The Dog Chronicles: Andie 1/17/2015

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Andie and I are into the New Year and thriving in the rain with its enveloping winter darkness, damp, wet fog and much welcomed downpours. Andie is a true Cocker and loves water. I noticed that a while ago when she ran alongside the drainage ditch off the street on which we live  and exuberantly chased flow. Back then she hunted bubbles and autumn leaves. The latter, which were snatched with the greatest of skill, ended up in her day bed as triumphant  trophies.

In our temperate climate, freezing nights are not plentiful, but still require the taking-in of some plants. Thus, the kitchen table becomes a herbaceous extravaganza much like Granny’s house in January or to our taste—-Marti Gras:

IMG_3387The wonderful thing about Andie is that at her young age much in life is brand new and she seems to be so inquisitively alert to all possibilities. Rain and water, for example, has become a winter sport for her. The other day she jumped right into the shallow drainage slough and ran along snapping at bubbles. But, thank Gawd, she doesn’t drink any of it. I guess she watched the Rachel Maddow commentary on Governor Snyder of Michigan poisoning a hundred thousand people in Flint. She did wonder if Michael Moore was OK, but I didn’t know and changed the subject.

I guess I should mention Andie actually watches television with me on occasion and sometimes something catches her interest on the computer monitor, especially if its animal sounds. Puppies always get her out of the day bed to run over, stand on two legs and then switch to kibble treat mood. Recently there was a dogs video and I tried to teach her how to howl, but she would have none of it and immediately switched her attention to the scone crumbs on my breakfast plate.

Then, not long after that she started making little sounds when her ears were scratched or her tummy rubbed—–loves that! She stretches and turns and stretches and rolls around. Andie says it’s dog yoga she learned from her Fairy Dog Mother Sara. If Andie were a real show dog I think she would qualify for the Olympics. Of course, as her most loyal human, I am completely objective in these matters.

But, back to the subject of emoting sound; Andie barked for the first time a few nights ago and it startled me out of sleep. I woke to find her standing at the edge of the bed staring down the hallway—-growling! Andie has such a sweet nature, it alarmed me, because for some weeks now I often feel a chill as if somebody else is in the house. I know of course no one is, but the sensation is so real-time and unnerving. When Andie first arrived she would often stand at the corner of the bed and stare out into the hallway or up toward the ceiling. I assumed she would be a fly catcher like our beloved Bodhi Dog.

Well, we all know and experience such mysteries and then get on with things. Deja vous is like that too. It could be she’s watching too much ‘Law & Order’ with me. Not long after, that scary incident she growled at a black Shepard on TV, Tom Selleck on ‘Blue Bloods’ and those wolves on ‘Nature.’ Who knows what’s next. Now if she growled at Governor Snyder, I could understand and even join in, but Tom? True, he’s a little long in the tooth these days, henna strange and a hunk well past prime, but really Andie!

Andie and I have finally worked out sleeping arrangements. Before she just slept in the middle of the bed. I had to disturb her, pick her up and move her here or there. Then at Christmas I received a fleece blanket and got the good idea to make her a more stable nest: IMG_3367 - Copy

It’s working! I have more room now to toss and turn. Poor Andy has to put up with me moving all around. Trace used to call me the ‘Night Flyer’ , but now it’s worse. I’m beginning another round of failing health, which occurs about every other year after it all began when a nasty spider bite coincided with a catastrophic systems failure. Not even the ‘Geek Squad’ could get my mainframe working properly again. Doctors just change pharma, cut out this, substitute that and eschew the last rites of maintenance.

I swear I mind read one of my doctor’s thoughts: ‘Poor old guy has more dysfunctional parts than his rusted out 95 Cadi.’  Said doctor is  without any discernible personality, empathetic  components. Worse he looks like he’s thirteen years old and could be delivering the Sunday newspaper into the ditch water in which Andie so likes to play.

This does affect Andie, but in a way which convinces me that the glass is always full. When in this condition my bed turns against me and I become so uncomfortable that I pull out a bunch of old New England blankets and make a futon on the floor and burrow into my fleece. Several years ago I spent an entire two winter months in the living room in front of the fireplace. Poor Trace would come in every now and then to check on me and Bodhi Dog would sniff my head to see if I was still alive.

Andie however has decided to groom me as if to prepare me for a shroud. I think she’s channeling her inner Mary Magdalene. After all, Easter is not that far away. I am not blaspheming by assuming divinity, because, if reincarnation is actually manifest, I surly would be one of the two thieves or Barabbas in that morbid long ago tale.  Before going to bed and waking in the morning she licks my head as if my life depends on it. Then I rub her tummy and scratch her ears as she settles into the new nest.

Andie notices everything, so she has figured out that the old man puts on his moccasin slippers first thing in the morning, so she grabs one, jumps up from the floor to the bed with it and puts it near me.  Andie knows by heart that the slippers lead to the kibble breakfast box. Sometimes I find the slipper in her trophy day bed.

This morning when I switched to the floor in the wee hours Andie perched on the edge of the bed like Snoopy doing vulture and watched me for a time before settling down and putting her beautiful head between her paws and fell asleep. When I next woke, I found the lot of her toys piled near me. All her precious things she gathered in one place.    Just love that dog!

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6 Responses to The Dog Chronicles: Andie 1/17/2015

  1. rainnnn says:

    She is so cute and glad she’s still doing well. I miss it when I don’t get an Andie update

  2. robin andrea says:

    So good to see an Andie post. She is such a lively, funny, energetic little furry being. I love how you two interact.
    What you say about your young doctor reminds me of so many of my experiences lately with modern medicine. I can’t seem to find someone who seems connected to the real world. There is something missing: empathy, insight, and compassion. I wish you were our neighbor. I’d bring you soup and a story about the day.

  3. Tara says:

    she is a gem. so loving and connected to you. that she brings you slippers and toys when you are ailing is a marvel. the plants you brought in look fabulous in their kitchen jungle. feel better, my friend. this, too, shall pass.

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