Monday, December 07, 2009

Dog Lessons Part II

You know when someone says, "Living with [name here] has taught me patience," you know that [name here] is a pain in the ass.

Annie has taught me patience.

She won't relieve herself in the backyard when it rains, no matter how much it must hurt to hold it in (and she doesn't always succeed at holding it in). I might remind you here that we get 155 days of measurable precipitation a year.

She will pee on other people's lawns when it rains - no problem! - so I try to take her for a walk, but it hurts her to walk (arthritis), and one of our neighbors is a self-satisfied, velour-track-suit-wearing dog hater. We end up walking very slowly in odd dotted lines, kind of like a Family Circle cartoon read in slow motion.

She uses the furniture as her personal napkin and back scratcher, and has taught Scotty to do the same.

She spends all day in bed, getting up only for meals and treats and an occasional romp with Scotty.

In grooming jargon, she "blows" her coat twice a year, completely shedding and rebuilding her coat, top layer, undercoat, everything. To pet her during one of her shedding seasons is to get a handful of dog hair. Not her fault, but still.

Before her arthritis got bad, she would bolt at the first sign of an open door or open fence gate. To what purpose? Even if she could speak English, she would not be able to tell you, because I am pretty sure this is only one of the signs that she was dropped on her head as a puppy. For a dog who likes nothing more than spending the entire day in her fluffy bed, this behavior just does not compute. Yet, I have had to pick her up from the pound once, from the local water treatment plant once, and had to chase her down too often to remember.

But. Scotty likes her. It's fun to watch her outwit Scotty over toys and treats. And who else would put up with her? Besides, she's cute.

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