Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dust mop

Wimzie is a grumpy little ten-year-old lady, a dog with a personality that makes Hallmark's Maxine look like a sweet little cookie-baking granny. If Wimzie ever baked cookies, she'd put ground up glass Christmas ornaments in the dough and then forget to mention it as she offered you one.

I'm not really certain why I'm so foolishly attached to her. It certainly isn't because she's my best friend. If I ever suggested such a relationship to her, she'd probably hold up the middle claw on all four of her paws at the same time. Maybe it's because such a strident and vivid personality is such a funny thing to see in a fourteen-pound dog who looks like an old-fashioned dust mop. She does some impudent, annoying thing every single day, but I can't help but laugh at her.

A couple of days ago, she dismantled the kitchen trash, creating a mess that looked as if she'd waited until we pulled out of the back driveway, then ran to the front of the house to let in a group of her friends, including a couple of possums and several raccoons. When we walked in and saw what she'd done, the girls and I all exclaimed, "Wimzie, you are a bad bad girl!" and she got kind of close to the floor, but when my husband, her boyfriend, walked in and said, "Wimzie...." in a disappointed voice, she rolled over on her back and looked up at him beseechingly.

"Please love me," she begged him with her eyes. "It doesn't matter so much about the rest of them. In fact, I'd prefer that they all move out. But if you withhold your love from me, I will not be able to breathe."

Wimzie loves my husband with a passion that she doesn't bother to conceal, even in front of me, the one wearing his wedding ring. She ignores Hershey and tolerates me and the girls. She adores company and puts on this act worthy of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? by being frisky and adorable, allowing visiting friends to pick her up and carry her like a baby. Her perfectly round dark brown eyes twinkle and her black button nose sniffs fetchingly; four furry paws are held up like a little bunny rabbit's. Of course, guests don't know that if this mite had the chance off the leash to catch a rabbit, she'd break its neck and strew its entrails all over the grass before you could say hassenpfeffer.

This is a rough-coat Jack Russell terrier. Although
this is not Wimzie, it looks a lot like her. She's act-
ually a little bit cuter. I hope this one is a nicer
person than she is. I mean, dog. Photo credit:
Phinzup at

Today, I was having a few Cheetos with my lunch. I was sitting on the couch and the girls and I were getting ready to watch an encore TiVo'd performance of So You Think You Can Dance?. I thought it would be nice if Wimzie would come up to sit beside me so that I could pet her furry back, so I called to her.

She happened to be scratching herself in the middle of the living room floor, splayed out ungracefully like a broken umbrella. When she realized I was watching, she delicately began to scratch inside her ear and then commenced to use her tongue to clean off the toenails of the foot that did the scratching, which she only does because she knows it makes me want to vomit.

"Wimzie!" I said sharply. She ignored me. I tried to distract her by saying, "Wimzie, come here, baby. Come jump up here and sit with Mommy."

She looked at me disdainfully over one shoulder. You'd think I was the one with bad breath.

I don't think that bribery is always a good choice for manipulating the behavior of either children or pets, but I have to admit that it's sometimes dead useful. "Wimzie," I cooed, proferring one of my Cheetos. "Would you like a treat?"

Wimzie shot up onto the couch with an enthusiam that I managed to confuse with love for myself, the Generous Offerer of Junky Snacks, instead of for the junky snack itself. She sat on the cushion beside me, her head, with those bright eyes beneath the fringe of bangs fixed lovingly on me, tilted to one side. Her raspberry-pink tongue peeped out of her mouth and she put one paw on my leg.

"Who is Mommy's little girl?" I asked fatuously and handed her the Cheeto, which she took from my hand with a great deal of delicate refinement. She would prefer to take all her food in this manner, but not even I like her that much.

Having gripped the snack between her front teeth like FDR, she briskly jumped back down off the couch before I could stop her and ran off without a backward glance, probably chuckling inwardly at my gullibilty. I saw her a few minutes later, sneaking up the stairs, probably going to check and see if the bathroom wastebasket was full enough to warrant the effort to strew its contents all over the floor.

If this keeps up, she won't even answer to her name anymore and will oblige us all to call her Ms. Wimzie.

1 comment:

Kbg said...

Yep, Vash is the one here...the moment Mark walks in the door, Vash is the loyal friend...he follows Mark everywhere...if Mark sits, Vash sits at his feet. If Mark lays on the couch...he immediately has a buddy for company. If Mark moves one foot, Vash is up and ready to go. No one else exists when Mark is around. Gotta love it.