Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Dog's Year As Seen In The Rear-View Mirror

Rosalita - Super Bowl Sunday 2017

My faithful canine companion is fast approaching her tenth birthday.  Her face, much like mine, tends to give away her age although - as she is quick to point out - I have significantly more gray and white hair than she does.  

As luck would have it, one dog year ago - on this very date - when she was much younger but apparently not appreciably less insane than she is presently - appeared an homage to Rosalita.  She enjoyed it so much the first time that she asked me to run it again today.  How can I say no to that face?  She is my best friend, after all. 


Her Bear Necessities

Some embrace change. Me? I try to choke the life right out of it. Is it a character flaw? Undoubtedly. Am I likely to ever adapt? The number of times you have wandered past this space will help determine just how much time you need to devote to contemplating the correct answer to that last one.

It has been said that after time pets start to look like their owners. I suppose that is true. Milo and I each have more gray hair than we used to although since he lost one half of his left ear in a fight a few years back we no longer wear our Ray-Bans in precisely the same way. And the older he gets, the less he weighs. As far as I can tell he does not get up at 3:00 in the morning and run at least three miles every other day. Yet he seems to weigh less and less. It is as if his bones have been replaced by Popsicle sticks. Me? No such luck.

Sunday - fresh off of car shopping with the Missus on Saturday afternoon, Margaret and I were in PetSmart doing a little shopping for the hoofed members of the household. I was in line, waiting to buy a jumbo bag of dog food and enough cat litter to keep my cats, your cat and all of the cats presently inhabiting the Bronx Zoo shin deep in fresh pooping materials for the foreseeable future when Margaret found it. She saw hanging from a display at the end of an aisle a new toy for Rosalita. Our clinically insane sheltie has had the same toy since - if not Day One - then Day Two or Three. It is a little device we call "Baby Bear". When it first arrived it was a white plush stuffed animal. I am not entirely sure it was a bear. I suppose if had come with eyes or a face it would have been more readily identifiable. I am not much of an outdoors man I suppose, which invariably complicated the issue even more.

Time has not been kind to Baby Bear. Rosie is to Baby Bear what Ike was to Tina all those years ago - a veritable PEZ dispenser of tough love. Bear once was white but ceased being so long ago. Think snow on the roadside three days after any storm. Margaret has washed Bear repeatedly over the years. In spite of her best efforts, the older it has gotten, the darker it has become.

Rosie's favorite thing about Baby Bear has never been its color. It is its squeaker. Buried in one of its legs is a....well I do not know the technical term.....squeaker. Rosie spends countless minutes with the leg of Baby Bear in her mouth, biting down on its leg and generating noise.

While Baby Bear has retained its squeakability it has lost a bit of its panache as it has gotten blacker and blacker. On Sunday Margaret and I bought Baby Bear 2.0 - a lime-colored incarnation - for Rosie to play with and brought it home for her to meet. To date, her reaction has been slightly underwhelming. She wanders past it from time to time, picks it up by the chest and shakes it, plays with it for a minute or two before losing interest in it, putting it down and walking away. This new version of the Bear also has a squeaker in it. When she picked it up for the first time, she instinctively went to the leg to make it squeak. Nope. In this Bear the squeaker is buried in its back located nowhere near any of its four legs. Rosie did her best Dora the Explorer impersonation for approximately five minutes and then abandoned the pursuit.

Rosie is a better person than I am. She spent last evening trying repeatedly to find the squeaker in new Bear while looking lovingly at the dingy looking original Bear. She is trying to embrace change. I can see it in her little eyes.

Silly dog. She will learn. Maybe once she does she will share what she has learned with the resident old dog.


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