Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Miss Almost Perfect

As you look at this picture of Blueberry, no doubt you are seeing the perfect, model greyhound that everyone wishes they had on their own couch. She's a beautiful blue brindle so beautiful that an artist once asked us if she could paint a picture of her. It may be hard to believe that we were not her first home. She came to us just after she turned two years old to live here with us and her mother, Lilac. When she first came here, she was a shameless wild child. She could steal the food right off your plate and have it inhaled before you even noticed it was missing. Then she'd look up at us with those gorgeous mismatched eyes of hers and we'd forget all about her transgression. Still, she had a good heart, and her intentions were mostly good. We were in love with her despite her puppy enthusiasm. It was easy to forget that she was our wild child when we saw her curled up and looking so innocent on the couch.

She'd been taught some "tricks" by the woman who'd had her before, such as jumping up and taking a treat from her mouth. It took us months to teach her that trick wasn't acceptable. She'd sit in the rocket launch position and then just leap up at your face. I should mention at this point that I believe it might be possible she has a titanium plate attached to her skull. When your head connects with hers, you will see stars. In any event, we had some issues to work through in her younger years. Every year, on her birthday, I would explain to her that now that she was a year older, it was time to act like a big girl and give up her hoyden behaviors. She usually blew a raspberry at me and went back to what she was doing. This went on for several years -- actually right up until this time last year. I am still stunned by her sudden turn around. Although, I can't complain.

Treat's role in our home was always Miss Perfect. I'm sure I told Blue on plenty of occasions that she should act more like Treat. When Treat died last year, Blueberry suddenly took on a lot of her traits and her mantle of being Miss Perfect. She would lay beside me on the couch in Treat's spot and sprawl out so that nobody could come between us. We took her to the adoption kennel to help us find a new hound to bring home. She turned up her nose at all of them, and gave a certain male hound up there named Try a serious lesson about what happens when you get too fresh with the ladies. Finally, they brought in the last hound for us to meet. Blueberry decided that she didn't hate her and the decision was made.

Bunny came home a few weeks later and Blueberry took on the job of teaching her how to be a good dog. Bunny has followed her lessons quite carefully and we've been thrilled by her progress and by Blueberry's blossoming into the perfect dog we always knew was hiding inside her. However, Blueberry has one vice, and recently it has given me cause for concern.

Here you see Blueberry and Bunny looking like sweet, innocent hounds together. I fear that Blueberry may have an unhealthy influence on this young, impressionable young hound, however. One thing I will give Blue credit for is that she is very wily. She never misses a trick.

Enter grilling season. My husband loves to cook on the grill. Just say the word and he'll be out there flipping meat in the middle of a blizzard. There's no deterrent. When the weather starts to warm up, he cooks outside a lot more since it helps keep the house cooler. As I said, Blueberry has almost completely reformed from her old ways. There is just one thing that she cannot resist.

When my husband grills hamburgers, he'll set the buns on the plate and go out to get the meat. This spring he's returned on many occasions to find the plates empty after his quick trip out the back door. This usually results in a bit of swearing from my husband as Blueberry stands in the kitchen gently wagging her tail and batting her eyelashes at him. He then grumbles and gets out more buns as he asks me why I didn't stop her. I didn't stop her because I didn't know you were going outside and because I didn't know she or the hamburger buns were in there is what I tell him.

Her journey into larceny has escalated, however. This past weekend she got caught after she wolfed down the raw hamburger that my husband had left in a bowl for a second. At least she had a mild stomach ache afterwards! Even though she's my husband's favorite, she got quite a talking to when he figured that one out.

So now she is being watched closer than surveillance on Rod Blagovich. She doesn't set foot in the kitchen without someone watching her. So she's had to resort to a new tactic. I can imagine it goes something like this:

Blueberry: Hey, Bunny! The coast is clear! Run in the kitchen and get us those hamburger buns!

Bunny: Will somebody pet me if I do?

Blueberry: Enough with the petting! This is serious! We don't have much time!

Bunny: I don't know... If I look really cute, Mom will probably pet me and give me one anyway...

Blueberry: You are missing the point! Why ask for it when you can steal it?! Don't worry about flashing the doe eyes at Mom unless you get caught!

Bunny: Get caught?! If I get caught there won't be any petting, will there?

Blueberry: Hurry up! They're coming!

Bunny: Oh, hi mom! Pet me! Pet me! Pet me!

I've seen them standing together at the doorway. The fact that Blueberry turns around and goes to lay down when I catch them is a tell tale sign. Fortunately, so far Bunny has proven to be incorruptible. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it stays that way. Blueberry, I'm watching you! You're almost perfect, but not quite there and I love you anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Hubba Hubba Hubba
    Blueberry, you can nip my buns anytime.

    S Maxwell


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