Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Zelly Zelly Bo-belly

It is a ridiculously beautiful day, even by local standards, and I have the afternoon off work. There's about eight thousand more interesting things I could be writing about, but lucky you, you get to hear about my dog, Miss Zelda Clifton. She gets mail. From Hillary and Obama. She thinks it's delicious.

I've never had a dog before and I didn't know anything about them. Yes, I've seen dogs before; I've just never lived with one. I thought I'd get something tiny. Smaller puddles. Zelda was listed for free on Craigslist. There was nothing going on with her family, they just really wanted to get rid of her. I did manage to get this bit of information out of their five-year-old daughter: Lexy (her name then) had killed two of the neighbor's cats. Oh. Good to know. I suppose if I'd had a cat mom and dad wouldn't have told me that. Come along, doggie; these aren't your kind of people anyway.

I took Zel (named after Ms. Fitzgerald and not the video game, thanks) to the vet and discovered she'd been chipped. I had it read and discovered Zel was thirteen months old, a purebred show-quality rat terrier and had had four different addresses. I made home number five. I wondered why so many people had given her up until I took her home.

I think she's grand. She does all the doggie stuff you see in cartoons: chases cats, digs holes, turns around three times before she lays down, barks at imaginary crap, all of it. As a special treat sometimes we'll watch Animal Planet. She goes nuts barking at the TV. Whenever the GEICO ad with the squirrels comes on she just hurls herself at the set. It's a crackup. I hope she gets them someday.

So I was thinking about how people say dogs get to be like their owners, or maybe it's vice versa. Let's see. She's got terrible manners. OK. Likes beer, liverwurst and onion sandwiches and steak tartare. Sometimes at the same meal. Check. Hobbies include annoying people and risking her life teasing larger animals. Whoa. Freaky. She's incredibly butch, yet dainty. She was run over by a pickup truck -- complete with tread marks -- and only sustained a broken pelvis and dislocated hip. And she lost a tooth. In the back, though; you can't see it when she smiles. She's very good with nonverbal expression. For instance, she never has an "accident" on the rug. That's all on purpose, my friend. And she's punctual. Every morning at 0551 she stands on you, checking to see if you're awake yet, because someone needs to go for a walk or else the rug gets it, see.

My best guess is that Zel had too much personality to suit her other families. I can relate. All in all, she makes a good alter ego. Plus, the camera loves her. She's much more photogenic than me.