Again with the pets. Because I love them.

November 16, 2012 at 10:01 PM | Posted in Salt of the Earth | Leave a comment

This one could go to college and tutor in calculus while working as a code-breaker on the weekends.

This one is good at, well, um, breathing.

The guy who can fix everything came with a dog.  Levi, ultimate example of canine perfection:  massive half Husky, half German Shepherd, smart as a whip, and all gorgeousness.  Marriage means sharing and compromising, of course, except for when it comes to Levi.  I have stolen Levi.  I’m not sorry because I love that dog.  Levi is not sorry either.  He adores me and uses most of his intellect and energy to figure out how he can be of ever greater assistance.  He helps me balance my checkbook and program my phone.  He advises me on philosophy and astrophysics.  Walking Levi is sort of like being with a celebrity; everyone oohs and ahs and wants to talk to him and take pictures of his giant, fluffy, shampoo-commercial tail and long eyelashes.  And then he’s all charming and helps the older ladies across the street.  And people swoon and gasp and compose ballads.  Until they see him morph into Security mode.  This happens when Levi senses a threat to my person or well-being, like a leaf blowing in my direction or an unleashed dog that doesn’t meet his standard of courtly manners.  Then he’s all icy attitude and muscles.  Fortunately, he’s also all obedience, so we’re still welcome in the neighborhood.  And also well-respected.

Yes, I am noble and awesome.

And then there’s Lyra.  We’re not sure how she happened.  She’s sort of an accident.  But a happy, wriggly one.  Lyra is not smart.  She spends most of her time licking trees and rocks and trying to remember what “sit” means.  While Levi is signing autographs and posing for pictures, no one notices Lyra.  Except me.  I love that little dog.  She collects the loose hairs from Levi and stores them carefully with her most treasured red squeaky toy.  It’s sort of gross, but so cute that she considers Levi-scraps such treasures.  Humans aren’t left out either.  She wraps her whole self around my foot and coos.  She is the world champion of loving.

I’ve always been around animals.  We constantly kept them when I was growing up, and our neighbors had a dog team for a while.  By the way, dog teams create a stench all their own.  If your neighbors choose to engage in the adventure of dog-mushing, you will probably need to find some things that are approximately the same dimensions as your nostrils so that you can plug off the aroma.  Or you could walk around in scuba gear.  I’m not sure which option would be more attractive.  Ask Levi.  He probably knows.  Anyway, animals have been a constant in my existence and I love that.  This comes from my father.

My dad is like a Disney movie.  You know, the kind where birds and squirrels sing duets with the hero and help him escape the dungeon or prison or underwater lair?  Yep.  My dad’s got that.  Animals universally regard him a being of wonder and splendor.  And he likes them too, talks with them like they’re people and lets them sit on the chair with him (much to the grossed-outedness of my poor mom).  It’s one of the best things my dad has given me, the doggie grins and kitty-cat purrs that form the constant scene and sound of my domestic life.

We go through a lot of lint brushes and vacuum bags.  They’re worth it.

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