Sunday, May 06, 2007

Dog, meet world.

I'm road-testing a dog (we have a two-week trial period before the animal rescue organization checks back in to see how we’re doing). Her name is Ladybug, but I'm considering calling her Lucy. Think of the possibilities: the dog will have ‘splainin to do, I'll be able to holler “Lucy, I'm home,” and if I'm lucky one day she’ll look up at me with her big brown eyes and howl “Waaaaah.” My first choice was Gracie, but I was so eager to use the name that my iBook is Gracie, and you just can’t have a dog and a laptop with the same name. It’s just not done. Lucy’s part Lab, part Pointer, and has issues. In a nutshell, she’s overprotective. It’s clearly not in her nature, because she’s also a giant suck and more than happy to sidle up to you once she’s been assured you’re harmless. So we’re working on that assurance process by establishing me as the alpha dog (numerous people have pointed out the parallels between dog-shopping/training and dating, and I'm sure a few of my previous boyfriends would vouch for my propensity to jockey for that position). She’s remarkably smart – figured out after just one awkward clotheslining how to navigate oddly placed trees and lampposts – and she listens to me without question, so I think it’s doable. As Dave Gahan so wisely said, it’s a question of time. And of trust. Luckily I have a well-honed teacher voice.
What I've learned about Lucy so far: she eats used Kleenexes. She really really wants to get up on the bed, but politely refrains from doing so until I've left the house. She’s got it in for the horseball. Her bum can wiggle at a remarkable rate. She understands the concept of sleeping in. She likes coffee (I've never seen a dog get so excited at the sound of a coffee grinder, or voraciously lick the remnants from the bottom of a mug).
Tomorrow is another day of socializing. She met, frightened, and then threw herself at the feet of two friends this afternoon, and tomorrow she can repeat the pattern, hopefully with a little less emphasis on the frightening (she’s got an impressive build and one helluva growl, which might prove useful given my penchant for long walks late at night). Lucy just got bumped to the top of my summer project list.


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