It’s a refrain I hear daily.
Roxie was born outside in the rainy spring of 2014. Her young mom was a purebred black lab who, in true dog fashion, got knocked up right before she was scheduled to be spayed. Roxie and her twelve litter-mates shared a fenced enclosure under a carport. She’s used to being outside. But it warms my heart to have her near.
The day we went to pick a puppy, the rain was driving sideways. The family laughed when we showed up, saying they thought for sure we would cancel. We picked up the two remaining females. I turned each one over in my arms in turn. Roxie immediately went limp and sunk her head back as if she would snake out of my arms. What a weird dog.
“We’ll take this one.”
When we returned the next time, she ate up the attention, that is until Sunshine placed the small, red collar on her neck. She flopped. She rolled. She jumped at Sunshine’s face. Her body language said, in true toddler tantrum terms, get this thing off me! We placed her back in the pen, where she found a spot in the mass of jumping, writhing black and white furballs, lay down, head on paws, and glared at us as we walked away.
When we got her home, Sunshine took over parenting duties. She cuddled the pup. She coddled the pup. She now asks me if we blame her that Roxie is so strange. I’m sure she didn’t help the situation.
Roxie spent her first few months cozy in a warm bedroom with an adoring companion.
My husband always says he doesn’t want an inside dog. He hates pet hair, and who can blame him, but we traded our carpet for laminate a few years ago, so that’s much easier to keep clean. He says the dog stinks, and she probably does, but she’s not inside all the time. She actually prefers to be outside in the company of the other two, not-house-trained dogs. (When I tried the inside trick with one of them, he promptly peed on my couch. Not going to happen.)
She’s a good house dog. She curls up on her bed, just happy to be around her people. She is very attuned to us and easily trained, but she has her willful side. When she wants in and nobody is paying attention, she paws the back door. Repeatedly. If one paw doesn’t work, she knocks with both, or scratches the screen. (She knows that will get someone’s attention.)
We used to keep her crate set up for those rainy days when she would come in wet. One such day, Mr. A was leading her out with the requisite command. She sulkily followed him, but darted into her crate at the last minute. There was no way she was going out in that weather, warm dog house or no. Many times she has made these decisions. She has her favorite place on the floor in the corner of the sectional, right underfoot. She can be sound asleep, but when she knows Mr. A is coming to sit on the couch, she will wake up and slink over to her dog bed. She knows if she lays low he won’t command her outside.
We conspire against him, Roxie and I. She lays low. I keep the broom and Febreeze handy. In our conspiracy, we are able to eke out a little more time together.
Inspired by The Daily Post’s prompt: Dirty