Life for me is not my dogs’ lives. I like to sit and watch, blend in, observe without much hullabaloo. But I am doomed to cavort with noticeable dogs.
First: Reina, the almost-collie. So beautiful people would cross the street in the Texas Hill Country just to be closer to her multi-colored fluff. Then they would look at her face and notice she had but one eye.
Then Patch, who stuck to my heel like that lousy piece of discarded gum on a hot summer day. Misunderstood and determined to let you know it, she would growl and let her ridgeline hair stand straight, all the while with her soft warm nose attached to the skin above my tennies.
Ace, the noble full-bred pointer, came running at me from the SPCA and never let up the pace. Except when he spied a bird, or rabbit, or critter. Then he would stay stark still -pointing – until every inch of him was a-quiver. He would drag me on our very long walks and people would comment, “Who’s walking who?” until he spotted a creature and the show would begin. On one walk, I counted six people stopped, watching his virtual hunt of a prey he would only once in his life claim.
Sadie follows this lengthy tradition. Ruler of the house and yard and dinner table and seemingly our life in general, she has opinions on everything. She is not allowed inside during meals, so she finds a way to look at us from every window in the house. She is a camouflage dog: coat like a cheetah or leopard, reminding people of that “wild dog, the Australian dog, the African dog, that Dingo.” People can’t help themselves. She elicits comments like the finale of a fireworks show – oohs and ahhs. She gives more love and requires more attention than all my former dogs put together and multiplied by ten.
Sadie has been running ceaselessly from one side of the yard to the other, scaring the workers who come to renew the bungalow. First, we closed her off from the back of the compound, where the workers gathered nail guns and dry wall. Then, we chained her, hoping that would remind her of her manners. Sadie appears to love all this activity. Nothing discourages her enthusiastic romp, or loud comments. Me, Marsha, I’m ready for some quiet time.