Some of you may remember when we first decided to adopt little Meera and be her forever family back in July. We decided to keep her island name, rather than change it, and she has definitely grown into her own personality.
She has lots of names, actually. Pooper scooper, stinky breath, stinker, squirt, silly butt, pee pot, mutt, poopy butt, wiggle britches, and dill pickle (the Mister came up with that one), among others. I don’t know how she knows we’re even talking to her. Slowly but surely, though, she is learning to answer to her name and come when she is called – although her listening skills are still very selective. (She will sit and lie down on command, though, and we’re getting a good handle on “stay” and “bring me the ball.” Although fetch only lasts a couple of throws before a shinier object catches our attention.)
She is very much my baby, though, and has grown very attached to me, something I was irrationally afraid wouldn’t happen. She loves her momma, likes to follow me around in the early mornings and if she loses track of me she will automatically go into our room and look on my side of the bed. Apparently she’s learned that momma likes to sleep. Wonder how she came to that conclusion…
This week’s top ten is a list of the puppy’s quirks that we’ve come to know and love.
1. She LOVES swimming in the pool. We are trying to teach her that it’s only ok to jump in the pool if we are already in it and tell her that she can, but if anybody in the water makes a loud noise – yelling or laughing – she takes that as her cue to leap in and come to the rescue… even though the “rescue” usually ends up as her using the offending swimmer as a pool raft. (When she’s swimming, she looks a little like a very large gray rat with her long tail floating along behind her.)
2. Our neighbor’s dog, Kane, also loves the pool. He’s a rottie and a very good swimmer, and will jump into the pool anytime he’s outside, whether there are people around or not. Apparently he gets hot. He knows how to use the ladder to get himself out and will often climb onto a pool raft so that he can stay in the cool water without actually having to swim. The problem with this is that Kane is Meera’s best friend in the entire world, and if he’s in the pool she likes to use HIM as a raft. Literally. She will run around the edge of the pool and time her jumps so that she lands right on top of him, and then will spend her entire time in the water chasing him and trying to climb back on. But at least he’s taught her how to use the ladder too, so we’re not as worried about her drowning. (Although we are trying to discourage the practice.)
3. Meera loves rawhide bones, but Brutus – our housemates’ male boxer – often steals them and crunches them up. She’s recently developed a strategy though, and when she gets done with her bone she puts it under our bed. It’s out where she can easily chew on it again, if she likes, but Brutus is too big to get to it. She’s turned out to be pretty smart after all.
4. Under our bed is her new favorite place in the house. If you can’t find her, that’s probably where she is. I don’t know if it’s cooler under there, or if she’s just figured out that she can fit, but either way it’s definitely her spot. She often falls asleep with only her head tucked underneath the bed, presumably to block out the bedside lamps if the Mister and I aren’t ready for sleep yet.
5. And she barks in her sleep. It’s the cutest thing, and I can never catch it on video because she will only bark a couple times and then it’s over and she never does it again during that nap. It sounds like she’s barking underwater, and oftentimes her big feet will twitch like she’s chasing something. At home we say the dogs are “chasing rabbits,” but it occurred to me that Meera has never seen a rabbit, so I wonder what she’s chasing. Mongeese maybe, or egrets.
6. She wakes up at 6 a.m. like clockwork every morning, and we are trying to teach her to lie quietly until we wake up and are ready to let her outside and give her breakfast. It doesn’t always work very well. However, the past two mornings she’s woken me at six, like always, and I tell her to lie back down. And then some time later, I wake up and she is sitting up on the rug by the bed, perfectly still and quiet like a good girl, staring at me. Not playing with toys or chewing on the rug… just staring at me. Waiting for me to show signs of life again so she knows she’s allowed to get up. It’s cute in a mildly creepy sort of way. Maybe we’re finally getting somewhere.
7. While she does love her momma, she is definitely a daddy’s girl. If she’s out in the yard or the front door is open when the Mister gets home from campus, she runs out to greet him at the gate, tail whipping everywhere. If she’s out on the balcony, she whimpers, her whole body wriggling in excitement, until he gets up the stairs, where she meets him at the door and snuggles with him on the couch for a while. If she’s already on the couch and too tired or lazy to move, she hears his whistle in the yard and that long tail starts thumping against the cushions. It’s adorable.
8. While cute, she ALWAYS seems to be dirty. Always. Even when she looks clean, even when I’ve just given her a bath or rinsed her with the hose, every time she stands up she leaves little piles of sand and dirt wherever she was just sitting. I don’t understand it. (Even as I write this post, I had just to stop and take her back outside to hose her down because she came in with mud all over herself.)
9. But she does love to be rinsed and dried. She will come obediently to the hose and stand still while I soap and rinse her, and then she loves to be wrapped in her towel and dried off. (This makes sense though, since who wouldn’t love a free full-body massage?) She sits obediently while I get her back and legs, and then will roll herself up in the towel – wrestling with it – while I dry her belly. It’s some sort of game where she gets all the points.
10. She is not an instigator – that job belongs entirely to Brutus and Kane – but she is always happy to take part in whatever mischief they create. For example, earlier this week she participated in the stealing and eating of a loaf of white bread (Brutus pulled it off the top of the microwave) AND an entire bag of Dorito chips (stolen from the neighbor’s grocery bags while they sat on her doorstep). Needless to say, her little puppy belly was feeling pretty full that night and she moped around with an “I don’t feel so good” expression the whole next day. Silly dog.
Does your dog have any silly quirks? Do you?
Also, I would like to give a big “thank you” to all of you who are avid readers and who have shared my writings with your friends and family members. This is the Nut House’s 100th post, and if we had any money I’d host some sort of awesome prize give-away. But we’re poor students living on student loans, so you’ll have to settle for an appreciative italicized comment and a virtual pat on the back. Please keep reading, commenting and sharing. I’m amazed by how many people in how many countries care to know how we’re doing on this floating rock. Thank you.