Posted August 22, 2012 09:18 am

Chicken Legs and Sugar Sticks

Last week, I shamelessly divulged that I have several terms of endearment for my three dogs.  Luckily, several of you also use pet names for your dogs, cats, fish, etc.  It feels really good to know that I’m not the only loose goose in the world of pet parenting.  Babying our babies is what we do best, and their pet names prove just how devoted we are to them.


So, is it weird that little Grady has his very own song?  When Grady came into my life, I was on my second round of chemotherapy.  On a good day, I had enough energy to lie still. On a very good day, I had enough energy to lie still while the television was on.  Good natured Grady never pushed the boundaries or tried to force me to play.  He was just there.  And, at that point in my life, just having him near was the very best medicine. 


The song came about when, in our ever present state of rest, I noticed that his skinny little hind legs looked like chicken legs.  “Look at those chicken legs”, I’d say, while tugging on his toes. The forelegs looked like – you guessed it -  “Look at these little sugar sticks”.  And then the song began. 


Grab a hind leg – “Chicken legggggsssss”  then grab a foreleg – “and SUGAR STICKS!!!”  He would squirm with delight and we’d go back and forth between appendages.  “Momma’s gonna’ get those Chicken legggggssss and SUGAR STICKS!!”. 


If a dog could giggle, Grady surely did.  Much like a little kid, he’d jump around and try to get away from me, all the while coming back for more, belly up and feet flying.  I’d pause my singing and hold my hand up in the air.  He’d look at me, then at my hand.  Then back at me, and then at my hand.  The anticipation was almost overwhelming for him.  I’d start singing slowly, “Momma’s gonna’ get those...”, and he would come unglued with pure joy.  “Chicken leeegggggssss and SUGAR STICKS!!”. 


Grady’s delight in our sing song moments healed me.  My pain eased and my mood lightened.  My heart opened.  Recovery began.


Even now, if I’ve had a hard day, I can lay on the floor with him and sing his song.   His tail wags one hundred miles per hour as he throws himself down next to me, belly up and feet flying.  And, as I sing, all of my cares melt away. 


Do you sing to your fur babies?  Come on, you know that you do.  Tell me about it.  Don’t leave me hanging by a chicken leg.  I can’t wait to hear your stories.


Until next week, wag on Augusta!