Friday, January 6, 2012


 I don’t talk about my children much because now they’re not really children, they’re adults and they’re not that interesting. They are interesting, but probably mostly only to me, and not in the funny, cute way kids can be when they do something adorable or say something funny. Plus since they’re adults now, they could easily be reading this without me knowing, so I need to be careful what I say and what I reveal about them to the world. (Apparently it’s okay to exploit our small children for this but not our adult children.) I guess the same thing goes for my husband. Being a professional with a reputation to uphold, he probably doesn’t want me talking about how he (hypothetically) leaves laundry on top of the hamper, leaves dishes on top of the dishwasher (also hypothetically) and every night leaves the peanut butter sitting open on the counter (not that that really ever happens).

So today I’m introducing you to my dog Abby.

Abby is very smart but even she can’t Google herself and see what I’ve written about her so I think I’m safe. And since she is the Best Dog in the World, she is worth writing about. 

Abby is a miniature poodle and she is ten years old. I’ve included photos so you can see she’s not one of those prissy princess poodles like this:
(This is just embarrassing)
 She’s a dog

Smile for the camera!

 She likes to chase balls, play tug-of-war while growling ferociously, and sniff fire hydrants. With some kind of primal instinct, she takes a stuffed toy in her mouth and shakes it from side to side so vigorously, I know her intent is to snap its neck. If it was alive. (On the other hand, although she hates squirrels with a passion and loves to bark fiercely at them and chase them out of our yard, if she ever caught one I fear she’d be so shocked she wouldn’t really know what to do.) Sometimes she shakes the toy so hard it flies out of her mouth and ends up in a corner somewhere. We crack up then, watching her look around in bewilderment, trying to find it. 

Abby is super affectionate. My last dog, Veronica (also a poodle), was almost perfect, but she never wanted to snuggle as much as I did. Abby wants to snuggle all the time. It gets to the point of being annoying. Sometimes I barely have my butt planted in a chair and she’s on my lap. Then she does this amazing little flip and roll thing, where she manages to turn onto her back in my arms. One paw comes up to my wrist and pushes on it, so as to move my hand into position to rub her little belly. And I do. It’s amazing how she gets what she wants without even being able to speak a word. But I get something out of it too―a warm cuddle, stroking her, relaxing me and helping me lose the stress of my day.

We didn’t do the best job of training her but we taught her a few tricks. She knows to sit, stay, sit pretty, dance, lie down, roll over and “give me five” (our version of shake a paw). There pretty much has to be a treat involved for her to do these things, but when there is, she is eager to please. Sometimes she’s so eager to please she’ll go through the entire repertoire (sit, lay, roll; or sit, sit pretty, give me five) without even being asked. So cute!

Sitting pretty
But she really is smart. THIS is how smart she is. If there is food on the counter in the kitchen, she’ll go out there and whine because she wants it. Sometimes we try to ignore her. A few minutes later, she’ll go to the back door and whine, which is how she tells us she needs to go out (to, you know, do her business). That always gets us up off the couch, but when we take two steps toward the door, she will turn and run into the kitchen. She is totally, deliberately tricking us. Now that is smart.

Her rabbit imitation
After she goes for a walk on a cold morning, she jumps up on the couch where her special blanket is (and it is HER special blanket, she LOVES it) and I’ll wrap her up in it so she’s nice and cozy and she’ll stay there for hours. We all laugh when she does that “dog thing” of circling around on the blanket, pushing it around with her paws to get it all comfy for her before she lays on it. 

Curled up with her blankey

One thing Abby doesn’t like to do is swim. We’re not sure why this is, because poodles are water dogs. Veronica used to chase sticks into the water and swim to retrieve them. Abby doesn’t even want to get her paws wet. So, in order to make her a well-rounded poodle, one of the kids takes her out to the end of the dock and drops her in the lake, while I stand on shore calling her, and she swims to me. Frantically. With panic showing in the whites of her eyes. She can do it, she just doesn’t like it. Then we praise her effusively.

We make her do things for our entertainment. If you put an empty beer can on the deck, she’ll play with it for hours, nosing it around and chasing it, trying to lick drops of beer out of it. She’s really good at catching things, so we have this unfortunate tendency to throw her bits of food while we’re eating because it’s so much fun to watch her catch them. If you blow bubbles, she’ll jump at them and try to eat them. Hilarious!

If you have a dog, you probably understand how much you can come to love an animal. Abby is my dog, my baby. She entertains us and makes us laugh, but she also gives us unlimited opportunity to show love and affection. Even my teenage son, who used to tolerate a hug from me but now doesn’t even want to be touched, picks her up and snuggles her and tells her he loves her. Ooops. He probably wouldn’t really want me telling that. Oh well. I think it’s good for him. We all need unconditional love in our lives and we get lots of that from Abby.

Do you have a dog? Want a dog? Hate dogs?


Katie O'Connor said...

I don't have a dog, but I love dogs. If I wasn't so lazy, I would have a husky or a shepard. But frankly, I'm just too lazy to take the time to train a dog right. Instead, I have a couple of cats who have me perfectly well trained. :)

Gillian Archer said...

I have 2 lab mixes. One loves to do tricks--no treats required and the other is my cuddler. Well, they're both big lap dogs, 60-70 lbs with pointy "elbows." LOL But they're my babies. My husband calls them the most expensive free dogs ever. They're pound puppies who have been to Ireland and back o.O

Eden Bradley-Eve Berlin said...

Her rabbit impression is particularly adorable. :)
I don't currently have dogs-we have three cats who would shred us in our sleep should we be so foolish as to ask them to share a house with a dog. But I have had dogs and miss them!

Kelly Jamieson said...

LOL Katie that's the thing about cats, you don't have to train them, they train you. Actually I shouldn't LOL about that as I think Abby has trained us pretty well too :-)

Gillian those are big lap dogs! I grunt at 15 lbs stomping on my belly, never mind 70!And I hear you on the pointy elbow thing, Abby has those too.

Thanks Eden, LOL, she's a good sport. I've heard of dogs and cats sharing a home, but I suppose it depends on who was there first...and their personalities, of course.

Anonymous said...

When I was younger my sisters and I desperately wanted a dog and eventually got our parents to cave, namely our mother Dad just came home and saw her and was irritated but he couldn't exactly take it back. And ever since she has been an important part of our family, and has many times acted as teddy during our teenage years, calmly letting us sob and snot all over her as we blubbered about how awful our lives were. Now she just sleeps on the couch or our beds 20hrs of the day.

Kelly Jamieson said...

Anonymous, that's one reason dogs are so wonderful, you can hug them when you need comforting and they just listen and love you no matter what.

Kinsey Holley said...

I was never a dog person and really didn't want to get one, but I knew that sooner or later Hub and Diva would insist. So we ended up getting Harley Dog from the pound, as a puppy, and I fell in love. Now I'm a huge dog lover and my Harley is a big, sweet, loving, goofy galoot. Then we decided to get him a friend and I fell in love, via YouTube, with a corgidor - half Corgi, half Lab. Honda was the most adorable puppy. It took a good six months to figure out she was a narcissistic demon, a tongue and a tail with a little bit of dog in between. She demands constant love and attention and gets jealous if you look at Harley. We call her the Evil Sausage.

They probably saved Hub's life. He owns his own business is under a lot of stress. He tends to be a worrier, and he's kind of grumpy. Since we got the dogs he's more relaxed, happier...dogs can calm you down, cheer you up in ways that your family, no matter who much you love them, can't.

We have a friend who travels frequently for work, spending weeks out of the country, so we keep his Boxer, Augie. I adore that dog - she plays soccer with me. This house isn't big enough for three dogs but it sure is fun.

I want to keep Augie, give him Honda in exchange, but he's not stupid...

Kelly Jamieson said...

LOL Kinsey, I love that "evil sausage". You're so right, dogs can comfort you in ways people sometimes can't.