Friday, January 20, 2012

Tweenhood Is A B*tch

I feel sorry for our little dog, Juno. She is at that awkward age, an adolescent, not quite a pup, but not quite grown. She is too big to pick up, and too little to stand sedately and be petted. The big dogs have stopped exhibiting their open disdain for her. Now they pose stiff-legged, tails in the air, cautiously wagging as Juno bounds up to them and attempts to touch noses.

When we leave every morning, I stop at the garage entrance and turn to pet Juno, who is up on the porch. She leans into me, calm for a frozen moment in time. Then I tell her, "See you later, alligator," and The Pony and I make our getaway. It's quite possible that Juno thinks her name is "alligator."

In the evening, Juno rushes to the garage area and waits for me to greet her. It's a totally different dynamic than she has with The Pony. She romps back and forth from the garage to the kitchen door as he goes ahead to unlock it. Then she gallops back to meet me. I put down my stuff and give her a two-arm hug. She is so. Very. Still. Like she remembers her starving puppyhood, when I picked her up on my shoulder every evening, and she rooted her nose into my hair just under my left ear. Now she tucks her face under my arm, or up by my neck, and leans her body against me. If I were to move, she would fall off the porch. She holds this position until The Pony comes back out, or I break away. Then she's like jumping beans on meth, all riled up and springy like a border collie who wants a frisbee.

It's so hard to grow up.


Chivimi said...

But isn't that utter love, devotion, and trust wonderful. Does your heart melt every morning and afternoon when you hug her and tell her hello/goodbye?

Hillbilly Mom said...

It used to tear me up to leave her in the mornings. She was so tiny and friendless. The big dogs wouldn't even come up on the porch any more. So she had all day to play alone with her toys and animal parts that she scavenged from the others in the yard.

She tries SO HARD to be still so I will pet her. She has her doghouse under The Pony's window, and hears him laughing at his TV all evening. He says he hears her snoring at night.

During the daylight hours when we're home, Juno sits in a chair on the porch, looking in the window of #1's room. "It's creepy, Mom. Every time I look out, she's looking at me." She seems happy as a clam. Even her surgery a couple weeks ago didn't slow her down. She was so very happy to come back home at the end of the day.

Chivimi said...

Almost every dog I have ever owned as been a rescue, either from the side of the road, abuse, or to keep from being sent to a kill shelter. Every one of them has been so loving, so grateful that it breaks my heart. The latest two have made me laugh more,and shown more love than I ever thought an animal was capable of possessing. The sweetest thing is that they were rescued together and if they are separated for too long they have anxiety attacks. They have to be able to get to each other. It makes me wonder what they experienced to create such a bond. And then I decide it is probably better I don't know. But know I get the benefit of all that love they stored up and I am happy.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I am such a sucker for a dog. I have 4 and they each have different personalities. My old dachshund, Oscar, thinks his middle name is dammit. Emmy, his wife dog is the sweetest, most obedient dog in the world. Wall-E, the mutt will soon be published. And then there is Toni Louise, the dog pound rescue. She is at that in between stage, too. She is very affectionate, if a little overbearing.
I am a crazy dog lady, just like my girls said!

Hillbilly Mom said...

Our little rescue gal needs someone to tie a knot in her tail where her chicken-chasing is concerned. I feel bad to do it, but chickens have rights too! It doesn't mean we love her any less. But she needs to learn the boundaries.

I agree about the personalities. Our beagle cops an attitude every time he is reprimanded for snarling at the other animals over food, or for snapping at the goats. He will hold a grudge for days. At least he's not an eyeball-licker!

Chivimi said...

We have so many animals here with so many different personalities it would take a week to describe them all. Can't help it, we are suckers for abandoned pets.
I understand the need for a shock collar. We had chickens at one time and a dog that liked chicken A LOT. Also two of the dogs we have now have been caught killing kittens in the past. I do not hold it against anyone when they are used for training or discipline. I would rather use a shock collar than have to get rid of someone who has captured my heart.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Yeah. For those who think it's so terribly cruel to use a shock the dog's comfort more important than the life of a chicken or a kitten? I think not. Pups are disciplined by their mom's teeth, and learn from their brief episode of discomfort.

She's a big girl now, not tiny and fragile. It's not like she's going to wear that shock collar for eternity. We have to borrow it to start with. And it was certainly effective for the chicken-killer. No further murders.

labbie1 said...

Lovely word pictures there!

Hillbilly Mom said...

Thank you. That little dog virtually writes her own copy.