Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The fox and the hound

We have a new puppy. She is a yorkie-shih tzu mix which means she is three pounds of puppy breath and sweetness and light. The children love her. I mean REALLY love her, as in I am afraid at any moment my littlest one might actually love her to DEATH. I have found my girls playing tug of war with her, each claiming it was their turn to hold her. The "Wrath of Mommy" came out over that, so now they just whine and cry over her and tattle on each other for holding her too much and generally make me wonder "Why on God's Green Earth did we decide to get another dog, because heaven knows I DO NOT NEED ANOTHER CHILD!"

Then she comes up and licks my face and breathes her sweet puppy breath on me, and I snatch her up and carry her out of the room just to make sure she is safe, not because she is my favorite at the moment. *cough*

My son doesn't fight over her. Instead, he announces at dinner, "I don't mean to offend anybody, but I just want you to know that I am the puppy's favorite" and he is serious as a heart attack which makes me cough to cover my laugh and turn my head so as not to hurt his feelings, because as we all know I am obviously her favorite.

The kids have been asking for a dog for about a year. Our last dog had to be put to sleep about two years ago, and I wasn't ready for another one until now. As soon as my mother heard, she promptly got us a puppy and brought her to us. Then she insisted on us naming her right away as she is want to do. I took three days to name my first child after he was born, so I like a little time to think about these things, but my mother and my children weren't having any part of it.

They were throwing names at me left and right, and Daisy was one of them. I didn't think it fit her, because it reminds me of a cow and she is all of three pounds. Then Maggie came up and we liked it and even used it for a few hours, but then I thought of my new friend named Maggie and knew that could become awkward. Our last dog was named Briley and I have a friend with a daughter named Briley, and it always felt weird yelling at my dog when her daughter was over and Lord knows I can't have a dog I can't yell at.

So due to the circumstances, Maggie had to go. My mother brought Daisy back up which made me think of Maisy which I really like. I had wanted to name our new puppy something all literary and cool, but with the girls calling out names like Princess and Ariel, and my son insisting that he was going to call her Maggie no matter what, and my mother throwing out Kaisy in addition to Maisy (what?), and my husband giving me the gimlet eye which said, "We aren't naming her anything weird," I was at a complete loss for anything literary. Then I remembered one of my favorite authors has a daughter named Maisy, and I decided that made the name literary enough. So, Maisy it was. (And yes, I do know that both Maggie and Daisy would have both paid homage to great literary characters, but they just didn't work for me.)

Now Maisy has settled into that warm and fuzzy place in all of our hearts, and she only goes off to far corners of the house to poop on rare occasions and doesn't chew on too many barbie legs or human shoes, so she is fitting in nicely. And she has even started sleeping through the night, except for last night when she pawed my forehead and chewed my hair all night, and I thought I would have to banish her to her crate for ever and ever, amen, but we are going to assume that was just an off night for her due to a crazy schedule.

Actually, not that this has anything to do with my ultimate point, because I do have one of those, but having a tiny puppy is really like having an infant again, which is why it took me two years to get another dog. When you have an actual infant, people expect you to go through the day with slits for eyes and don't expect you to be able to hold an intelligent conversation. When you have a puppy, you are expected to get out of your pajamas before 2 o'clock in the afternoon and also go on with your life as if nothing is wrong, despite the fact that you are only getting about five hours of sleep a night. I'm pretty sure we need to form a grassroots organization to correct this societal misconception. Getting up in the middle of the night with a baby causes the same sleep depravity whether or not the baby is an actual human infant. 'Nuf said.

So, the other morning Mr. Engineer took Maisy out around 5 am to do her business. She ran towards the woods in our backyard to do her first business, then she came back and ran up the hill just in front of the woods to do her other business. Right about then my husband saw a red fox on the other side of the small strip of woods between our house and our neighbor's, and he was pretty sure the fox wasn't there to play. Being the brave and loyal Eagle Scout that he is, Mr. Engineer charged up the hill towards the fox right about the time the hair on Maisy's neck stood up and she realized that she might become someone else's breakfast and took off high tailing it for the house.

The fox knew the jig was up and took off for other small innocent creatures, while Maisy came in the house and immediately threw up on Mr. Engineer's foot. Personally, I think that last part shows why I am her favorite. She ran from danger and just the thought of it was more than her intestines could handle, so she got the shakes and threw up. I know exactly how she feels.

I was very impressed with my husband for having even seen the fox. My eyes would have been slit open just enough to see if she was actually pottying, and she would have been carried off to the the fox's den before I could have screamed (which is probably what I would have done had I seen said fox stalking our sweet puppy.)

Mr. Engineer assures me I would have done the same thing. I appreciate his belief in me, and it is a sound belief where his ACTUAL children that I birthed are concerned. Had any of the three of them been on the hill in danger of a fox, I would have charged the hill and done what I had to do to save them. I would have charged the hill had it been a coyote, which are said to roam this area, and would have choked it with my bare hands had it been necessary.

But for the dog? I'm really not so sure. If it had been a coyote, I might have screamed, turned tail to run, and sent up a prayer for sweet Maisey. A fox, I would have screamed and probably scared it off. But a chipmunk? Well, I'm pretty sure I could have taken a chipmunk. Heck, I'm pretty sure Maisy could go toe-to-toe with a chipmunk. And if you're wondering what the heck a chipmunk has to do with anything, well you should head over and take a gander at Five Full Plates... (That's for you, Gray.)

No comments:

Post a Comment