Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Guardian Protector

Everyone should have someone who protects them. Meet my Guardian Protector. Her name is Lily.

It is not really accurate to call Lily a "rescue dog." It is true that she lived all of her seven years with a breeder of Yorkies. Same place I got Jessie Jane. However, she was not abused or neglected. She was well fed, well cared for, had regular veterinary care and had play dates with other female Yorkies.. She had three litters of puppies. The lady who owned her does not breed her dogs indiscriminately nor does she pump out as many puppies as possible to sell at pet shops, but is careful of how many litters they have and sells puppies only after meeting the prospective buyers. Lily has not had a litter for over two years.

She does, however, need to learn behaviors that a pet of her age who was adopted as a puppy has and she does not. She needs to be a little better with where she can potty and where she can not. Now that I am home with her every day, she is getting better at going outside when she needs to. This involves many trips up and down the stairs from my apartment, but, hey. I need the exercise. At least that's what I keep telling myself! (Grumble, grumble.)

She needs to learn to walk with her harness and leash. Jessie got it right away. Jessie and I go for walks all over town. Lily, on the other hand, mostly goes for a "carry." This past weekend I spent lots of time outdoors with her and she is starting to get the idea. Yesterday afternoon she walked to the end of my block and back without having to be carried. Baby steps. Time and patience. I think she is getting it.

She needs to be socialized with people. The only person she saw before coming to live with me, was her owner. She is shy with people other than me. I am thinking that when we get the walking on a leash thing down and she is able to go for walks with Jessie and me, she will get better at being around people. Jessie is a good teacher. She just loves everybody.

Now, about this protection thing. Lily seems to think that I need to be protected. And she does it well. Ready and on the alert.

I live in an apartment downtown. Early in the mornings on weekdays, there is a parade of delivery trucks and garbage trucks that make their way on the street in front of my home and in the alley alongside. After nearly 14 years of living here, I just don't hear them any more. They are just background noise that I blank out and ignore. Not Lily. I think she firmly believes that it is her job to make sure that no truck ever gets close enough to me to do harm. She stares at whatever window the offending sound is coming through, stiff legged, ears standing up, tail straight in the air. And she barks. And barks. And barks some more. She puts her whole self, all nine pounds of her, into keeping that truck away. Must work. No truck has gotten to me yet.

Now, I am a sucker for cute. Especially when it comes to babies or animals. Will get to me every time. And as long as Lily's bark is small enough so that she doesn't disturb the neighbors (I asked and they can't hear her), I find it kind of cute that she is so protective. However, last night we went right on past cute to annoying. On the hallway wall right across from my apartment door hangs a smoke alarm. Normally I am happy to have it there. Smoke in the hall, I will know about it. However, the battery must be low, as yesterday the alarm began chirping at regular intervals - about 30 seconds apart. I didn't have a battery to fit it, and the local convenience store didn't either. Nor did the neighbors I talked to. As there is probably a fire code law for disabling a smoke alarm in a common area of an apartment building, I decided to leave it alone. It didn't bother me. It did bother Lily.

I am now retired. Which means that I didn't have to get up this morning to go to work. Which also means that I don't have to go to bed the same time the chickens do, but can stay up late with the big folks if I want to. Which I did last night. I found a funny movie to watch on my computer, so I watched it while I sat and cut out pieces for a quilt. Then I found another one and watched that, too. 2:00 AM I finally was tired enough to go to bed. No problem. That is, until Lily decided that this chirping sound outside the door was a threat.

She barked. She growled. She stalked stiff legged back and forth in front of the door. She sat on the floor by my bed and protected me from the chirping monster that would surely attack at any moment. I took her to bed with me hoping that she would calm down. Nothing doing. I put her in her kennel. That didn't work either. Put the kennel as far away from the chirping monster as I could. Nope. She was having none of that. She didn't calm down until about 5:30 this morning when I gave up all hope of sleep, got up, made coffee and turned on the TV to listen to the news. Lily took a nap.

I truly hope that my landlord arrives soon to fix the chirping monster. If he doesn't - doggie Valium? Sounds like a plan.

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