Friday, August 7, 2009

The Fur Girls

Girls fill my life - wonderful daughters of all varieties - natural, adopted, grand, in-law; and friends, life-long and new, close and casual. And there are the animals, two dogs and two cats. Only one is male, Ketchup, a yellow tiger cat, who sleeps draped over my arm as I write. 
My dogs sleep. Dottie, an elderly Great Pyrenees, lies stretched on the floor in the other room. Phoebe, my little Aussie, lies curled nose to tail on my bed upstairs. Neither has moved a paw this morning indicating they'd like to go out. 
Their absence of desire to be out arises from their experience of yesterday when they went out in the morning not to be allowed back in till the moon had risen in a darkened sky. Poor babies! I didn't want to leave them out, especially Phoebe who prefers to be inside unless she's free to chase a frizbee. Dottie likes lying in the shade on cool grass, but is always pleased to come in late in the afternoon for a bowl of kibble.
Yesterday's banishment was my solution to having three people here, two of whom do not like dogs, and the other who is allergic to them. Had I known how upset Phoebe would be . . . Had I known how much my friends didn't like dogs . . . my life is strewn with "had-I-knowns."
In this case, though, I knew my friends, at least one of them, or thought I did. We'd planned this time during the winter, at first two weeks, then one, the final has been ten days. They would come to my home on the edge of the Atlantic in Downeast Maine, we would write, as we had done together in the past, we'd eat well, and enjoy each others' company, sleep soundly, and generally have a good time. They both knew I had two dogs. They knew! Dottie and Phoebe were not a surprise. 
As soon as they arrived, admired the view, brought in their stuff, started to get settled, the chorus began. I'm not sure of the spelling of 'ewe.' That spelling, of course, is a female sheep. Then there's 'yew,' the tree. As a sound of disgust, which one to use? I'm not sure. I'm only sure that it was the sound that began the chorus, followed by "Get away from me!" "Uck, go away, dog!" Each time either dog approached either woman, the woman would contract, pull her feet under the chair, turn her shoulders away, twist her face in a grimace and say either, "Ewe, get away from me!" or "Uck, go away, dog." 
Then the allergic one arrived. She was only going to be here for one full day. I figured we could cope, and thought we had coped, until I brought the girls in last night. Phoebe's eyes were not filled with reproach, it seemed more profound disappointment and sadness. I gave her a biscuit. She held it loosely in her mouth then dropped it on the floor, turned and walked, with her head low, to the couch and jumped up. She wouldn't look at me and I knew she wouldn't come upstairs even if I enticed her with a biscuit or greenie. Not after she'd dropped the biscuit on the floor. Dottie had eaten it with no hesitation.
Yesterday I noticed that my friends began saying things like, "Dottie's really cute," and "If I liked dogs I'd want one like Phoebe, she's a good size and has a cute face." Naw. I'm not buying it. They just realized that they might never visit here again, that I really like my fur girls and don't like having people show revulsion when the dogs are in the room. They are right. Like me, like my dogs. And if you happen to be allergic to dogs, this is not the place to come. Actually, you don't have to like my dogs but you can't be repulsed by them. 
Phoebe's still on my bed; Dottie's out. I've told Phoebe that my friends are leaving today and we'll get back to our normal way of being. She wagged her stubby tail and allowed me to rub her tummy. She'll probably eat a biscuit if I offer her one.

1 comment:

  1. absolutely! love me, love my dog....I am visiting with my friend Hazel, an extraordinary artist, and mother to one cat, four dogs and two horses. I am visiting because I accept they are part of her life, and she insisted I bring my one dog because she knows she is such a part of mine.

    Great writing! (this is sharon, as Queenie)