Wine Before Five
Because Life is Good. And Sweet & Short.
Anna was a street walker. I don’t think she meant to be; she’s a good girl. And I’m not convinced she actually “turned tricks.” You’ll see why in a moment. She had some good training in her early life – she knew how to sit obediently without hesitation, and has always come immediately when called. Even better, she was housebroken. : )
But there she was, wandering alone, on a busy city street, in not such a perfectly acceptable neighborhood for a young lady to be out and about alone, and especially not in traffic. Lucky for her – Lucky for us! – a kind-hearted dog-loving friend, Ms. Mozart, spotted her, thought she knew her, opened her car door, called out “Anna!” and in she hopped. Except she wasn’t that Anna. Three weeks later, after extensive searching for her owners, then for a new owner, she became our Anna.
Ms. Mozart has re-christened her Annabelle. Then Ms. Mozart’s sister added her own middle name to give her a little more class. And now she is:
Annabelle Elise Mozart Weatherly.
Anna is cautious. No matter how many times you give her a familiar treat, she always checks to be sure it’s safe to eat. If a tossed toy accidentally goes into a “people” basket, she will not retrieve it. See? She has, she had, no desire to be anything but a Good Girl.
She has endearing qualities. She’s lovey. If you scold her, her ears go down, she is sorry, and then she sits beside you, head on your shoulder, cuddling up to apologize. She loves to have her muzzle kissed. She is a perfect lap dog, laying just her head on your knee to keep you company through your favorite movie, to enjoy that lovely fire on a cold, crisp morning, or just to help you read your book. She behaves on a leash – sitting statue-like still while you latch it on – and she is a perfect lady at the Vet’s. She has her own sense of time: she arises at 7 a.m., likes breakfast immediately, and likes lunch promptly at 11:30. She goes to bed whenever I do… She is loyal.
Anna loves music. Anna loves, loves, loves music. When I click on music at the computer, she moves from her rug beside me to lean over the arm of my chair and listen, smile on her face, tail wagging. I never leave the house without turning on music for her. She’s a fan of easy listening, but I’m pretty sure her favorites (like mine) are Golden Oldies. You know, Motown, 50’s rock-n-roll. We’re a good match; my musical talent is playing “Name That Tune” from the Sixties. So did Anna acquire her love of music while living with Ms. Mozart, or is it simply in her genes? I suppose we’ll never know, but it, too, is an endearing quality.
Anna also loves the vacuum – especially since I purchased a doggie attachment that has a tool on the end to brush through her long hair & remove the shedding strands. She now prances and dances when the vacuum comes out of the closet, and waits with great excitement — sitting obediently — for her own vacuuming, rolling over on her back so her tummy can be cleaned as well.
Anna has one shortcoming, I have to admit – because anyone who has met her would point it out to you. Like Tigger, she bounces vertically with excitement – when it’s time for breakfast, when a new friend enters her home, when she really wants to play. It’s apparently impossible to take the bounce out of a Tigger.
The Vet estimated her age at 18 months at her first visit two years ago. Young enough to learn things, and she has. She knows the distinct “click” of the off switch on my battery-operated wireless mouse, and on hearing it, immediately stands to walk with me out of the room. She knows she is not allowed to exit the side or front doors, only the back door into the fenced yard. She knows she gets the very last bite of my morning peanut butter toast. She knows there’s no reason to climb the stairs when I walk up for a shower, and so she lays patiently on the landing to wait for me. And she doesn’t bother to help with laundry, either – she simply lays on the basement stair landing, again, patiently. We don’t know how she knows or decides these things, but she does.
I was sure Annabelle Elise Mozart Weatherly would quickly learn other tricks in addition to “Sit.” Shake. Stay. Roll Over. High Five. But no. After six months she finally – f i n a l l y – cautiously offered her right paw — held slightly off to the side (you never know about humans, they just might steal your paw, you know) when I said “shake.” That was it. Just Sit. And Shake. No other tricks. Just two.
But sometimes, when you find a sweet, loving and obedient dog, especially a housebroken one, it’s okay that she only has two tricks. It’s just fine.
I love Anna.