, that’s not just a plug so I’ll have a better shot at winning, it really IS her favorite toy) and "Teddy" and can discriminate between a "toy" and a "bone." She can sit, lay down, and now can even crawl around the room (upon promise of a treat, another entity she knows all too well.) She’s a bit confused on "shake" but from the glint in her eye, I think she knows what I’m asking, but just thinks I’m stupid to be doing so. And – glory behold all things happy and sparkling and wonderous in the world – she has learned "drop it." Already this week this has saved me, say, seven pairs of (overpriced, very lacy) underwear. Good, GOOD dog, Lila Belle.

Lila is friendly. She firmly believes every lap is hers for the taking in reverse Santa Claus fashion, regardless of her 25+ lb frame. She’ll look up at you (while sitting on your PowerBook) with her long, Looooonnnggg eyelashes to convey just how lucky you are to have her in your presence. She may chew a bone (ON you, of course), may want to wipe her sullied-from-wet-Iams mouth all over your new white skirt, but damnit, you are the chosen one for her affection. That’s NOT a cross to bear, it’s a privilage.

So you see, WHY WOULDN’T she be the judges’ choice? She’s cute, funny, smart and friendly! And one of a kind, to boot, as I learned this weekend. Yes, my brilliant, amazing, talented dog performed her deal-breaker while she was staying with her ever-tolerant "Uncle Kevin" as I lazied my days away at the beach. While en route to a winery in Sonoma, Lila Belle added her piece de resistance to her application: oenophile. Yes, my dog was so overcome by the sights and smells of wine country that she found it necessary to JUMP OUT OF THE WINDOW of the moving car (going about 35 mph) just to get herself closer to the nectar of the gods.**

Sigh. Brings a tear to this dog-mama’s eye – my puppy is a wine lover after my own heart.

**NOTE: Thankfully, despite her acrobatics, ingenuity and persistence to get to the vineyard, she wasn’t seriously hurt. As the story goes, the car behind them DID come to a screeching halt while a road-burned Lila trotted off to find the grapes. She’s got a few cuts and scrapes (serves her right, the silly little thing) but alas, I’m not only one PROUD puppy-mama, I’m also a very lucky one. We’ll be leaving the windows open just a crack from now on.

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