“What kind of dog is that”? my neighbour asked me.
“A shih tzu” I said.
“How do you spell that?” he asked.
I spelled it for him.
“Where do those kinds of dogs come from?” he queried, getting comfortable now.
“I read that they were bred in China” I answered, adding that they are also known as lion dogs.
“How much does a dog like that cost?” he asked; now only faintly interested in the broom he was holding meant for sweeping his driveway.
I told him that I hadn’t a clue – because we didn’t buy this dog that I found myself carrying around (yes you heard me right) in the back of my SUV. Nobody gave us this dog as a gift either – well, not really.
Let me explain.
She showed up on our gallery on New Year’s Day.
Maybe her previous owners had thrown an Old Year’s Night party and she managed to get out of the gate. She didn’t seem any worse for wear except for some mud on her coat along with some other unidentifiable brown patches.
She didn’t appear to be concerned about the fact that none of us looked like the people she must have left the night before. But we thought that she couldn’t have gotten too far on those short little legs, so even after feeding her and giving her a bath, we drove around the neighbourhood looking for the signs.
Two months later she’s being taken for regular car rides because it’s clear that’s what her former owners used to do. Two months later her food of choice forms part of my grocery list each week since what I wanted to give her clearly didn’t meet her expectations . Two months later her coat is getting regular brushings, she’s given a weekly bath and is on the receiving end of daily bouts of affection.
But our hearts aren’t the only things she’s been sneaking into. This dog has been walking around inside my house without even getting the requisite permission.
This is huge for me because some of you will remember my post about Antiguan dogs and the liberties that some of them are given. Who knew that this New Year’s “present” would have me taking back a lot of my words – and eating the rest of them.