When Rejection Turns to Affection
Last month, I was inspired to make good on creating a photo wall that has eluded me for well over a decade. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t usually procrastinate and am usually considered the proactive planner. However, it took me that long to get all of my participants in order to see which ones would populate the wall. My brother named this space the “Museum of Lauren.”
During this creative process, I decided to rearrange my framed art that was sporadically hidden in various places throughout my place or due to poor placement, they were camouflaged on any given wall.
I unveiled a gem that was prominently placed in my kitchen, that has since been moved (by special messenger – me) to the “Museum”.
Why am I drawn to a painting of myself and a dog, you ask? I’m a sentimental sap. This is Pazzo. I guess if you consider animals like people, he would be my nephew as he was my brother and sister-in-law’s dog.
When he and I first met in LA, he barked at me and could tell I simply wasn’t into him. He could sense, like those who are close to me, that there are few dogs who “get” me and enter my heart. As time passed, he learned to forgive me for stepping on him on the way to the bathroom and I forgave him for having to take allergy pills to be around him. After a few visits and a couple of years, he stopped barking at me and licked my hand instead. I would giggle and promptly wash my hand.
My mom, the artist, was able to capture the moment of the transformation from rejection to affection in the above painting.
A few years later, my brother and sister-in-law moved to a house with a pool. I soon realized I no longer needed allergy pills to be around Pazzo and he received gifts from me during my visits like mint flavored tennis balls because he certainly needed them.
Pazzo loved to stand guard at the pool and run up and down the sidewalk as we swam and splashed. One summer I was bouncing in my self-made waves on a float and I fell through. Pazzo panicked and all 70 pounds of him jumped into the pool to save me! But, alas, he could not swim!! He literally started to doggy paddle, trying to stay afloat, until I could safely remove him from the pool.
I was worried that he has hurt from the result of his chivalrous behavior and I was also concerned that my sister-in-law would be upset with all of his hair floating in the pool. But she wasn’t. She just petted him and sighed, “Sweet Pazzo“.
A few years ago, age caught up to him and sadly, he was put down. I was grateful for this unexpected bond and shocked how he pulled me in.
I was at that pool, earlier this week. As I splashed around playing with my five and seven-year-old nephew and niece, I couldn’t help but think of Pazzo sliding along the side of the pool, keeping an eye on all of us.