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Sunday, December 16, 2007

One Foot-Long to Go

What is that?” Bill was incredulous. He lifted a tiny ear and held out a tail the size of a Q-Tip.
“It’s a puppy. Her mama was a purebred Dachshund.” I stroked her velvet muzzle.
“What was her Daddy? A Slinky?”
Bill thinks he's the class clown of the animal world. In reality he wouldn't take first place in a school of fish.
Longer than she was tall, when Lucy arrived at our house she had approximately the height to ground ratio of a caterpillar on Cocoon Eve. I wanted a charming house dog, a pleasant companion, an unconditional friend for my son. I got a sponge with legs. How was I to know that tiny package was full of dog concentrate? Just add water. Clean up water. Repeat.
“Looks like something Dr. Seuss would draw,” Bill snorted.
Lucy's rear feet are small and dainty. Way up in front of an impressive cargo section, her front feet are webbed with long hairy fingers. One foot points forward, the other at angle reminiscent of a starlet showing off new shoes on the red carpet. Paris could take some style tips from this girl.
Lucy’s shorter and heftier than most Dachshunds, but longer and more streamlined than other dogs. Sort of like a sausage on steroids. She's not a big fan of physical activity unless there is a reward involving sauteed chicken or Kung Pao beef. Sometimes when the weather is bad, i.e. not 68 degrees Farenheit with a northwesterly breeze at 5-7 knots, I scoop her over my shoulder for a stroll down the driveway, alert at all times for predators in the form of butterflies, ladybugs, and low-flying gnats.
Lucy considers playing fetch something in the realm of performing a personal favor. She will consent to go and retrieve the ball if you insist, but thinks it unwise to return it to you since you proved irresponsible from the beginning. She will race back to within a few feet of the waiting tosser and collapse with great exhaustion, holding the ball like a prize between her paws and regarding you with a wise look to see if you have learned to maintain control of your possessions.
She holds similar views concerning other inexplicable demands. She sits when asked politely, but expects compensation for it and doesn’t like to be ordered around just for fun. She’s never seen the point of being asked to “Stay,” her opinion being that if you want her out of the way for an extended length of time, she would rather go nap on your pillow which solves the problem of entanglement for both parties.
She is picky in regards to diet, limiting herself to whatever any of us happen to be eating at the time. She is not prejudiced toward the food of any nationality and consumes fajitas or stir fry with the same gusto as burgers and French fries. Through trial and error, the children have discovered that Lucy also enjoys many vegetables, including fresh corn and potatoes, as well as seasonal fresh fruits such as blackberries (although she doesn’t care for the seeds between her teeth). She prefers ice cream for dessert, but will accept Jell-O, especially if Cool Whip is involved.
Bill has long since given up shaking his head at Lucy’s privileged life. He no longer spouts sarcastic remarks when he finds her curled up in the covers on our bed or waiting expectantly for a ride in the front seat of the car.
“But if she wants something from the drive through,” he growled as we pulled into the restaurant parking lot. “She can order it herself.”


Melanie Hooyenga said...

That is so cute - you make me miss my dog!

Anonymous said...

I have a tiny dog too, and house-breaking small dogs can be tiresome. I tried everything with my Yorkie, but the only thing that ended up working was to keep him on a leash inside at all times for about 4 weeks. He had to shadow me all day, everyday. It got old quick, but it immediately broke the cycle of his peeing in the house.

We've not had a single problem since removing the leash again.

Good luck with your sweetie. She sounds just adorable.

Kate Boddie said...

My dog's spoiled but I vehemently REFUSE to feed him people food. I made the mistake of doing that to my first MinPin adn I ended up with a football with legs. To get her to lose the weight was like detoxing a heroin addict. So now he just has more toys than a prissy toddler. And he's the exact opposite of your dog. Don't play with him or pay him any attention and he'll pee on the bed as a sort of "eff you, this'll teach you." And his metabolism is so fast I could probably feed him a whole cow and he wouldn't gain any weight.

Carolyn Erickson said...

My dd thinks she wants a chihuahah. I don't even know how to spell it. I firmly refuse to have a breed I can't spell.

Then again, shi-tzus are cute.

Karen Fisher-Alaniz said...

You've been tagged...or not...if you want to just ignore this, go right ahead. I would if I were you. But if you want to spend hours trying to find someone who won't be ticked that you tagged them, then do it. If not don't...I'm so sorry I started this. Ha. ~Karen

Unknown said...

It doesn't take long for dogs to learn how to manipulate us--and we think we're training them. My five-month black lab girl knows just when to turn that 'Puss-in-Boots-big-eyes' act on me; usually, it's just after I've found some essential household object shredded.