Saturday, August 7, 2010

Troy Gilpin

On Friday the yarn lady went over to Ziggy and Bella's house to swim and invited Kay (a human) and Troy (a cocker spaniel) to join them. Kay had never been to their house before, but the yarn lady told Ziggy that he'd like Troy, as he was a real laid back dog who just liked to have fun. When the yarn lady arrived without Troy Ziggy was quite disappointed. He didn't care about the human, particularly. She said the two were running a little late, but that Troy and his person would be over soon. 
Bella and Ziggy heard the car before the humans did, and started yelling Troy's names at the top of their lungs. "Troy, Troy, is that you? We're Ziggy and Bella – come play with us!"
Since they hadn't been there before there was a little confusion on how one actually gets into the back yard, but once that was sorted out Ziggy started introductions. "Hi Troy. Um, you're bigger than I thought you'd be. Aren't spaniels my size? I'm Ziggy and this is Bella. This is our house, we live here, but you are perfectly welcome to come and play in our yard with us if you're a mannerly being."
"Well, of course I'm mannerly. I'm a purebred cocker spaniel and I have a doctorate in medieval philosophy from Harvard University. My people are from the Main Line in Philadelphia. I am currently employed part time as a therapy dog with my human, although she has not seen fit to utilize even those talents recently." Troy looked down at the little dogs. Ziggy appeared to be of stellar bloodlines, but the Chihuahua was just too too. Everyone knows they are just common dogs, even if they brag of a pedigree. And this one was, well to put it kindly, portly. 
Ziggy looked at Troy curiously. "My, you are well educated, even if you are underemployed and underutilized. I am a Maltese whose lineage goes back to ancient Athens. My vocation is running around in circles, playing, eating, loving my human and being a dedicated companion to Bella here. None of those require any type of schooling, and aside from being trained not to wee in the house, I am entirely self-taught." Ziggy was beginning to doubt the yarn lady's assertion that Troy liked to have fun. He seemed too snooty for that. 
Bella looked over and simply said, "Pleased ta meetcha." She had no interest in a high-brow dog, and was only humoring Ziggy anyway. She decided to go sit back by the porch and see if anyone brought out food. 
Troy began his exploration of the property. The back yard was spacious and fully fenced, so he was free to explore. He ran from tree to tree, marking them as any self-respecting dog would. Ziggy followed, happily commenting on various features of the yard. "See these sycamore trees? They're my Mom's favorite, even if she does have to pick up the bark when it falls off the trees. Aren't their leaves beautiful? Normally the landscaping is amazing, but Mom broke her arm a couple months ago and hasn't been able to garden. It was a really bad break."
Troy finished his circuit and trotted over to his human. Ziggy liked her. He'd met her many times when he'd gone over to the house with her Mom. Bella had never met her, but Ziggy had described her as the English Lady, since she had a definite English accent. When Troy rejoined the other dogs the humans were preparing to go in the pool. 
"Oh goodie, I love going for a swim! The water is kind of deep, so I only swim with my Mom, although sometimes I do go wading on my own." Ziggy was so excited that he turned circles on the pool patio. Bella humphed and retreated to the house. She didn't swim and wasn't about to be close enough for someone to think to invite her into the pool. Troy just sat next to the yarn lady, as she didn't appear to be going into the pool. The English Lady called for Troy to come in the pool. Troy moved so that he was under the yarn lady's chair, but the English Lady snapped on his collar and began pulling him towards the pool.
"No thank you, I really prefer not to swim. Oh bother." The last was said as his front paws skidded into the pool, soon to be followed by his rear paws. Once he was on the top step he resigned himself to a brief swim. He allowed himself to be pulled off the steps and paddled across the narrow end of the pool, the English Lady at his side. Once he got to the other side he turned and headed straight for the steps and climbed out of the pool. She allowed him to leave, telling him he was a good boy the whole time in that baby-talk voice. 
Troy shook himself dry and moved over to where he hoped he would be either protected by or unnoticed behind the yarn lady. It seemed to work, as he was allowed to stay there until the humans came out of the pool. At which point, his human began praising his swimming efforts, "You are such a good boy, Troy. You're Mommy's baybay (which Troy took to mean baby). Look at you, such a good swimmer – Mommy loves her baybay." 
Troy merely sighed and thought to himself, "I have a doctorate from Harvard and she talks to me as though I were an uneducated mutt puppy." It didn't matter though. He loved her anyway. They finished the day with another swim, a romp with some stuffed toys and finally a snooze in the sun. His human really was extraordinary. She could have come on her own, but she chose to take him, and Troy really did appreciate her courtesy. If only she'd discuss the finer points of Meister Eckhart or Maimonides rather than call him her 'baybay'….

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