His Dog, Henry

The balance of power has tipped in my home. Henry, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, my pampered pet whom I’ve always made sure to treat like the royal descendant that he is, has switched his allegiance. Hook, line and sinker.

My prince of a dog switches allegiance.

It seems the little ingrate has more important interests than me. And why not? I’m just the human who’s been there for him all these years (he’s almost four). I’m the one who has nurtured and supported him through all his incessant barking when friends stop by, or when the UPS truck pulls up to deliver my latest items from Amazon.  And yes, I’m the one who has indulged his sweet tooth and his penchant for tennis balls. Yet now, it seems, I am history. My little prince has moved on.

Henry gets plenty of barking action when visitors stop by or when the UPS truck pulls up with my Amazon delivery.

Ever since my son returned home, Henry is decidedly on Team Josh. Except, of course, if it’s feeding time. Then he’s back to Team Monica, albeit briefly.  The rest of the time, I’m chopped liver.

So much for man’s best friend. So much for unconditional love.  A dog’s loyalty can only go so far, after all. So, it’s buh-bye me and hello, Josh!  Henry has even taken his little doggie steps–that I purchased for him after his knee surgery, to make it easier to climb on my bed–and pushed them over to Josh’s bed. Which is where he hangs out most nights, visiting me only in the morning when his hunger pains kick in.  Sure, he wouldn’t think of waking Josh. But me? I’m a horse of a different color! He knows I’m an early riser, so he pitter-patters into my room in the wee hours, and gives me the old stare-down, the one that says it’s chow time.

The rest of the time it’s all I can do to pry him away from his new pal. Thick as thieves, those two are. And what amazes me most is my son’s sudden willingness to see to Henry’s needs.  Not only has Josh taken to walking Henry, he’s also playing fetch with him, and bathing him, too! When Josh is watching TV, he lies on the sofa with his head resting on Henry.  If Josh is at his computer, Henry is happily snoring nearby, most likely nestled on the floor, in a pile of Josh’s dirty laundry.

When I get home at the end of the workday, Henry gives me a cool stare down. He doesn’t flinch, nor does he wag his tail. He just glares. His cold indifference mocks me. Sigh. I get no respect from that dog.

Then, when Josh gets home, I am eyewitness to the reunion of the century. They’re like twins separated at birth and reunited after 30 years.  The only things missing are fireworks and a high school band belting out, “Happy Days are Here Again.”

Yes, friends, I’ve been rejected by the king himself, which is very cavalier of him, if you ask me. I’ve been pushed aside by my own flesh and blood, too.  And, frankly, seeing the two of them together, well, it’s kind of sweet.