Friday, February 22, 2008

Mabel on My Mind

Oh NO! Puppy on the bed!

I've spent a lot of time this past week pondering the wonders of my girl. While the calendar tells me she is six come Saturday, Mabel still behaves like a puppy. At least once a week, someone at the creek will ask me how old my puppy is. When I tell them almost 6, the reply comes that she's very big for six months. They will look at this large, strange, happy, energetic, playful girl with amazement when they realize we're talking about years.

I guess I'm starting to worry a little. She sleeps more, and not on the porch where she can "protect" her yard. Not on her bed in whichever room I'm working in. She prefers my bed during the day or when I'm asleep and her own bed tucked into a corner of my bedroom during the early evening.

But at the creek, she's all puppy: wide-eyed & alert. Her mood, like mine, is adjusted upwards when outside and exploring.

Shh!!! The baby is sleeping!

Five Years, Ten Months & Twenty Three Days

That is the longest I've ever had a dog. That is the reason, instead of rescuing another fully grown Rottweiler, I got a puppy six years ago (my first and last).

I must admit, I chose her for her looks. Clearly part rottie, but not quite. That black line that separates a Rottweiler's cheek from the muzzle was missing giving her the sweetest look on her face. She was cute and she knew it. But it was wearing off and her mischievous nature had made her so hard to place.

Yes, I KNOW I peed on the floor... but I'm CUTE!

Lately I've come to realize, I was meant to be her mom. No one else could put up with this brat! And frankly, no other dog would put up with me.

Even after all these years, she still pushes my buttons, tests my will and makes me just plain crazy. And, the thing I hate most about my dog is probably the thing that makes her the most like me: We both share an incredible need to march to our own offbeat drummer, everything else be damned.

A prime example is when we round the bend near the "kitty house." Mabel will glance over her shoulder to see if I'm on my game. Even if I am, she pauses at the fork in the trail, thinking: left to the kitties, right to the creek.

Some days, she darts and I have to forget about my ridiculous, handicapped feet and race after her, paying dearly for it later. But, I secretly enjoy when she makes up her own mind to turn right, rolling her big browns as if to say, I won't...but I could.

And still, just to piss me off one more time, she always stops to potty where the trail narrows, knowing (hoping?) I will pass her by and she can turn tail and run back to the kitties.

All Grown Up

Now that Mabel is six, I find her less needy. She no longer gives her kisses on demand. She doesn't need to join me every night on the sofa in winter (more like every other night).

Come cuddle Mama!

We've lived side by side and for most of that time, I've worked at home with her nearby. I know her dark side. She knows mine. We sleep side by side and while I fully admit she has me wrapped around her little toenail, I sometimes wonder how well I know her at all.

Around five this morning, in my pitch dark bedroom, I became aware of her breathing. It was not that of a sleeping, restful dog. It got my attention enough to force me fully awake. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I realized her head was up. Mabel was fully awake and alert. And she was staring at me.

I realized how vulnerable I was, sleeping with a big powerful dog in my bed. What was she staring at? What did she want?

I felt her moving, scooching closer. I see her paw moving. It went straight to my right wrist. She wrapped that paw around my wrist and pulled my hand out from under my pillow. She wanted me to pet her. At five in the morning?!?!?!?

I guess she's still my baby after all.

Queen of the Mountain

Happy Sixth Baby Girl! Many more...Please give me many, many more!


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Anonymous said...

She is a beautiful dog and I smiled all the way through this post. I love dogs almost more than people.

Happy birthday to her.

And many more....We had Cuddles, a mix, female, over weight, and we had to have her put down at 23 years of age. She had arthritis really bad and cried just to move. We couldn't let her suffer any more. She was special and saw all of our children grow up and leave home.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Mr. Lincoln, Welcome! Thanks for your kind words about my girl. I too have always loved dogs more than most humans.

You did the right thing by Cuddles. That was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. I only wish someone would be so humane to ME if I were in that much pain.

These pups are certainly a blessing!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Mabel! That was a really good post about you, and I enjoyed the baby pictures, you're such a beauty!

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Miss Janet, I am very much aware of my good looks but thank YOU for noticing! I think Mom needs to blog MORE about me but she tells me she already does!

Mom also tells me you will be interested to know I puked up my birthday present.

Slurp, Mabel Lou

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Mabel! Smootches from Ellie, Duffy and Vannie.

Annie said...

It's a beautiful day for a birthday. I think anyday is a beautiful day for a birthday, though. I loved reading your little essay here, Creekhiker. Pet Mabel again just for me.

Becky said...

I can't believe she is 6!! I remember when you got her. My how time flies. She is a cutie patootie!

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Carmon, Thanks for the good wishes.

Annie, Done and thanks!

Becky, I'm amazed you are a fan of hers considering how she just adores your hubby! I was looking at her and realized that little bit of brown on her nose is gone! She out grew it!

Anonymous said...

The sign of a successful birthday is when you puke after the party!

Linda@VS said...

Oh, no! I fooled around and missed Mabel's birthday. I'm sure she had a wonderful day, except for the puking part.

It's fun to watch them grow up and hard to watch them grow older. Butch and Kadi are both older (in dog years) than I am now. I think about how tired and achy I am some days and feel so grateful that they're getting along as well as they do. Kadi, the oldest of us, still runs full out in the yard almost every day, which amazes me.

Best wishes to you and your birthday girl.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Velvet, Kisses from Miss M for your warm wishes. Our pups are indeed a blessing.