We’ve had our puppy Hazel for about eight months now, which is long enough to distinguish her preferences. I’m a big fan of list-making, and I bet if she had opposable thumbs she’d have a diary full of lists and longings and tiny hearts… But let us start with her anti-preferences.
1. Power Outages
Add to that smoke alarms and things that beep in general. We’ve been having a lot of power outages lately, and she’s been a little strung out.
2. The Sound of Snow Sliding off the Roof
The long scrape and slide punctuated by a heavy thwamp gets Baby Girl all nervous and ears-back. The other day she insisted on trying to sit on my lap while I worked. She weighs 65 pounds.
3. Being Left Behind
Disbelief! Outrage! Despair!
4. Salt Water
Ocean water was initially placed on Hazel’s list of likes, for about an hour, until we all learned a messy but valuable lesson on the meaning of salt flushes.
Although she doesn’t worry about her own moisturizing regime, she does have an intense and kind of gross obsession with licking belotioned body parts. Sometimes she waits outside the bathroom while I shower, then pounces on my feet when I come out. The scent of lavender or sound of hands rubbing together can literally make her run across the room, licking her chops.
Yeah, she has her bones and sticks and dog toys, but her favorite, the one she keeps returning to week after week, is a special moose antler. I am not exaggerating when I say she has now consumed about a foot of it through pure perseverance, saliva, and tooth-gnawing.
3-6. Crotches, wrasslin’, sneaking onto the bed, eggs, thievery, a good sniff
Pretty standard, self-explanatory dog stuff.
Oh, she loves sitting in front of the wood stove and watching the flames lick the glass. Although yesterday she did singe her tail, so I guess it swings both ways.
She must get this from me. I can shake the jar of kernels and she comes running, then sits expectantly in front of the popper, waiting for the inevitable errant corn to hit the ground.
As in, mine. Kind of embarrassing that the mere act of me putting on real pants and durable footwear solicits such a happy dance. That’s my bad.
10. Friends, Lovers
Hazel loves all of her human and dog friends. . . but her main boo is resident Lothario, Woody. If sirens were furry males, Woody would be one. He’s huge and gorgeous, and basically a wolf. With balls. Even I have a crush on him. Naturally Hazel is madly in love with him, and while they are adorable together, Woody is a capable wanderer, and Hazel would happily follow him into a pit of rabid kittens, and so every now and again, he comes knocking, and they play, and then he lures my baby away.
This has happened on more than one occasion, resulting in a wild-haired me shouting repeatedly, then jumping in the car to head them off at the far side of the woods. I hate these situations for lots of reasons, chiefly because 1) I don’t want anyone getting hit by car, train, wolf-pack, curmudgeonly neighbor, etc., and 2) I despise having to break up a clandestine rendezvous. I hate feeling like the joy kill, especially when Woody is so cool. It feels like I am embarrassing Hazel. Like I just busted her in the neighbor boy’s basement, drunk on Fuzzy Navel wine coolers. Except unlike a teen, she didn’t froth I hate you! and slam a door, but rather just fell into herself, looking pathetic as I lectured her on making better choices.
Sometimes it’s hard being the bad cop.
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