Monday, January 17, 2011

Cat ladies can also love dogs

Ask anyone and they'll tell you I'm a cat lady. They fit perfectly with my personality and they're low maintenance. I've never really liked dogs; they're fun to play with, but I never connected with any of the ones my family had.

About three years ago, my parents adopted a dog from a local shelter to take with them when they went out to remote locations for work. They took her out into the shelter yard to get a feel for her and the first thing she did was proudly drop a deuce before taking off. Moments later, she returned with a stick to be thrown. It earned her the name Twiggy.

Since we've had her, Twiggy has become more than just a family pet. She's my little sister, my mom's baby. Twiggy pouts and sulks when she doesn't get her way or is in trouble. When someone sneezes, she hides. When she's scared, she lays on the floor next to dad's side of the bed. Mom even made her a Facebook page (that mom uses for Farmville).

Ron and I can both leave the house with no issues, but if mom and dad leave and she doesn't get to go along, she lays on the couch, head on the armrest closest to the door waiting. And if they don't bring her a treat, she pouts some more.

A mutt, probably with some terrier in her, Twiggy is one of the smartest dogs I've ever seen. She fetches, dances, waves, shakes, high-fives, sits, lays, and speaks. She shreds rope toys until the living room is covered with string. Twiggy also talks; she knows to make a certain sound when we ask if she wants it (a treat), when we tell her to say 'mama', and when she wants to go out.

Last Sunday night she went outside to play in the yard and a few moments after she went out, Ron came tearing out of his bedroom and threw the front door open. We thought she'd been shot. She ran in screaming in that terrifying way dogs do and dad and Ron took off outside to try and figure out what might have happened.

She was hurt, but she walked around alright and we got her to lay down for a while. In the morning she was still bleeding some, so mom, dad, and Ron braved the snow to take her to the vet. Twiggy has three wounds, the culprit likely a buck, and one of the horns went all the way through and out her skin. Luckily only skin (and her pride) was hurt, and the antler missed anything vital.

A week of pain meds, antibiotic wound cleaning, and lots of treats, Twiggy's doing a lot better. She's still healing, but the wounds are smaller and she's back to her old self. She still isn't allowed to go out on her own, but she has gone for a few rides in the car. In another week or so, my little canine sister will be just fine and back to chasing deer again. Because there's one more thing about her: she is stubborn as hell, and until she catches one of them things, she isn't going to stop.

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