Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Family Pet (05/15/08)
TITLE: Reflections On A Life Well-Lived
By Deborah Engle
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I’ll never forget that day. I was going for my first car ride, but the great big girl had me stowed away inside her tote bag. When I poked my head up for some air, the lady driver reacted spontaneously with “Hi there, Butch!” Well, the great big girl knew the lady wouldn’t really want me, but she was smart, and soon the lady thought it was her idea to get a puppy. I was stuck with “Butch”, but grateful for the bit of sweetness they added to the end.
My diminutive size does make me vulnerable. I soon discovered that my new home was filled with stampeding little boys and I was a bit concerned. Self-preservation led me to hide under the end table-not that I was scared, of course. If I was trembling, well, it must have been a cool day.
Like any terrier, I specialize in running and jumping. It wasn’t long before I figured out a fantastic route that would take me over, under or through everything, from one end of the house to the other. It was a marvelous plan for toning my muscles and keeping my girlish figure in shape, but my lady insisted on prematurely ending my workouts before I was ready. Those little boys made great chase partners, too, but the lady also disapproved of that game. One look from her and we were out the door. She would have kept me outside all the time, but there was no fence, and even she wouldn’t condemn me to life on a chain.
I had my second car ride when we all moved to a house on a corner lot with a fenced-in yard. There I found another outlet for my natural tendencies. Every school day, children would pass by on the sidewalk that ran beside the fence, and naturally, I felt it was my duty to escort them. I greeted them enthusiastically and bid them farewell, too, as any proper terrier would do. I tried to welcome any visitor with the traditional terrier greeting, but persistently jumping up on people and barking never did seem to cross those “cultural barriers”. Instead, my people tried to train me! You can guess how well that went over...as if any self-respecting terrier would sacrifice such long-held traditions.
Soon I was of an age to attract suitors and naturally, I was the “Belle of the Neighborhood”. Since my social life was being stifled by the fence, it was necessary to use some strategy. It required some stealth, but the first time that gate was left open, I made my escape. A lady’s got to do what a lady’s got to do, if you know what I mean. That was one memorable afternoon, but I have to admit, I might have overdone it just a bit. A few months later, I became the mother of nine little ones! That was quite an experience, but it did teach me a valuable lesson: fences are my friends. Oh, that I would have learned that sooner!
My lady had a friend who absolutely adored me. The big guy found all sorts of ways to spoil me, much to her dismay. Once he started coming around, people food became a regular part of my diet. (Spaghetti is very good, by the way. You should try some.) When I jumped up on him, he welcomed it as an invitation to play. He never even scolded me when I helped myself to a three layer chocolate cake that had been carelessly left unattended in the kitchen. The big guy gave me unconditional love and acceptance.
So, as you can tell, I’ve had my share of adventures. I believe I’ve lived a good life, though there was that one incident when my lady ended up at the bottom of the basement stairs. I am a little ashamed of that, though I didn’t really push her-it was that traditional greeting thing. She got all kinds of special attention, with a private ride to the hospital, and lots of days off work just sitting around the house with her arm and head all wrapped up. That sounds like pretty good treatment to me. I’m still not quite sure why she was so upset with me.
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