I’ve heard it said, “I aspire to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.”
Well, I aspire to be the kind of person my beagle is.
Galina is happy, happy, happy every day, all the time 24/7.
Is it dinner? OH I’M SO HAPPY!
I can’t chew on the toothbrush? I’M SO HAPPY NOT TO DO THAT!
It’s time to go out? OMG I AM THE HAPPIEST DOG EVER!
I have to go in my crate now? I’M STILL HAPPY!
It’s time to wake up? I AM SO HAPPY!
You came back in the room after being gone one minute? I’M SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU!!!
She’s ear-flopping happy in every situation. I would love to have her enthusiasm and sunny attitude for just a few hours, let alone, full-on constant.
She loves everyone unconditionally, including the cats. So far, my older cat, Hermoine, reacts to her with great disdain, even smacking her if she comes too close. This is funny to me because my other dog (my personal dog as she is referred to in foster lingo) regularly puts this cat’s head in her mouth for fun. Yet, all Galina does is walk innocently by and she gets the hiss. Undeterred, she treats Hermoine like a friend.
The other cat, Crash, who is terrified of my personal dog (because she routinely trees him on the high stools in the kitchen), seems to be prepared to give Galina the benefit of the doubt. He watches her with typical cat apathy, but has yet to strike.
Galina has learned to treat the cats as dangerous pieces of furniture and generally gives them wide berth. Unless she’s in the middle of a tear around the living room with her toy. And then she’s more than happy to include them in the fun.
And what does my personal dog think of her new puppy shadow? Depends on the moment.
Sometimes she growls at her- Take your happy puppy face somewhere else, can’t you see this is my person?
Sometimes she’s embarrassed for her – How can you chew on that? Don’t you realize it’s a big plastic box with extra sheets inside? What’s the point of that? Why would you eat a pencil? You’re afraid of that little cat?
Sometimes she’s game – Race ya! No! You go that way – under the coffee table, I’ll go around!
Sometimes she’s the teacher – Okay, now you growl and jump at the door because that’s the milkman and he’s dangerous! Hey! Here comes the mail lady – it’s time to bark, bark, bark! Let’s see if we can make that cat run!
And sometimes she’s the show off – Look! I can run all the way to the bottom of the yard on superspeed and you’re stuck with that person on a line!
I don’t know if we’re getting spoiled by this first foster dog. Maybe the next one won’t be as much fun or as smart. Of course, by then the house will be toddler-proofed, so maybe it’ll be easier. All I know, is this little dog is a delight and it is such a privilege to grant her this grace period. Her happiness is contagious and never fails to make me smile, even as I pull the envelope with the tax receipts from her mouth.
Right now she’s sleeping –lying in the sun next to my desk. Her little paws quiver every now and again, as if she’s racing Gracie down the hill, without me attached. I don’t know where she’s been or what it’s been like, but I think for her, it only gets better from here.