Jingle bells, jingle bells, I hear them ringing constantly. No, I’m not riding in a one-horse open sleigh. I am hearing Lexie’s bell on her collar. It never stops ringing unless she has finally worn herself out playing non-stop.
|Lexie at 3 months and five pounds|
I could not find a collar with a bell on it among the fancy and plain ones on the rack for dogs, extra small or large. But cat collars often have attached bells to signal the birds when the cat tries to creep up on them. My tiny little Lexie now sports a red collar with a jingle bell as well as a blue collar, the only one she has not yet taken off.
The bell drives us crazy, and I suppose I should take it off, but I don’t trust my baby girl just yet. She is quick and moves as silently as a sunbeam. She often grabs things in her mouth that she should not have, so I stay alert to her ringing in hopes of knowing exactly where she is at all times.
Like a human child at two years old, my four month old puppy is curious, easily distracted or attracted to a voice, a laugh, a movement and anything on the floor. Today she found a frozen green bean that had escaped the pot. It kept her busy for a time. I try to keep her plied with toys and puzzles. She loves a challenge – like managing to thwart my efforts to fence her off the stairs, or keep her in a play pen those times I can’t watch her.
|Play Pen for pups - light weight, with zip cover|
I think my sister Gay found a way to contain a busy, energetic little dog. She bought a puppy pen with a cover. Now Lexie can’t jump out. But when we first put her in it, we howled with laughter. She jumped up on the sides and her weight pushed the pen over – and over and over as she rolled down the hall and into the kitchen where we had gone. We might put her in a pen and leave her, but Lexie doesn’t give up. She just rolled the pen to where we had gone.
Finally we figured out that we needed to add weight to the canvas and mesh container. Eighteen pounds of hand weights on the floor of the pen keeps it in place and she cannot roll it over. She actually learned to like it, at least for an hour at the time.
I’m so happy that she has not bothered the Christmas tree or the presents. But I don’t think any doggie gifts have yet been placed there.
Lexie has already taught me many things. First, I can now type with a seven pound dog lying across my forearms. I can get up early and take her outside when I am not yet awake. I can carry seven pounds up and down my stairs. Although I had said I would never make the mistake of having a little dog sleep in my bed, I learned I actually enjoy a small cuddly pup curling up against me when I sleep, waking me with puppy kisses and playing in my hair.
I had forgotten the delight of scooping into my arms a puppy who cries with excitement and anticipation when I come home.
Without love, life would not be worth living, whether the love of one person, a family, traditional or not, or a little furry creature who adores you and you go daft over. We human beings seem to never learn that to love is to risk losing that love. If we learn, we forget and love again and again when the time is right, when we can’t stand the quiet or stillness of our lives another minute.
I gave my heart away to four special dogs in the past and bore the pain of their deaths. I had told myself that I would never again let myself in for that grief. Like my aunt Judy after she lost Dixie, her beloved Eskimo Spitz, years ago, I felt I could not deliberately open my heart for more hurt. But here I am again in love with a dear little bundle of fur with alert eyes that look deep into my being. I almost see her brain turning over and over the diverse options she has before she charges with direct decision into her next play.
She befuddles me with her eager actions and her confidence that all who come into her world will turn into babbling fools. They will hug and kiss her, talk in strange tongue, and want to take her home.
|Gay, Dixie, Glenda on the right|
Of course it is likely she will outlive me since little dogs of her sort can live 15 or more years. But I think we will grow old together, side by side, through tough times and during the times when skies are blue. Already my family is smitten with Lexie, and so are my friends. They tell me she has made a difference in me, and we have only been together for about two months.
I have already received my best gift this year, and I plan to enjoy it for many Christmases to come.
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