Strange Dream

Yesterday I was awake from 4 a.m. to nearly 11 p.m. The dog was sick (for whatever reason, it only happens once a year) and I gave her two baths, once a rinse then a bath. Laundry ensues, of course.

Today I had a nightmare about taking her out, calling out for my husband (who is out of town). Anyway, I awakened mid-dream not knowing where I was, what time it was and where is my husband? And where’s our dog?

UBD. That’s code for Under-Bed Dog. She now goes underneath the bed by my pillow to get out of the sun and get her beauty sleep while making sure I can’t leave the house without her knowledge. Yes, she is a herder.

I was so worried about her yesterday as she felt bad. She got no dinner so her tummy would resolve itself. Zoe scarfed down a dog food breakfast this morning and is sleeping on the carpet next to my desk.

Zoe is a good thing in our lives. She’s spoiled rotten but won’t sit on a lap or be petted. She just wants what my English teacher Aunt always said, being “by.” She needs to know where we (especially me the food wench) are without being near enough to touch us. I don’t know if I could ever have a “lap dog” after this. My first dog was 89 lbs. when she died. She was not a lap dog or a herder, she retrieved stuffed toys and balls, knew the sound of guests’ cars and would search her toy basket frantically for the right stuffed animal with which to greet the guest.

Will it be Clifford the Big Red Dog? Or a tiger or kitty or lobster. She never left the house without a ball, but one day she brought a huge teddy bear (flea market sale, fifty cents) to to the park. She was saying goodbye without my knowledge, and she died the next day. That bear is in my closet with her ashes in it under a red felt heart with lace and beading from a dear friend. Zoe crushes stuffed animals, tears them apart in a minute and gets the squeaker out. The stuffing is all over the place, of course. For 12 years she’s had an indestructible “precious.”

Chani was a challenge at first because she was abused but in the end everyone loved her. No dog would ever have Zoe’s unique, friendly personality. Even though we’ve had 12 years with her when she does something bad I always say “we’re going to bring you back to the pound” and I never mean it and she knows that. Yes, she’s stolen a pound of prime steak off the cutting board on the counter, and croissants from the top of the stove.

Guess what? I laughed, as we had to have her hips removed due to severe hip dysplasia and she grew her own. Two years later she could reach the counter and stove and steal our food. Now she’s over 12 years old and I have to “Otis” her to the bed at night. She can walk a good while but her front end is much stronger than the back. I’ve had a good life, great husband and over the years we still have Zoe but I had Chani, Nathan and Mickey (cats) and I like to think we all made each others’ lives better.

That was before Mick learned from my sister’s cat how to open and slam the kitchen cabinet 400 times to get me to make him breakfast in the middle of the night, or Nate sat his 14 lbs. directly on my bladder to make me go downstairs and feed him. Ah, well, it’s been a wonderful life. Dee

ps People we know want to get a dog. I think they lead great lives with long days and great profiles and potential. They didn’t ask about breed, I did. Then they asked me to pet-sit on a regular basis. That’s not a good sign. At a seminar years ago a new dog owner asked why his dog didn’t like him when he “only” put him in a crate for 12 hours straight per day. The trainer said “you don’t deserve a dog.” In another case he also said, famously, “a back yard dog is a dog without a home.”



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