It’s funny how my mind goes sometimes. “Surveillance?” I thought about my job watching numbers, and then went out for lunch, went shopping… and somewhere along the line, probably during my inner rage that an artichoke costs $2.50, I envisioned my puppy with Mad-Eye Moody’s electric blue eye. (That’s a Harry Potter reference for those of you who still haven’t fallen in line with popular literature.)
“Constant vigilance!” is my puppy in a nutshell. She patrols our borders and sits on the deck so she can survey our domain in a sweeping, penetrating gaze. Indoors, she sits on the arm of the couch like a sphinx with an unobstructed view out two windows so she can protect me from children and squirrels.
The other day my brother and I were watching tv, each with our own side projects. We’d been quiet a while when Bro said, “Did you know Penny caught a groundhog?” Yay!!! I hate those blasted varmints. I put a lot of money into groundhog barriers and barricaded the garden with fence and other defenses, and the stupid things ate my broccoli anyway. Grrr….
I responded with “I hope you gave her positive reinforcement!” Bro looked a little disgusted and patted her on the head with an insincere “Good dog”. I gave her a much more enthusiastic “Good dog!!” and ruffled up her fur. She strutted with pride.*
After a while Bro said “Did I mention she brought it in the house?” Well no. “Where’d you put it?” “I didn’t put it anywhere.” “Why didn’t you get rid of it?!” Bro pointed. Dead groundhog neatly placed on the floor equidistant between us. Eww.
Penny reminds me a lot of the original dog, Cindy. She was half beagle, half poodle. Her cuteness was on the order of a Llaso Apso, but she was much tougher. Despite her stubby little beagle legs, she willingly swam across the river and patrolled the woods with me. She was an outside dog, and aside from her annual haircut, grooming and baths weren’t part of the plan.
Everybody loved Cindy the same way everybody loves Penny. They share(d) the same “of course everybody loves me!” attitude towards life. Life must be good as a cute dog. Both dogs listened to my troubles with the same kindness in their eyes. Sometimes Penny lets me hold her like a baby and kiss her forehead, which smells a lot better than when I crawled into Cindy’s doghouse and cuddled around her. It didn’t matter. I’ll always remember the happiness I felt when my face was snuggled into her sunshine and river fur.
The Penny portrait is a rework of a previous doodle, but even though I bet you think I just whipped out this Cindy portrait, I actually put some thought into it, remembering her endearing qualities. Sadly, there just aren’t many photos of her around, but her loving brown eyes and soft pink tongue live on in my heart J
*Note: While I care for most wildlife, my pup has permission to kill bunnies, groundhogs, and deer because they’re as friendly to my garden as a bulldozer. She dutifully leaves my birds alone, and we only had one squirrel incident. I’m pretty sure the squirrel survived, but now our yard is curiously squirrel-free.