dogs

Lexie the Dog’s Blog: A New “Good Girl” Comes to My House

My name is Lexie. Or sometimes Lexie Girl.

Lexie, 8 years old

I have been with my mom and dad for a long time. We lived in a really warm place for awhile (it was called Florida) where I chased lizards and birds in my backyard and took long walks through the neighborhood searching for cats and squirrels.

Then they bought me a house in the mountains and I was really, really happy. I have lots of grass and trees and bushes, and I can run and run and run and chase squirrels and turkeys and growl when I smell bears.

They also bought me a Jeep so that I’m comfortable riding around town with them. I know every restaurant in Asheville that will let me hang out, and the people at the place called Home Depot like me a lot and give me treats. They tell my dad that I’m such a well-trained dog and that makes me very proud.

I like the good food my mom feeds me, even when she throws in oily stuff that she thinks is good for me, and I put up with a bath and a really loud hair dryer once a month. For some reason, mom and dad like my smells better after I come home from that place than when I roll over and over in all of the great smells in my backyard. I don’t understand that.

I’m a good girl. I know this because they tell me all the time. Dad calls me his girlfriend. Mom calls me her pretty baby. I wait politely for my dinner and I know how to sit, stay, lie down, leave it and hunt.  I know what “come” means, but I don’t like that word too much so I pretend I don’t hear it most of the time.

They tell me I’m a free-thinking dog. That sounds good to me.

They also tell me I’m the best dog ever and I know that I am.

That’s why I was not very happy when I came home from a short Jeep ride and there was another good girl in my mountain house. She was small, smelly and not very polite. She didn’t know how to sit, stay or anything. She couldn’t even go up and down the stairs. It was pretty funny watching her trying to figure out where she was and what she was supposed to do. Mom and dad called her good girl. I definitely didn’t like that.

I thought that she would be leaving, but she’s still here and it’s been many, many nights and days.

She wants to play with me, but I’m not having any of it. I stare off into the distance, I ignore her, and I look meaningfully at my mom and dad to let them know that their good girl Lexie is still their good girl, but that I’m not very happy with this other girl in my house. I’m still hoping they will take her away.

Kayla, 6 months old

They call her Kayla, but she either doesn’t like her name or doesn’t know it. She doesn’t seem very smart to me. She bites on rugs, she chases her tail and she steals my toys. I am trying not to get mad, but it’s difficult and I chased her and bit her once or twice. Mom and dad weren’t happy with me, but I didn’t bite her hard and she really deserved it.

Even though I’m not happy about it, I’ve tried to be helpful since mom and dad aren’t very good at teaching her things. For example, I taught her how to go up and down the stairs by showing her over and over and over again. She finally got it. But of course, she now runs up the stairs in front of me which is not very respectful. I have also tried to show her how to sit and stay, but so far, she only sits.

What I really don’t like is when she pees on the rugs and mom doesn’t yell at her. If I did that, I would be in big, big trouble. But Kayla just gets shooed outside and mom cleans the rugs. I don’t think that’s fair.

Unfortunately, it is starting to look like Kayla is going to stay with us in the mountains. Mom and dad are trying not to call her good girl since it makes me jealous. They are calling her good baby girl or good Kayla. They think that will fool me. Ha!

And, they are encouraging me to play with her. I’d still rather not do that, but at least I’m trying to be a good girl and not bite her anymore.

If she doesn’t leave soon, it looks like I’m going to have to be sharing my backyard, my Jeep and my mom and dad with her for a long time.

She cannot, however, play with my Lamb Chop toy. I have to draw the line somewhere.

And, I am still going to be the best dog ever. Mom and dad told me so.

Lexie

Cathy Green’s Labradoodle, guest blogger

 

What Have I Done? A New Dog Comes Into My Life

Note for Fabulous Readers:  I just came across this piece that I wrote in 2009 about my dog Lexie … It’s more of an article than a blog, but it made me laugh so I thought I’d share it with you.

She came into my life on a Saturday morning. By Sunday, I was deep in the throes of postpartum depression.

Lexie, a one and a half year old labradoodle, seemed to be everything I wanted. A “good girl” who had been returned to a breeder after a divorce. A dog past the furniture chewing stage; a dog that was smart and trainable; a dog that wasn’t too big; a dog with a pretty black and white coat; and a dog that didn’t shed. My “dream” dog.

At 58 years of age, I had owned a dog only once … for two days. My dad and mom gave into my nine- year old temper tantrum and brought a puppy home from the pound. He died. The household trauma convinced my parents that it had been a bad idea. My sulking didn’t work. No more dogs.

I vowed to have a dog when I was on my own, away from my cruel dog-hating parents. But I got busy. I traveled a lot. I moved around the country. A Type A lifestyle didn’t accommodate kids or dogs. So I didn’t have either.

I adopted a couple of cats. They were cute (always), easy (most of the time) and playful (not too often) and I enjoyed having them around. But I yearned for the wagging tail of a loving dog when I walked through the door.

The day after my 58th birthday, I woke to an epiphany. If I adopted a dog that day, and it lived a typical dog lifespan of 12 to 15 years, I would be over 70 years old when I’d have to say goodbye. If not now, when?

My first alarm bell went off as we were bringing Lexie home in my brand new Mercedes. She hadn’t had a bath and her paws – which were considerably bigger than I had anticipated – were filthy. And her nails, one bump away from digging into my beautiful leather seats, were incredibly long. It dawned on me that this car would have to be her car too. How could that have slipped my mind?

Then we were home. I had never thought of my house as particularly small, but the space that a 50 pound dog takes up is quite surprising. My hardwood floors looked sadly vulnerable and my rooms appeared to have shrunk.

Cathy Green dog

 

Then, Lexie glued herself to me. She followed me relentlessly from room to room. She looked at me as if I was supposed to do something. I didn’t have a clue what that might be. Did she have to go to the bathroom? Was she hungry? How was I supposed to know these things?

And, she smelled. I hadn’t thought about what it would be like to have a doggy smell in my house. What exactly was I going to do about that?

The day was overwhelming. The night was worse.

Lexie’s previous owners, I realized, had shared their bed with her. So, my first problem was getting forty pounds of dog off of mine. Then, she decided to sleep beside me on the floor, where she could share her wide variety of noises and smells throughout the night.

I thought it might be a good idea for us to get to know each other better before we got so intimate, so I invited her to spend the evening in her big, new, expensive crate. The books about dog ownership extol the virtues of crates. They insist that dogs grow to love the comfort and security of a crate. That owners have peace of mind knowing their little ones are safe. Lexie, of course, hated the crate. As soon as the door closed, she threw herself against the sides, whined, cried, slobbered and hyperventilated. So much for the crate. She slept on the floor next to me.

By Sunday morning, I felt sick. What had I done? I had a whole new appreciation for first-time parents. And, when I looked at her I didn’t feel what I thought I would feel. She was a big, smelly, needy beast that I would have to walk, feed, exercise, play with, take to the vet, bathe, comb, discipline, clean up after and sleep near. Could I give her back, I wondered?

And then it happened. She sat in front of me, looked directly at me with her big, brown, sad-looking eyes and put her paw on my knee. My eyes locked on hers. We smiled. She owned me.

Cathy Green, November, 2009

2013 update:  Lexie is now 6 years old and totally owns me and Ray. We bought her a Jeep and a new home with four acres and lots of squirrels; she gets bathed, groomed and pampered constantly; she has two Orvis beds, five collars with her name on them, 50 neck scarves, a raincoat, a snow coat and doggy perfume; she eats the most expensive natural, organic food available in the pet store; she is familiar with almost all of the pet-friendly restaurant patios in Asheville and St. Petersburg, and, last but not least she has five pet sitters/walkers on call in case – god forbid – we have to leave her too long.  In other words, she has a great life… and she continues to make us smile.

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