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TIMMY IN THE WELL
28 December 2006
When I was growing up, reading all those dog books and watching all those Lassie programs, I envied the child-with-dog, who always had such a close relationship that they seemed to read each other's mind. Lassie only lacked articulation; her vocabulary was very clear. She understood and she communicated.
I remember years ago, watching a Lassie retrospective where June Lockhart was laughing about an episode where she was caught in a bear trap and was sending Lassie home to get a C-clamp. She shows Lassie the shape of the C-clamp and tells her that it's on the kitchen counter next to the sink. Unfortunately for June, there was also a cheese slicer in a "c" shape and Lassie, being only a dog, couldn't differentiate between the c-shaped cheese cutter and the c-clamp, so she returned with the wrong thing. June had to explain to her again that it was the other c-shaped thing on the counter, making a c shape with her fingers so Lassie would understand. Lassie, of course, returned with the c-clamp and the day was saved.
If I told Lizzie to get a c-clamp off of the counter, she'd eat the food and forget about me entirely. But we do talk.
It's strange having these two dogs. I always wanted a dog when I was growing up, but because of my sister's allergies, we were never able to have pets. When Walt and I had a house with a yard, and finally got a dog, Ho Chi Mutt, and the successive number of dogs and cats who have walked through here over the years, the pets belonged to the kids. I was the person who fed them, but really the emotional involvement was with the kids.
Sheila is really the first dog who is really mine. It was strange to realize that the kids didn't even know her when they came here for Christmas two years ago, when she had already been here several months. So in my 60s, I'm learning about the relationships between dogs and humans that I always wanted to have as a child.
Sheila and I talk. She lets me know when she's hungry. There's a "feed me" attitude worthy of the plant in Little Shop of Horrors. And she lets me know when she wants me to get out of the recliner and go to the living room so she could sleep on the rug there.
Lizzie "talks" more. Not verbally, but there is a definite connection. She tells me when it's time to eat, when the water bowl is empty, when the puppies wake up, when she thinks it's time for me to be up and moving. Nothing better than a wet nose against your face to wake you out of a nice deep sleep in the middle of the night, and then discover it's only 4 a.m., the puppies are sleeping, the water dish is full and the house isn't on fire.
"What's the matter, girl? Did Timmy fall down the well?" I felt like asking.
I figured as long as I was up, I might as well go to the bathroom and then try to get back to sleep. That's when I noticed that the front door was wide open. Apparently when Jeri and Phil returned home, they were conscientious in locking the door, but didn't give it a push to make sure it latched and in the stormy weather, with the wind blowing, it had blown open. Amazingly, Sheila was sleeping in the family room and, since it was pouring out and her fur was dry, I assume she had not run off (unless the door had been open for hours and she had been out and back long enough to dry off!)
Lizzie was outside just looking, but came back in as soon as I called her. I made sure the door was latched and Lizzie and I both went back to sleep. She's a good dog, I have to admit, even if she is sometimes a pain in the butt. In the morning she jumped into my lap, rolled over on her back and we cuddled for a long time. I am bonding more and more with this little ragamuffin.
Today was a big day. The puppies were moved to the playpen. They are now big enough that I don't worry about them needing a heating pad and they are big enough that they are more mobile, so having more room to move around in is a good thing. They sure are growing like weeds. I can't believe how much they have grown and matured since they arrived here.
I am feeling inundated with technology at the moment. I just picked up my Skype phone to see if Peggy was near her computer (she wasn't). I hung the phone up just as my cell phone rang with a photo message from Jeri, on her way to Oregon with Phil.
I'm still working on setting up my iPod but mostly have it almost the way I want it, and I'm picking up all of those video blogs that I used to watch and stopped watching because it took too much time sitting at the computer to watch every day. Now — heck — I can watch one or two videos while I'm going to the bathroom. Even that last bastion of peace and quiet is now being infiltrated by technology.
But it's fun to have some videos to carry around. Now when I talk to people about the "leaping Lizzie" video, I can show it to them.
Unfortunately, I haven't yet found a new technological gadget that will do all of my transcription for me.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2464