Chilidog, I was looking at your baby pictures today. Couldn't help but smile. Especially at the first.
In this one, you are a roly-poly two months. Your coat, grey and white and black tipped eiderdown. Fluffy as an spring time chick. Your stocky little tan legs appear too short for your black masked head and upright charcoal ears, which alertly point to the deep azure sky above the jungly spiky grass that you hunker down in. Your purple collar is too big for your neck and hangs slightly askew. I can't see it, but I suspect that your favorite red rubber ball is somewhere nearby. Your head is slightly cocked and your coca cola eyes shine with the mischief that I've come to know all too well in the five years since we made each other's acquaintance. In fact you are too cute for the poor description I've written.
If I had been made aware of the puppy finding expedition and had been coerced into riding shotgun, even I might have succumbed to your incredible cuteness, just like your first owned human did, even knowing better as I certainly would have known with my dog breed familiarity. For, you do not buy an Australian Cattle Dog puppy, not unless you have nothing else to do with your days and nights but train. You do not buy a no rules just right, one speed fits all at warp four, boldly going where no one has ever gone to before sort of puppy. A puppy that micro naps but never deeply sleeps. A puppy that defeats crates and pulls the eyelids of sleeping pit bulls with her sharp little milk teeth instead of just letting bully boys lie wherever they want to. A puppy that fears nothing, who leaps forward to catch misfiring bottle rockets on the 4th of July as they whiz down the street straight at her instead of flying upward into the sky. You do not buy an Australian Cattle Dog puppy when you work full time and go to college at night and already have a cat and two pit bulls and four birds and a rat and a snake or four. Especially a puppy whose kennel name is Big trouble in Little China. There's danger there, Will Robinson.
Well, anyway , Chili dog, you were really as cute as an Easter bunny. The picture proves it. That's how you came into your first owned human's life and then ultimately into mine a few months later. After you'd broken your hip wrestling with the 100 pound pit bull. After you'd eaten her carpet and terrorized the cat. Was it really you that sent Hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Jeanne packing? Or did it just seem so? In any case, I didn't regret taking you in. Well, not for the first ten minutes anyway, until you hopped against the front door and locked me outside. “How long is she staying?” Danny asked for the first three days. But then, something funny happened. Danny fell in love with you. It only took him a week. It took me awhile longer, and, dingo spawn, don't tell anyone, but I fell in love with you, too. Even after all the trash can robbing and the eating of roach baits and the ruined Oriental rugs.
In fact, we both missed you last weekend on our trip to the Panhandle. And, It didn't feel right without your forty four pounds pinning my legs to the mattress last night. No one barked me awake for biscuits this morning, since the other card carrying members of The Mutley Crew are more polite than you. But, I missed you. The house was too orderly and too clean this morning. Nobody rolled in the sand pit outside and then came inside to shake off the dirt all over the floor. There were no fluffy tumbleweeds of fur rolling around the baseboards. I'm nuts, that's why I drove halfway across God's green Orlando earth to fetch you home from the doggie pet resort with the bone shaped salt water pool and the canine play groups and pricy pet grooming as soon as I'd had my coffee. Even though you knocked my car out of gear in front of a policeman, lowered the automatic windows three times with your busy little paw, got your head in the dog food bag, jumped over the back seat at least forty times in forty minutes and turned off the radio and a/c just when I needed to watch for my turn.
Busy and bad to the bone, that's you, little Chilidog. You Tasmanian devil dog, you. Oh cleverest of canines, she who bring chaos in her wake wherever she trots. She who had dingos in her family clan, scratching pesky Australian fleas under widow-making Eucalyptus trees not so long ago as the Kookaburra flies. Welcome home, little blue heeler.
PS: Abby missed you, too. Ginny, I am not so sure about.
This post was written in a Woodstream Writing Workshop in response to a prompt that started "In this one"...