She guards us all night. Then in the wee hours, asks to come back in and spends the rest of the day at my feet, sleeping the day away. If I get up, she follows me and plops nearby wherever I happen to be. She follows my husband around also but seems to have a marked preference to hanging around me. It is actually a little surprising, I am not as affectionate with her as I should be or as my husband is. I guess what she senses from me is a steadiness…I can be counted on…and I count on her protection. Even though to me she is the gentlest creature around, I can understand why a stranger would hesitate to make any sudden moves when she is on watch. She is very black, including her tongue, and can make herself appear quite a bit larger; not to mention that deep blood curdling bark she emits. So glad we found each other.
It was a very long afternoon for Lila on 12/30, my father’s 90th birthday.
We had many visitors and Lila, unaccustomed to that many people in the house, took to being very quiet and cautious while at the same time, friendly with those she knew.
It made me think about her reaction when meeting people for the first time. We have had the same cleaning person for more than 4 years and Lila still growls softly, suspiciously when the woman enters our home. The woman thinks it is because she once accidentally struck Lila with the broom. On Sunday, a stranger (to Lila) whom I am not sure whether to trust or not received requests for petting! They say dogs can sense goodness or evil in people, maybe my suspicion is not on target. After all, we have not been able to prove that disappearing items have been extracted by this person. On the other hand, does a bad habit (lying, stealing, eavesdropping, gossiping) make a person “evil”? Lots to think about.
I attended a crafts fair last weekend. It was truly an amazing event. I was impressed by the quality of the artisanal products available for purchase and was once again impressed with the talent in our small country. I feel that if Martha Stewart, the maven of crafts, were to come to this little fair she would have been just as impressed as when she visits exotic lands and finds humble persons making unbelievably beautiful treasures. I wish our own people could see their goods from the point of view of an appreciator of these things.
But back to the reason for this particular blog entry. I participated in a raffle without giving it too much thought. It was for a photography session for pets…in my case, more specifically for our Lila. As I was filling out my data, it occurred to me that it was probably unlikely that I would win…and on the other hand, I also had a comical glimpse of what it would be like to actually take Lila on this kind of outing and see what a professional might have to undergo to get her to cooperate. The picture in this blog was easy for me to capture, Lila was outside my office because she enjoys being close to her humans. She is quite the character! My phone is always with me so when I opened the door to leave my office, I noticed she was lying out there looking out in the distance. I wondered what thoughts she might be having, do they think…one thing led to another and I took the picture before she moved. I think it came out very nicely.
To sum up, I did win the raffle. I have yet to call to make the appointment because I will need to travel a distance with Lila in the car, something we have never attempted. But the idea of a professional picture of Lila does excite me and I will get busy this week getting the details.
picture of Lila my own
Lila has been with us for just under 8 years. In that time, I have come to learn a lot about her and a lot about me…
When Lila first arrived on the scene, she was hurt and scared and exhibited some rather strange behavior. Although we entertained (for five minutes!) the idea of putting her up for adoption, we realized that we would probably never do it since it had been established that we were a pretty easy going family who loved dogs and have plenty of space for them!
Lila was apparently the victim of some abuse and maybe from a man since she growled most energetically whenever men came too close. I imagine that she was perhaps disciplined by one because she was just a puppy and had those mischievous behaviors that young puppies do when they are just getting acquainted with the world. In addition to that, she was most likely teething and was very good at chewing her way through several leashes if left unsupervised for any length of time.
A person in the neighborhood told me that Lila had once set herself free from her enclosure and another time, actually jumped out of the window of a car. I suppose it was jumping out the window of the car that eventually led her to our property. It is really hard to say. The upshot, of course, was that she was injured. How she was able to walk to our field will always remain a mystery.
The early days of Lila´s arrival were somewhat frantic. She chewed constantly, she was very nervous and sometimes she exhibited behaviours that made me think she was mad (as in crazy). She would growl at nothing tangible and chase her tail. We were afraid to get close to her when she was this way. It took a while but we finally got used to her displays and learned to give her a wide berth when she was “nuts”. We described the behavior to the veterinarian who gave us medication to help with her anxiety. I never actually thought I would fall for this kind of thing (giving anti anxiety medication to a pet) but we did try it for a while. When I realized Lila was no different with or without medication, I stopped administering it, reasoning the high cost and the side effects. She seems to have mellowed out somewhat, perhaps her age (almost 9) has been responsible for that.
I can’t remember life before Lila actually; I think that happens to most of us. Just like I can’t always remember what it was like when all the kids lived at home and I was busy being Betty Crocker!
Lila fills my heart with joy. She is never far from her humans and loves to follow us around everywhere. She is probably the dog I will become most fond of simply because we are both experiencing growing older together in the latter part of our lives. May we both live for many years to come.
Photo of blanket my own.
Little Sol was born on August 6, 2001, the same day our daughter
turned 6. She was the runt of a litter that had 7 other siblings. Her
mother had shown up on our property at the start of our house
construction, just a puppy perhaps 6 months old herself. Although
I had asked the men who were on the building site to chase her
away, they were not able to do so. We named her Lucky (to have
found us!) and we all know that once you name a dog, it’s yours.
Canela appeared on our property around December 2007. She was
just a puppy but we already had two dogs at that point and I felt it
was not a good idea to add another one to the mix.
We brought her to the vet to get her shots and have her spayed with
the idea that after her surgery was completed and her recuperation
was finished, we could ask the good doctor to put her up for
adoption. My young daughter and son, having a pretty good idea of
my personality went along with this idea. I suppose they knew
that after a couple of weeks of having Canela living with us,
putting her up for adoption would not happen. They were right!
Continue reading “A loyal companion”