Sunday, November 28, 2010

Basil Diva Dog

I’ve been at Basil Diva Dog and Ginger Puppy’s house all week for Thanksgiving. Ginger Puppy’s fur has grown back significantly, which we’re all pretty happy about, though she can sometimes be reluctant to take the stairs.

Meanwhile, Basil Diva Dog has been doing his own weird pacing routine, and that sometimes includes refusing to take the stairs as well. There’s a couple of different explanations – old age affecting his mobility and/or memory recall – was I just in this room? I can’t remember. I’d better go through it again. And it’s quite possible he’s manipulating me into giving him the same kind of treatment he sees his younger sister getting. But joke’s on him – he’s may be bigger than Ginger Puppy, but he’s lighter, so I don’t mind carting him around all day.

We’ve gotten some rain on a few days, and tonight the wind was kicking up, which sent Basil Diva Dog into his pacing circles on the first floor. This drives me batty, because his old age also means he’s given to pee on imported rugs if I don’t keep my eye on him and The Walking Dead was about to start, so I simply picked him up, and made soothing sounds while I slowly carried him through each room to show him that yes, indeed, we’re all safe and sound, the only bad guys are the zombies on TV, and they’re not real.

So I settled down on the floor in the TV room still holding him, just to see what he’d do. Turns out he decided to take a nap, half in my lap, half in my arms. (Ginger Puppy was holding court on her own towel underneath the TV.)

He never does this. This is Basil Diva Dog we’re talking about. Mr. Aloof. Mr. You’re Only Here To Feed Me And Open The Door So I Can Go Outside. Mr. Don’t You Dare Touch Me.

There’s been a few moments in the years where he gets spooked and wants to be reassured. But those usually involve thunderstorms, fireworks, or construction equipment outside.

Tonight was just the wind, which seriously wasn’t that bad, and the zombies on the TV, which weren’t too bad either (I can’t take them seriously, they’re Slow Shuffling Zombies, not Jackrabbit Zombies. It’s the Jackrabbit Zombies that you have to be afraid of. You can easily outrun or get in a car and drive away from Slow Shuffling Zombies.)

This might be Basil Diva Dog’s final spiral, which I don’t like to think too much about. But in my experience, dogs will start doing things they normally don’t do, like a Doggie Bucket List of sorts, when they sense their time is near. Except where humans will put things on the list like cruises, or trips to Africa, dogs seem to do things like sleep in places they don’t normally sleep.

The weeks before my first dog Taffy passed away, I found her sleeping in chairs in the living room she never would jump on before (we didn’t even think she could jump on them.) “Whatcha doing in here?” I’d ask her. And she’d raise her head and just do her version of a smile, which, since she was a cocker spaniel, still looked pretty damn anxious. But I knew when she was happy. I have to think it was worth it for her. And I very much admire the scaled down version of a dog Bucket List.

I cannot imagine that sleeping in my lap and arms is on Basil Diva Dog’s list. He is the most independent and aloof dog I’ve ever met.

But damned if I didn’t move a muscle all throughout the episode, because I didn’t want to wake him up. My left leg went completely to sleep, which rendered me much like a Slow Shuffling Zombie when I tried to get up afterwards. THAT’s what’s wrong with them! They’re not zombies! Their left legs are just asleep!

No, I don’t think I’m on Basil Diva Dog’s Bucket List. But for whatever reason, he felt comfortable enough to be comforted. And everyone needs that. Even Basil Diva Dogs.

And here he is, in all his shaggy glory. He’s once again sitting in my lap, albeit briefly. Because if the choice is my lap or his crate, it’s no contest. The crate wins every time.

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