Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Old Man slides off the Mountain

Vanx very politely asked if that other dog in the couch photo below was mine. I say politely because I know Vanx has been reading long enough to know that I'm a single girl living alone in the big city and working with a limited budget and that I've definitely got one dog and two cats. Though I do occasionally see a dog that catches my fancy and there's at least one stray that was adopted out of our 'hood that I still regret letting go, I am not quite as dumb as I look. Thank heavens.

My beloved canine, Emily, you have heard a lot about. Her couch partner is Brownie. Brownie lives with PapaKizz and P.

P has a number of allergies but she and dad really wanted a dog so they did a lot of research and they adopted a retired greyhound, Jenny. P also works for a couple who run their own business and spend some of their spare time fostering dogs. Dogs are welcome in the office and the fosters are often paraded around. A dog named Brandy visited a lot. One day he visited and was toured around the office with this announcement, "Brandy's here today, you should say goodbye to him because tomorrow we're going to have to put him down, we just can't find him a home." That night Brandy went home to live with PapaKizz, P and Jenny the Perfect Greyhound.

He was also re-christened Brownie. It was the first of a number of indignities he was forced to endure. Emily had spent a significant amount of time living with my dad while I was on tour. Even though Brownie lives there permanently whenever Emily visits his spot in the heirerarchy is below hers. It used to be very clearly Jenny, then Emily, then Brownie (humans = servants). Now that Jenny is gone Emily gets to be first. Mostly that means she leads the way on walks and she gets to bump him off the couch.

Lest you think Brownie is in an Oliver-Twist-like position I will remind you that he lives with PapaKizz and P. You get people food, you get walked a minimum of 4 times a day, you are constantly pet when you ask, you have toys, your beds (yes, plural) are carted from room to room should you so desire. It's really not a bad life at all.

However, for the aforementioned slight indignities the B-man is getting his revenge. Though of relatively sound body he has completely lost his mind. In the middle of the night he will wake up and bark in an angry panic, unable to fathom where he is. Sometimes he'll be able to figure out where he is and that he is thirsty and he'll be able to make it one room over to drink from the toilet but then he'll forget the way back to the bedroom and will cry and bark until rescued. In the evening he whines and panics and cries almost constantly until his people are sitting in their designated spots in the living room and at least one of them is petting him at all times.

OK, I was going to try and construct a Brownie post without this story but I can't. I am 12, the potty story wins. Brownie's favorite spot used to be standing on the couch looking out the front window at the busy main road barking at the many passersby. At some point last year furniture was rearranged and 2 straight backed padded chairs replaced the couch in the main window. PapaKizz came home one day and the dog did not come to greet him. At some indeterminate time previous Brownie had apparently climbed on a chair, barked in a frenzy, slipped and hung himself over the arm of the chair but his back legs had slid entirely off the seat and under the arm. He was trapped. It must have been hours. He had soiled himself. He was pitiful and beyond even barking about it. Dad stood him up and he couldn't even move. It was worrisome, we were afraid he might be on his way out but a quick trip to the vet determined that there was no damage, just that everything below the midline had fallen asleep. He was sore but back on his feet in a couple of hours.

I feel I've painted the boy in a bad light. He's actually a very sweet pooch. I think he's about 13 now, maybe even a little more. He loves people and I'm afraid his early life was not as cushy as recent years, he had to become a little surly to protect himself. He's a beautiful dog, and tough as fucking nails. He once ran head to head into a pit bull. The pit bull retreated post haste on wobbly legs but Brownie walked away unphased, maybe even a little cocky. Despite the fact he's kept dad and P from having an uninterrupted night's sleep for about 6 months I think he's a pretty cool old man.


  1. I still remember staying with you at PapaKizz's place a couple of summers ago - you and me and all three pooches. I remember that Miss Jenny ate the case for my glasses while we were out getting dinner and videos.

    I also remember one of PapaKizz's pooches - I think it was Brownie but I can't remember for certain - barking at you in that tiny kitchen. You reached down, grabbed the offending canine's snoot and growled.

    Me: (never having seen such behaviour before) "WHAT are you DOING?!"

    You: "Establishing my DOMINANCE!!"

    I cherish that memory of you.

  2. There's my answer! I can prove, by the way, that Emily is my favorite girl's name. I like the ear shot in the link.

  3. OK, Vanx, prove it.

  4. My oldest (first) kid's name is ...Emily! In 1989, There weren't a lot of kids named Emily. Within months, however, it became the morst popular name for girls.
    If she was a boy, she would have been Garth or Oscar. They did not become popular.