Friday, October 30, 2009

Say what?

Three years of public school French have enriched my life. I can go to any patisserie in Paris, say, "Je veux" and point-making the biggest croissant in the case mine.  I am not able to carry on more than a one-sided conversation, centered around my own selfish (and often food based) demands but that is how most native English speakers treat language in America, so I figure I even out the scale.  

No, the real linguist of the family is Viggo. By way of being a dachshund, Viggo will tilt his head when Peter and I speak and stare directly at us with his unblinking round eyes. He lives in a constant stay of awareness (disproving any ludicrous theories that napping is for the lazy.) When we talk he searches our words for meaning. He desperately wants to comprehend, which is obviously why he was built with such a long neck to crane. He listens, quietly, for trigger words. These include: go, out, trip, Sammy/Rocky (best pup mates), treat, and walk. As soon as one of those words is released into his ears he starts to party. It starts with running a victory lap around our place and is followed with him lunging up our legs-as if to say, "did YOU hear what I get to do?"

As a modern pup mom, I am very proud of his ability to process information but I am also riddled with guilt that I am not doing enough for him. Should I be looking for bone scented flash cards? Should I even be speaking English to him-what if he prefers Japanese? These are questions that will just have to remain unanswered for now. 

I would share these fears with anyone that is looking for a dachshund to parent as its not easy having gifted child. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Doggy Doors

We give Viggo the world or at least a Northwest, Continental USA portion of it. This weekend we took him to beautiful Cannon Beach where he frolicked in the sand and rain. To repay us for his much needed holiday he locked us out of the Jeep while we popped in for a quick coffee. Probably wasn't Peter's slickest move, leaving the keys in the ignition-at the very least I am concerned Viggo has intuited how to drive (isn't sticking ones head out the window of the car the first thing teenagers do when they are street legal? See, step one: passed)

Luckily Viggo didn't move the car but he did do a very curious thing. Rather than thrash and whine (like a drunk prostitute brought in for questioning) as he does when left alone at home- Viggo was calm during the hour we spent waiting for the lock guy. We spent much of the hour at the door window, like fools, trying to coerce him into pushing his paws on the unlock button. We probably looked like a backwards zoo. The small guy in the passenger seat serenely observed us as we flailed the hand not holding a latte around in the air. I guess we weren't much of a show though, at one point he took a nap. 

Considering how Viggo loves nothing more than to impersonate a guard dog, I would have thought he would have been worried for us. Here he was, ensconced in leather and bags of snacks and there we were, under a rain cloud and near other small dogs dressed in sweaters. But no, he didn't seem to mind in the least bit that we were in harms way.

Oprah tells us that Maya Angelou once said, "you never truly know a person until you see them deal with lost luggage." Today I met my dog. He's crafty with tools and calm under pressure. 


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Reuniting and it feels so good.

After 24 hours away from this little friend, hearts begin to ache. In this picture, Viggo reminds us that while he is happy to see us again, he hasn't forgotten who did the leaving. 

First Day of Cold

Viggo's version of a sauna and steam? A heating vent. We upgraded him to the lounger when he shelled out for the deluxe day spa package. He chose to chew his punch card,
unfortunately, so his 12th visit is most certainly NOT free.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Face the Fear

Fall is my heaven because its crisp- like the stirrings of life moving forward topped with cinnamon and coated with UVA tailgate ale. I've "started" my life in every city/country I have ever resided, in the fall season. Its always been good to me.

Funny then that with all this glee, I still have trouble emerging from my summer cocoon. Oh sure, I threw the shorts under a truck weeks ago but its the feet that are stubborn. I worship to a shrine of leather boots so its not for lack of motivation that makes the feet anxious. But I think that in a season that celebrates independence for me, covering up my feet signifies a restraint and that makes me nervous. (And perhaps after reading that sentence it signifies to you t-h-e-r-a-p-y.)

In an effort to ease my sensitive feet/psyche into enclosure, I started small today and visited a store called "Sock Dreams." I thought that walking into an all sock store was brave, like going to the Ringley Barnum & Bailey big top when you fear the painted face clowns- extreme therapy. 

The reason I mention all of this on Viggo's blog is not because socks play a significant role in Viggo's life; despite his fetish for dirty socks, he is pretty low key about his own footwear. But what he hasn't been particularly good at is accepting the arrival of fall. He stopped on his stroll down the steps for his early morning jobs. It was low 50's and he just bailed. 

I don't know how the pup brain works, if there is any sort of sensory based memory there but one would think so. He stopped as one does when they walk out the door and remember they forgot their phone. His refusal to continue down the steps was due to a reflection, not a dachshund stubbornness. Now, he is only 1-year, so he doesn't have much memory to retrieve but of the ones stored, I like to flatter myself they are happy, bacon scented memories. 

Possible hang-ups? We did put Viggo the newborn in many a fluffy sweater when we got him this time last year. Was he remembering the fleecy sweaters as torture to his manhood? Or are sweaters to Viggo like socks are to me-a physical reminder of a freedom taken away?
I don't want to kill the possibility of him forging a positive relationship with fall's bounty. I want to cure his seasonal disorder like the knee-high fishnet sock cured mine today. Maybe a bacon scented sock will do the trick.