Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thank God all critters sleep

A lot has been going on, and I haven't mentioned Gracie.

She is the first dog I have ever had to enter Toddler Terrible Twos. Sometimes, I think I am winning. Time will tell. I hear it gets better when she actually is two. She has four legs and really sharp teeth. Otherwise she's not that different from an obstinate 2-year-old humanoid. For now.

I smugly was reviewing my dog ownership and reflecting that I had never yelled at her yet. This was oh, 3-4 weeks ago. I didn't yell when she destroyed the address book I had kept for 40 years that had so many memories included. I didn't yell when she gently lifted down a pair of really good athletic socks from the table and I found them, chewed from the toes, of course,up to the instep on the rug. I didn't yell when she finished destroying her smancy $60 dog bed and I woke up one morning to foam rubber confetti all over the bedroom. I haven't yelled when she has pawed insistently, tug rope in mouth, at my arm as I lay sleeping at 2 a.m. (She's only done that once, though.) We haven't begun to address the holes in the lawn out back.

I didn't introduce her to human food. She found it all by herself. But one morning when I turned around to the table where I had just set down scrambled eggs for my granddaughter and me--I turned around from the sink, and there was Gracie, gracefully balanced on her hind legs, forepaws bent. She was carefully lapping in the edge of my serving plate of eggs.

"Gracie!" I yelled stentoriously. She didn't budge or quit lapping. That little....
I found a newspaper, rolled it up in a trice and whapped her on the buttocks. And I yelled,"Bad dog."

Sorrowfully, she backed up. This was not a penitent sorrowful. This was a "why would you interrupt my beautiful breakfast?"

Recently, youngest granddaughter brought home a Smithsonion compendium from the library that shows a lot of living things if not all. She left it on the couch briefly. Gracie ate about 1/2-inch of the cover on the top and on the bottom. Pages intact. But as a damaged library book, it cost $50. THAT time I came home and yelled unfairly at a sleeping puppy.

"You cost too much," I stormed.

She looked at me, got up and kind of got out of the way. Humph. and I let her outside.

That's another thing. We ARE thankfully getting rain. Which means wet grass and mud. Which means every time she comes in, it's treats and an all-over rub to clean legs and belly of water and rain. She's into the routine. We're down to 3-4 small Milkbone treats on a really wet day. She struggles less. It was something I forgot to factor in with the rain, but Gracie's muddy paws are worth the rain.

She is sleeping at my feet as I write and will sleep on the discarded old bedspread in lieu of her doggie bed when I go to bed. She insists I play with her several times a day. I do. We are making slow, but overall steady, progress on her yelling bark for attention and jumping up on people. Well, at least with my graddaughters, she calms down in a minute or two. That's progress.

She is such a young dog. She is so sweet. She has so much energy, she pulls me along.
Allergies lately have made me rather listless, and I need to vacuum and scrub the floors, but the rest is going pretty well. I've learned to keep all medications or dangerous substances (like peppermint, I shudder about that day, and what chocolate might do). She won't eat just ANYthing, but I've given up trying to figure out what she won't eat. Since she learned to walk on her hind legs and sniff all the tables, nothing is safe.

I've never had a dog like her. Gracie, I saved the best for last.

So it is no longer halycon. My baby is growing up. She loves to get and give affection, and with all her mess and headaches, I laugh more than I did,certainly do more than I did, and look forward to more with my beautiful Gracie.

She's coming out smaller than planned, though, and I blame all those cardboard boxes and cotton socks.

Junk food. It isn't good for any of us.

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