Saturday, February 27, 2010

Going to the dogs....

I have a dog. Or , perhaps it would be better stated as, my dog has me.
We have a good relationship. We trained each other.
Because of her lack of opposable thumbs, I am necessary to open doors for her, get into the cabinet to get her dog food, drive her around and other various tasks
I find her good to have around because of her excellent hearing and nose, not to mention her aggression and fangs.
Also, she is a pretty good friend.
She has some eccentricities, of course.
She watches t.v. and has some favorite programs. If I change the channel when she is watching one of *her* shows, I get growled at.
She sleeps on my bed. Has her own pillow and blanket.
We tried sharing the same blanket, but we ended up snarling at each other on cold nights when we would end up pulling said blanket off each other.
She snores, I ignore it.
We both have *moody* days.
When I am in a bad mood, she will insist that if I give her a tummy rub, it will make me feel better.
When she is in a bad mood, I put episodes of "It's Me or the Dog" on my computer and bring her a snack.
The dog loves Victoria Stillwell...I dunno why.
She tolerates me watching Project Runway, so I guess that is even.
Siona (that is her name, after a character in Frank Herbert's Dune series) has proven herself to be a loyal protector of me and this house.
She has attacked someone that was attempting to break in, she has knocked down and held down someone who was coming up behind me to do me harm, and, on one memorable occasion, she tore the living hell out of someone that was throwing swings at me while attempting to force their way into the house.
Siona also alerts me when a stranger is on the premises. We have a dozen tenants here, and she can tell which one has come in the front door just by the sound of their footsteps.
If it is a stranger, she issues a slow, low growl. A quick sniff and the growl sometimes goes into a full fledged snarl of fury.
The snarl of fury lets me know that whoever came in the door has drugs on them, specifically, some form of cocaine or meth. She despises the smell of either. Weed---she ignores.
The dog makes moral judgments on drug use, I guess
I never trained her to detect drugs...the drugs users that lived here did.
We had 3 or 4 tenants that smoked crack or used meth  when I first moved here. All of them were very fearful of, or simply did not like, dogs. A couple would kick at her, yell at her or otherwise abuse her when they thought I was not looking. She learned rapidly that the scent of crack or meth on someone made them BAD. And BAD she will NOT tolerate in her house!
Siona is a GOOD dog, and she knows it. I tell her so every single day.
Her favorite snack  is pizza. Pizza crusts make her happy as well, if that's all you got.
She never begs for food. That would be beneath her dignity! She will however,  give you what I call "pretty face" when she desperately wants a taste of whatever tasty morsel you have possession of. She folds her ears down, raises her chin and bats her lashes while giving you a beseeching look with her big brown eyes.
She knows you can't resist.
When she knows a snack is coming her way, she does a joyful enthusiastic dance, pirouetting with abandon.
Siona has changed the opinion some people have of dogs.
When a new tenant moves in, Siona is the first resident here they meet, after me.
She *frisks* them as her first greeting...a bit startling to some. She sniffs up and down each leg, front and back.
If she growls and her hackles go up, I usually do not rent to the prospective tenant. The one or two times I ignored her warning, I ended up with a tenant that used drugs, or had other behaviors that soon got them evicted.
People that are fearful or phobic of dogs end up adoring my girl.
After a few days, or at most, 3 or 4 weeks, they all say the same thing; "That's not a dog, that's a little furry person!"
I guess I treat her that way. I have conversations with her, ask her opinion and include her in most of my day to day activities.
She eats when I eat, sleeps when I sleep and we go on walks together.
I have never been able to convince her that baths are good thing, however.
When it comes to rain, she doesn't like it. At all.
She is like a *diva* leaving a hair salon when she has to go out in rain. I get a "you don't seriously expect me to go out in THAT" look, then gingerly minces her way across the yard, does her potty, and rapidly comes back in. The whole time, her expression is so funny! It is like she is saying "Ew...ew...ew...Nasty fur is WET! WET! Ew...ew....EWWWW!"
She dashes back to our room and I dry her off with a towel and she snuggles down under her blanket, with her pillow.
Yeah, my world has gone to the dogs.
I don't mind it.
So, I suggest everyone out there get a good dog...and remember ALL dogs are good.
It's people that are the problem.

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