Thursday, March 31, 2016

Meet Maggie Minx

I haven’t written for a while because I was busy.  Or so I thought. 

Now, I’m way busier and am only taking the time to write because it’s nap time.

No, silly.  We did not steal a stray baby.  Instead, we got a puppy.  A 4-month-old Yorkshire Terrier we’ve named Maggie Minx. 

And now I know what “busy” is. 

Yeah, yeah, I know.  Parents of real humans of the diapered or toddler variety are scoffing at that remark.

But I haven’t washed my hair in three days. I haven’t finished an actual cup of coffee in nearly a week. And a task that used to take me twenty minutes to accomplish now takes at least an hour because I’m constantly untangling her leash from chair legs and table legs and Jane legs.  And I’m taking her outside mid-task to make sure she, well, “makes.”

I guess it’s a good thing I never had any little humans of my own, eh?

Nah. In truth, I think I probably would’ve been a pretty good mom, but there’s a reason they say that parenthood is best left to the young.  Probably aching backs and arthritic fingers have something to do with it.

So why a puppy now?

‘Cause we’re insane.

Haha.  I jest.  But, no, really, we must be insane to want to deal with potty trips outside in the cold and the dark and the rain.  And we must be insane to want nipped fingers and accidents on the kitchen floor and nearly as much tracked-in mulch inside as there is outside in the flower beds. Let the fun times begin!

But we’re insanely in love with this little face and wriggly little body with its wagging nub of a tail and big, fuzzy ears that stand at attention.  And we melt when we look into her big brown eyes that peek out from behind a mane of hair that, were she human, I’d recommend a trip to the hair stylist for a trim and dye job, stat. Her coloring could best be described as “ombre.” But she loves it when we brush and pet that ombre hair and we wouldn’t change a thing.

Well, except for the nipping and the accidents on the kitchen floor part.

Most people I know are surprised (to say the least) that I consented to having a dog around the house.  I’ve never had a dog before and never really wanted to deal with the mess and the daily walks and collecting and carrying dog poop around in little bags. Cleaning out cat litter boxes was enough grunge work for me, I thought.

Clearly, there are dog people. And there are cat people.  And, while many people have both, I was always a faithful, card-carrying member of the Cat People Only Club.
But who says a set-in-her-ways kinda person can’t change her mind every once in a while?

True, Maggie is a tiny little thing and is smaller than our cats, Twinks and Jinx.  And we’ve heard, “…but that is not even a real dog,” spoken by those people who have big dogs, like Dobermans or Labrador Retrievers. 

But I kind of like the fact that she’s “portable.”  I can carry her around in my arms without my bursitis-riddled shoulders screaming at me to put down my burden.  And she fits into a small carrier that doesn’t require an extra row of seats in our vehicle for potential road trips.

On the other hand, it’s not all fun and games quite yet.  Twinks and Jinx, as you might imagine, are not overly fond of our new addition. They wonder who this interloper is who has caused a wrinkle in their placid little lives and who has disrupted their evening treat-time routine with her ridiculous barking.  They wait until she’s safely tucked away in her bed with the door closed before they venture near for a quick pet and rub behind the ears. They sniff at our clothes and think, Darn, we weren’t imagining that creature…we can smell her scent on you.

(Because, of course my cats think in complete sentences and are capable of complex thoughts.)

The first several times Twinks came within spitting distance of Maggie, she arched her back and hissed at her while Maggie barked as if it were the apocalypse.  

Jinx, our scaredy-cat, has barely come out of hiding for the past five days. The one time she ventured downstairs for her evening treat, she looked at Maggie on my lap, gave me a look of reproach, and turned on her heels and retreated to her under-the-bed hiding place. 

We believe progress is being made, though. This morning when Maggie and Twinks came face-to-face, neither hissing nor barking occurred. They merely looked at each other for a moment and then Twinks walked away. 

So we are keeping our fingers crossed that doggie- and kitty-bonding will occur one day soon.  And we hope we have a peaceful home that integrates both dogs and cats in harmony.
Hey, I said we’re keeping our fingers crossed, didn’t I?!

I can’t wait until she’s a little older and accidents on the kitchen floor are a thing of the past and we don’t have to keep her tied on her leash lest she run wild through the house. I’ll be glad when we train her not to constantly nip at our fingers. And I’ll be happy when I get to see Twinks and Jinx again without fearing that I’ll have to make like a referee and break up a major battle.

Well, I suppose this little blog of mine is done for the day.  Why?  Because it appears…

[potty break. Yes, for the dog…]

…as if someone is finished napping.  And now I must sweep up the mulch and grass that we’ve tracked in after our walk.

Let the fun times begin!