Monday, June 28, 2010

Odd Dog Things

You've met Nessa, our dog. Well, okay, if you haven't met Nessa, go back and read this. I'll wait.

Nessa is a good dog, but more than a little neurotic. She's earned it, though ... she came to us from our daughter, who was no longer able to cope with two small children and a hyperactive Chocolate Lab. Not to mention the fact that said Chocolate Lab spent her days trying to escape from our granddaughter Leya, who was - quite literally - loving her to death.

So anyhow, we have this neurotic dog. Here are a few of the odd things she does that we've gotten used to...

She can't go for a walk without taking a toy along. Nessa is famous around the neighborhood for trotting along happily on the leash with one of her Frisbees, her bouncy-ball, or some other toy in her mouth. Both of her Frisbees have large holes in the center to make them easy to pick up, and she often carries them upright in her mouth, so that she can look through the hole to see where she's going. We've grown used to people pointing at us and laughing (Yes, Mike, I'm sure they're laughing at Nessa and not at me).

When the walk is over, she expects to play with the toy she has carried along. However, she expects us to work for the privilege of playing with her...she plays keepaway, expecting us to chase her around until we can get the toy out of her mouth and throw it for her. At least a thousand times.

Nessa is a great watchdog. Not only do we get a loud announcement if someone comes onto our property, but we also know if someone walks past the house, if our neighbors come or go, if a squirrel, bird, stray dog, cat, or other animal dares to enter the yard. She also barks hysterically when we come home. It's nice to know she stands ready to protect us from ourselves.

I can no longer go to the bathroom without Nessa's accompaniment. If I go into the facilities, she follows me in and lies down patiently on the floor until I'm done. At bedtime, when she knows that I'll go into the Little Room first, she automatically goes in and waits patiently at the door for me to come in, whereupon she will do the usual canine turn-around-three-times and then lie on the throw rug to keep an eye on me and make sure I do things correctly.

Nessa always selects a place in the house to lie down from which she can keep an eye on both Agnes and I. If I'm in the study and Agnes is in the bedroom, she'll lie in the hallway halfway between the two doors. If I'm upstairs and Agnes is downstairs, she'll lie right at the top of the stairs. If we're both in the kitchen, she'll lie on the hallway carpet right in front of the kitchen door. And if we're both in the kitchen and eating, she'll curl up directly behind one of our chairs so that we can't get up and leave without her knowing.

She's working very hard on mastering the Chocolate Lab Woe-Is-Me expression. She's just the right size to sit next to us at mealtimes and lay her head on the table so that she can observe us with her big, mournful brown eyes, clearly transmitting the "I'm starving and you don't care" look. She is also a master of sitting at the top of the stairs when we leave the house without her, beaming her "You're leaving me all alone, boo-hoo" look. Should we decide to let her come along, it's best not to be standing in the doorway when we tell her to come, lest we get bowled over by about 80 pounds of rocketing dog.

Neurotic dogs. Every family should have one. Trust me - we'll know if you come by to see.

Have a good day. Approach your tasks doggedly.

More thoughts tomorrow.



Amanda said...

AW! Nessa makes me want to go out and get a dog. But wait...I have two little kids, including one who behaves like a puppy....I think I should wait till their older.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

We have one...he's a little malti-poo. oh the stories I could tell.

Bandit said...

Sounds like Nessa has you trained pretty well.

Mike said...

"I'm sure they're laughing at Nessa and not at me."

And just WHY are you so sure?

Wv: otabl - A Christmas song about a table.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Nessa definately has a distinct personality!

craziequeen said...

Only one thing better than a neurotic dog - a neurotic cat.. only one thing better than a neurotic cat - two neurotic cats!

I adore Charlie and William to death but they definitely have issues, serious issues in Charlie's case......
We wouldn't have them any other way, though!


Anonymous said...

Rudyard Kipling said it best in his poem:
The Power of the Dog

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passsion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart to a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find--it's your own affair--
But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-term loan is as bad as a long--
So why in--Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?
Eminence Grise