Thursday, May 13, 2010

Can Sylvia Find A Reality Show That Really Fits?


By Anne Sullivan

“Wake up, lazy dog,” I called to Sylvia as I opened the front door to the promise of a warm sunny day. It was past ten and normally Sylvia would have been scratching on the window several hours ago, demanding her breakfast.
There was no sign of Sylvia and, as usual, no sign of Gordo who was still mourning the arrival of Daylight Savings Time.
“Sylvia!” I yelled and just as I was starting to get worried, a shiny black nose slowly appeared in the doorway of her house followed, equally slowly, by a head. The nose was pointing down, not up.
“Breakfast, Sylvia?” I asked.
“Oh, I don’t know,” she replied in a monotone.
“You sound despondent,” I said. “Is there something the matter?”
”I’m upset, if the truth be told.” She paused before adding, “I hated to fill in my Great Hole To China. It’s like the end of a Big Dream. I’m probably too old to have another Big Dream.”
“One is never too old to follow a Dream,” said the Good Witch of Swingle Canyon otherwise known as me. “Dreams are what keep us going.”
“Maybe, but that trip to China turned out to be a nightmare.”
“But at least you went and got it out of your system,” I said as I sat on the porch bench. “It’s too bad it wasn’t all you hoped it would be. I realize that filling in that hole must have been a lot of work.”
“It was. I’m still tired and I ache all over. But mostly I ache in my heart.”
“That sounds bad. However it’s nice and sunny for once today. Let’s take a walk.” I pointed up the road, now clear of snow. “Maybe that will make you feel better about things.”
“No, it won’t. The real problem is that now I’ll never have a Reality Show.”
“Never say never, my dear Sylvia. With the sole exception that it’s never too late for dreams. Surely there is something else you can do. Maybe you could become a Search and Rescue dog.”
“I couldn’t do that.” Sylvia was plainly close to tears. “I can’t use a GPS. My paws are too big. I can’t read a map and I don’t have a radio. I’m no good to anybody.”
As expected, tears were now in full flood. I knelt down beside her and petted her dusty and shedding fur.
“Don’t cry, Sylvia. You’re good to me and for me. And you’re good to Gordo, too. Who else would teach him manners, what manners he has, anyway.”
After her sobs diminished, Sylvia put her damp head on my knee, almost causing me to lose my balance. When we got that sorted out and were both upright we walked slowly up the road, a path we hadn’t been able to take since early December. Now uncovered from snow, it was pristine in its lack of footprints.
Sylvia said, “I don’t think you understand why I want to be famous and earn lots of money on a Reality Show. It’s because I will be able to become a philanthropist and make hefty donations to Fur & Feathers and APAS Animal Rescues.”
“That’s very noble of you but since digging to China is now out, what other Reality Show do you propose to honor with your presence? I must say, I personally cannot imagine anything more revolting than being on a Reality Show.”
“That’s too bad, boss. You’d be perfect for that new one --- America’s Worst Driver.”
“Thank you very much. The next time you have to go to the Vet’s, you can walk into Socorro.”
“You’ll have to go with me,” she retorted. “Remember, I can’t read a map.”
“Enough of your sass. Let’s see, what else do dogs like to do?”
“Not very saleable, I’d say.”
“We like to chase things. Like rabbits.”
“I think that’s already been done with those greyhound races.”
“I need something different. Something unique. Something I can win.”
“That narrows it down,” I muttered.
“Something to eat.” Sylvia mused on. “I didn’t have any breakfast and right now I’m so hungry I could eat the bumper off a car.”
“I’ll give you a biscuit or two when we get back to the house.”
”That’s it!” Sylvia shouted as the comic strip light bulb appeared over her head. “My Reality Show will be an eating contest. Which dog can consume the most dog biscuits in three minutes? I bet I’ll be a shoe-in. I’ll need to start rehearsing as soon as we get home.”

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