This has been a great Thanksgiving weekend, with my ninety-year-old mother-in-law, Anna, and the older of my two stepdaughters, Maureen, here for a visit.
But the star of the visit–as usual–is our miniature dachshund, Happy. After having had a dog of that breed many years ago, I knew that’s what we would want when we first considered getting a puppy about five years ago. And I knew “Happy” would be an appropriate name, even before we drove an hour into the countryside to meet the breeder and see the puppy we would ultimately decide to buy.
We didn’t get to take her home that day because she wasn’t quite old enough–she was born on Christmas day–but several weeks later we made that trek into the country once again to pick up our new little darling. We had used the waiting period to have our existing fence completed on the final side–expensive, but a wise decision.
Happy loves everyone–almost. We like to walk her in the neighborhood when weather permits, and she’s become better known to the little kids, the adults, and the variety of neighboring dogs and cats than Kathleen and I are. No wonder. She’s the center of attention.
She seems to have trouble understanding why the cats won’t pay her any attention, though. What’s so funny is that–if a cat acts like it’s going to attack her–Happy will yelp painfully and scramble away without ever being touched. Anticipatory pain? Who knows?
Back to Thanksgiving. Maureen grew up with dogs in the house, but Kathleen didn’t, and her mother has never had a dog. So we knew her visiting us and being around Happy would be a new experience. I made a prediction. Two, actually. Anna would fall in love with Happy. Maybe that’s not happened quite to the extent I’d expected, but she’s become tolerant of (and apparently not unhappy about) having Happy jump up and get in her lap.
My other prediction, made largely in fun, was that Anna would become so used to Happy that she’d go home and get a dog. A big dog so she could see it more easily and be in less danger of tripping over it. Kathleen thought this prediction to be highly unlikely to happen, and Anna agrees.
I’m not giving up, though. As of the time I’m writing this, she still has three days left during which to become that fond of dogs.
In the meantime, though, I’m just thankful she loves us enough to love–or at least accept–Happy.
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