Mini Minnie can create backyard fuss

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 10, 2010

While I stood gazing out the kitchen window at the birds and squirrels in the back yard, I heard a yelp. Minnie, the miniature pinscher, had her nose wedged between the slats of the vertical blinds on the sun porch, peering out. She dashed to the door, bouncing and yelping as she scraped one paw and then the other against it. Minnie had a mission.

I opened the door. She raced down the steps and flashed across the yard. Goldfinches vacated the little mesh bags they hung on. Doves swept upward with a swish and flew out of the yard. Red birds took off from the clothesline and bird feeders toward the bushes next to the fence. A single titmouse winged its way to a tree branch. Squirrels made a hasty retreat in several directions; all except one that scurried up a tree, then made a reverse turn and moved down a few feet. It stared at her as if to say, “I know you can’t get to me.”

Minnie didn’t give it the time of day. She just ambled out in the yard with her head high, surveying her surroundings. I laughed, thinking she looked every bit “the queen” as our daughter sometimes calls her. Sometimes she takes on a stance every bit like those show dogs we see on television. I can’t believe how one minute she seems to have long back legs, then when she faces me, she looks short like our miniature dachshunds were. She has tiny ears. When she pokes her head out from under any cover, those ears make you think of a bat.

Minnie likes high places, so when we look for her in the house, we often find her perched on the top edge of a sofa pillow with part of her body on the back of the couch. She likes to get on the twin bed in the room I use for my office. Again, she climbs on top of the double pillows I have stacked against the head of the bed. Her sleek black body with touches of tan blends right into the brown coverlet on top of the pillows. Is she there or isn’t she, we sometimes ask ourselves at first glance.

Despite the vet’s advice to feed her small amounts, we sometimes just can’t restrain ourselves when we are at the table. She expects at least a couple of bites of my husband’s toast and jelly every morning. She instinctively knows when I take a tray to my recliner to eat while I watch TV. Within seconds, she’s right beside me, poking her nose dangerously close to my food.

Minnie’s brief forays into the yard only disturb the birds and squirrels temporarily. Before long, they return to the feeders. As for little Minnie, she’s either back inside lounging in one of her favorite high places or snuggled up to a warm human body.