Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I want to be my Bichon

This is my dog, Zoe, after she has romped outside in the mud. She is doing her equivalent of a smile. She is grubby, tired and happy. She has dug some determined holes to nowhere, rolled in some alluring scented grass, marked her territory and asserted herself to some marauding sparrows.

A recent article about this breed describes them as "sturdy and cheerful".

That about describes my pooch. She's 18.3 pounds of low-to-the-ground energy. Yet when she wants a cuddle she compacts herself into a tiny furball and nestles in bed into my armpit, her head on my shoulder, her paws curled up against my chest. If it were not for the sweet softness of her breathing, she could be mistaken for the perfect plush toy.

She had a tough life before I rescued her. Her prior owner's boyfriend crated her for up to 16 hours a day and muzzled her the whole time. She could not bark, eat or drink with the muzzle on. If she tried to bark, he'd hit her. Finally a neighbor talked the owner into letting her try to place her. I found her at my local site and was lucky enough to be chosen to be her housemate after the neighbor fielded the calls. That neighbor saved my 'lil gal from being put down.

But now, two years later, Zoe is dandy. She used to flinch when I raised my hand -- now she looks to see if I have a treat in it. She used to not let me near her face -- now I sometimes wake up with her sleeping almost nose to nose with me. And she now loves it when I run my hands through the hair on her head and under her chin. She is sturdy.

She somehow took all that life pain and traded it off for her current reality. That's what I want to do -- to take my bag of accumulated life-ikk and trade it off for joy. Just because.

I like that "sturdy and cheerful" style. My Zoe has bounce. She let herself trust again when she was in a safe spot -- even after three years of abuse and neglect. So I want that ability to let the past go when the past has been unkind to me.

I want her capacity for joy -- for running full-out and then rolling in some nice mud. Her joy is shameless, exuberant, even proud. After a good romp, she will sometimes come in the house literally jumping and scrambling with happiness, barking as if to say "Didja see me roll in that grass? Didja? Huh? Didja?"

On a hot day, Zoe can be found on my ..uh...our...bed...reclining on her back, paws in the air, legs bent, belly to the breeze, in the slipstream of the air conditioner. When she "gives it up" to relax, she gives it up with no doubt.

I want to relax like that -- with no thoughts of things I should be doing instead.

Then there is the Bichon "Blitz". It is a real thing, a real term used to describe an odd trait among Bichons. They will suddenly run around like crazy, often making an odd low rumbling noise. They will zing around the house with no apparent reason, no set idea in mind. Then they will stop dead, think for a second, then run like mad dogs again. When they are done with this ritual, they just plop down and take a nap. It is odd, unable to predict and seemingly without any cause. You Tube has a series of "blitzing Bichons". Here is one I like --a pooch that is also playing with a Milkbone as part of the blitz.

There are times I'd just love to growl and run and rumble without cause. Then take a nap. Moments when I am frustrated or angry come to mind as great opportunities for a blitz. Moments after getting very bad customer service seem ideal. After listening to right wing extremists seems like a fine time.

I think that I need to start paying more attention to my resident guru, Zoe.


Blogger Jayne said...

Indeed, to live with that must zest and to be carefree of our pasts. What a gift that would be! She is adorable and I am so glad you all found one another. XOXO

6:43 AM  
Blogger ridgely johnson said...

I think women could experience the joys in our lives if we eliminated the word "should" from our vocabulary. Enjoyed this post++

9:51 AM  
Blogger TC said...

I have Dispatch the Bichon, he has his own blog (he shares with other animals) and a facebook presence. He is everything Zoe is and brings much joy to our lives. Don't tell him though he's already got the big head. LOL

5:34 AM  
Blogger Evelyn said...

I just LOVE this post! May I, indeed, learn to be like Zoe. And, the one thing useful for me from your post about the Tea Party........ well, the day I cease to be able to learn something new will be when my death certificate is signed. I do hate that they have the nerve to use the image of the Boston Tea Party for their tirades.

8:02 AM  
Blogger CherylK said...

I enjoyed this post, very much! Zoe is adorable and you just can't help feeling happy that she is now very happy, thanks to your love.

I wonder if you know that the video has been removed...maybe there's a glitch in it somewhere.

12:20 PM  

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