Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The three amigos

Ziggy and Bella were as devoted to each other as dogs can be, which is saying quite a bit. Ziggy belonged to Val and Bella to Val’s daughter.  They’d met when Bella and her human came to stay with Val and for Ziggy it was love at first sight.  He followed Bella everywhere.  Bella though Zig was okay, but she could take him or leave him at first.  When they’d left Ziggy was bereft.  He’d searched for Bella in the house and yard, knowing for sure that she wouldn’t have just up and left him.  When she returned for another visit a couple weeks later Bella explained that her owner had left suddenly and she didn’t have time to say good-bye. 

As they continued to visit Bella came to appreciate Ziggy’s finer points.  He loved his human and was determined to make her happy.  He was an enthusiastic and energetic fellow and a great conversationalist.  He’d tell Bella how beautiful she was and so perfect in every way.  Bella liked that a lot.   She considered herself a bit on the chubby side and thought about losing weight periodically, but she loved her food and wasn’t naturally athletic, as many Chihuahuas are.  She was naturally lazy.  She consoled herself by saying that since Ziggy loved her as she was that she must be okay, and tried not to worry about it. 

Since Emily, Val’s daughter, was living with her mother for the summer Ziggy and Bella were together constantly.  They played together, slept together and just hung around.  There were other animals in the household – three cats.  Kid was a lovely female calico with a sweet disposition.  Buddy was an almost black bully.  He picked on Kid mercilessly.  Therefore, Kid spent much of her time in the neighbor’s yard, since Buddy didn’t consider that his territory.  Bella and Ziggy liked Kid and put up with Buddy.  The third cat was more mellow, and Buddy seemed to leave her alone. 

Part of Ziggy and Bella’s routine was to provide escort duty to Kid so that she could come inside for meals.  When Val was about to feed Kid, she’d find Ziggy and ask his assistance in helping Kid get to the house undamaged.  Ziggy considered his human to be quite intelligent.  She acknowledged that he had skills that she lacked and asked for his assistance.  Most humans didn’t do that.  They considered themselves above their animals and discounted their contributions. 

One afternoon the yarn lady came over to swim.  Ziggy had heard about her from her cat, Tatum.  They’d connected through Facebook, since both of their owners used it.  The yarn lady had met Ziggy and talked about her at home, and Tatum had taken a chance when his Mommy was away from her computer and made contact with Ziggy. 

Ziggy thought the yarn lady was nice, but not in the same league as his owner.  She took his picture while he was swimming in the pool, a favorite pastime of his, at least when Val was in the pool.  He knew better than to swim all alone.  Those steps were slippery, and being a little dog he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to get out.  As Ziggy dried off, Kid came through the fence, commenting that she was getting a little puckish, and did Ziggy think he and Bella could escort her inside soon?

“Of course, Kid.  We’ll do that just as soon as I finish posing for my photographs.”  Ziggy ran around the pools so that that yarn lady could get action shots. 

Kid sat calmly by the pool.  She thought Ziggy was a bit of a lightweight, mentally.  He didn’t bother about the more important considerations, such as whether basement cat really existed or if he was just an internet phenomenon.  She admired how the light filtered through the leaves on the trees while keeping half an eye out for Buddy. 

Finally Ziggy was ready to go, and they went through the hedges into the grass.  Bella met them there with a status report.  “You can’t see him right now, but Buddy is just under the deck.  I heard him muttering that he’d hide there and get you when you came by.” 
Bella, Ziggy and Kid reviewed their strategy.  Kid would be flanked by the two dogs, and if Buddy dared attack, Bella would take him on while Ziggy escorted Kid into the house.  Bella had fought Buddy only a few times, but he appreciated the little dog’s fierceness.  After a few minutes they made their break.  In the yard Bella went first, gauging Buddy’s mood.  He moved out into the open, but just sat and stared.  Ziggy and Kid followed. 

As they neared the deck, the two dogs moved into position, one on each side.  The three ran quickly up the steps, and then Bella entered the house, followed by Kid and then Ziggy.  Mission accomplished, just for today. 

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