In a lifetime of dogs, this one’s funniest

Published 12:31 am Saturday, June 4, 2016

As I stood in my bedroom folding clothes, I thought I heard something. I peeped between the blinds and saw her. Yes, it was my 10 pounds of black and white fluff, Little Girl, barking at the back door. Apparently, she saw a squirrel or maybe a cat. Whatever it was, she had no inclination to chase it. I knew it was a call for me to let her inside to safety. She wastes no time on those uninvited visitors.

She had not been outside long at all. About 30 minutes earlier while I was on the telephone, she jumped up on the back of the couch and made a funny little noise—sort of a half-cry. I know it well. It is what she does when she wants something. Without even glancing at a clock, I knew it was 5 p.m. or past. She was ready for her evening meal. With her majestic tail wagging, she followed me to the kitchen. “Ready for your green beans?” I asked. I dropped some dry food in her bowl and scooped out some canned green beans to go on top. She eats that concoction the way I relish steak and gravy. After a meal, she asks to go back outside.

I’ve had a dog almost all my life, but none like her. She makes me laugh. If I settle down in my recliner with a tray in my lap, she stays on the floor to watch me eat. She does not beg, just keeps a close watch on me. After I finish eating, she leaps up in my chair, gets into my lap and sweeps her tongue over my clothing, hunting any leftover crumbs. Sometimes I find her in the kitchen in search of crumbs. My daughter jokes that if Little Girl lived with her, she would never need to sweep and mop her kitchen.

When Little Girl came to live with me, I noticed how well trained she was. If I drop a pill or any food item, she waits for permission to pick them up. My other dogs always gobbled up everything in an instant.

Each night when I pick up her bed, she races ahead of me to show me where the bedroom is. I place her bed on my bed and lift her into it where she settles herself for the night. If I get up in the early morning hours, I often find her on her back beside my pillow with her tail wagging and a smile on her face upon my return. Sometimes I order her back to her bed. She reluctantly creeps back in, looking sad. Other times, I can’t resist the pleading look in her eyes. I let her stay and she snuggles against me.

She often leads me to her water bowl and stands looking at me—asking permission to drink. “It’s OK,” I mutter. “Where did you get this crazy habit?” She drinks. I laugh and shake my head.



Nina Keenam is retired from the newspaper business. Her column appears on Saturdays.