Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You Say It's Your Birthday

Well, actually she can't. But she would if she could. She would be sure to let us all know.

This week-ish was my dog Elsie's birthday. She's a rescue dog so we don't quite know what day she was born, but it was sometime the during the first two weeks of November 2002.

I adopted Elsie and my other dog, Oliver, through Petfinder.com. For me to go to a dog adoption fair or the humane society would result in me in a giant pile of weeping and/or the Jetta Who-Will-Not-Be-Named full of dogs to take home. Petfinder is a godsend.
Elsie and her two siblings were listed as St. Bernard mix puppies named Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod (blecccch). I was looking for a large, laid-back, easy-going dog. And they were so cute you just wanted to die. Am I right?

So even though she looked more like she was part werewolf or badger than St. Bernard it was still a nobrainer. She came home with me right before Christmas, was named Elsinore (for the castle in Hamlet) and immediate made herself at home:

She was pictured there next to the last stuffed animal ever to be seen in tact in her presence - including a Winnie-the-Pooh ca. Sears 1971 that I'd had since birth. Yeah. It's a really good thing she's cute.

Sleeping is also something Elsie doesn't do a lot of so I often feel the need to document it when it happens. She's also not particularly "laid back" or "easy going" as I had hoped when I found her. Whatever trace of St. Bernard blood can be seen in her coloring, coat and her stocky proportions, but it turns out that her brain is aaaaallllll Border Collie.

Most of her time is now spent - since, as you might imagine, there's a bit of a shortage of sheep in East Nashville - trying to herd her toys, my socks, or my dishtowels out through the dog door in the laundry room and into the back yard.

She's completely insane and barks like you're trying to decapitate her at the slightest imbalance in her universe. If you're hanging out at my house and decide to get up to get something from the kitchen and don't wait to go all together as a group - you should be prepared to be herded promptly back to your seat.

She's hilarious and has the most expressive face of any animal - or most people, for that matter - that I've ever seen. I joke that she is a perpetual teenager as I swear she rolls her eyes at me.

She's very chatty and spends the first few minutes when I get home rambling on in Chewbacca-y noises about, I'm assuming, all that has gone on during the day. If in English, I assume it would be something like "Oliver sucks! People walked through the alley at 10:27am without my permission! I found a new sock! I put it in my favorite hole in the yard at 11:43am! I tackled Oliver and wrestled for 2.3 mintues! I hate squirrels! I took a nap for 4.7 minutes! I rolled around in dead leaves! The mailman came back! Again! I really hate the mailman! I'm hungry! I want peanut butter and string cheese for dinner!"

She's smart as a whip. Most recently she recently she figured out how to open a shut - and locked - dog door. She used to have to ride in the car in one of those dog car harness things. Until she figured out how to unlatch the seat belts. She also once reasoned how to get a toy ball of the top shelf of a 7ft tall bookcase. I could go on and on...

She's a good example for me with her good and not-so-good qualities. When I am in too much of a hurry to get something done. Too sure that I'm right. Too eager to tell someone else what to do. Or too absent-minded and not watching for wolves.

She's extremely dedicated. Her job starts promptly at 6:00 am. I have yet to figure out what that job is, but I know it starts at 6:00 am. It also does not observe daylight savings time.

She's also very dedicated to me. As I am to her. In dog years this birthday makes her older than me. Something I'm sure she has already figured out and takes great joy in because she thinks it makes her even more in charge.

So Elsie, for your sixth year I promise to do a better job of taking you for walks and keeping your busy mind occupied. I promise to pay closer attention when you're airing your grievances and telling me all that Oliver has done to offend you. I promise to take more time and be more patient. And I promise to do a better job watching for wolves.

Happy Birthday

1 comment:

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh many happy returns to that sweet pooch--she looks sooooo content. You've given her a blessed life, Gert!