Updated: Jan 30
I have a funny little dog. Most of the funny parts about her that annoy me terribly also remind me of myself. It is a kind of canine psychological transference that is unflattering and unasked for, but nevertheless exists. Her legal doggie paper name is "Minnie", but we prefer to call her "Mini". It sounds exactly the same out of your mouth, but I assure you it is different. she is "Mini" like a mini sized candy bar meant for a Halloween bucket.
Mini is approximately 20 lbs. of muscle and snuggle and fury and with her black brindle and white patches of fur, she looks like she is wearing a mismatched thrift store tuxedo. She is absolutely insane and a mutt of the most spectacular kind. She is part Pitbull and part Jack Russel Terrier. It is a confusing combination of dog, but does point to the notion that God has a sense of humor. With the yap and jitter of the Jack Russel and the meaty little build of the Pit she has just enough jump in her to get at you and just enough muscle to actually succeed.
She is a rescue, but really, aren't we all? She lived a scrappy life on the streets of Mississippi and I like to think that she plays Jazz or Blues music when we are not home. I imagine that she plays the saxophone. She is probably quite good at it, but she never lets on. In this imagined scenario she is always wearing dark black sunglasses. Always.
She lived a scrappy life and that is why she has such food insecurity now. She eats every meal like it is both her first and her last and if you leave the chairs pushed out from the kitchen table she will jump up and devour whatever she can get in her chompers before you figure out that the DOG IS ON THE TABLE.
She traveled in a big truck up from the South and into Pennsylvania with other dogs just like her. Dogs that should have full length animated feature films dedicated to their rough and tumble backstories. she was adopted and adopted again and now she is mine. Well, she isn't so much mine as we belong to each other. I am just a human that coexists with her and has thumbs and can open doors and drive to the grocery store to get her more grain-free dog food. She eats hipster dog food now.
She has a good life after her early years of struggle. Just picture the life of a pampered Rockstar that cut their teeth in honky-tonks and now has platinum records all over their house and a fancy funny bathrobe and a manager that tries desperately to get them out of that bathrobe and into something respectable for a press briefing. That's the life. She is basically a spoiled celebrity now. She recovers from her slumbers by taking naps and then occasionally loses her little doggy brain and barks at the wind in the trees or just like a shadow or something. She is neurotic and jumpy -undoubtedly one of the traits that reminds me of myself. She is startled by sudden movement and absolutely haunted by the robot vacuum. She sleeps all the time and needs sunshine, fresh air, lots of treats and eats her dinner way too fast. I'm talking 32 seconds flat. I timed it once.
So I am a person in her life and she is a dog in my life. We go for walks and I give her treats and she tries to pick a fight with every blessed thing in the neighborhood. she will posture at an 80lb bulldog and she will try her best to intimidate automobiles of every shape and kind. I've even seen her try to take on a big yellow school bus - to no avail.
Yes, she is my doggie and we share our struggles. She barks too much when the delivery people come to the door, but she has been a saving grace in the monotony and quarantine desert of the last year. So, before our walk today, I made a peanut butter sandwich for myself and then tossed her the empty container so she could lick the sides. She pushed that empty Skippy container around the living room with aggressive joy and I had to laugh. We all need to find something to laugh about these days. If you need a laugh please look at the pictures of my dog braving the robot vacuum to delight in her peanut butter glory, being serious in her sweater, reverent in her blankie, and serene on the porch of her favorite river house.
And May the Ides of March be kinder to you than they were last year.