Monday, March 20, 2006

for the love of a god you say

Clearly I don't often use this space for unabashed sentiment, but today it must be forgiven. My dog, La-Di-Da, is in the hospital.

She was the puppy we got when I was in junior high and our Cocker Spaniel, Lissy -- whom we'd gotten when I was four or five as a physical manifestation of my imaginary friend, and no I'm not kidding -- was getting on in years. Lissy's favorite things at that point were eating (she had a penchant for Kleenexes pulled from the trash) and sleeping and, well, peeing, not always in appropriate places. She did not particularly want a friend, much less a wee ball of fluff that was vaguely Shih-Tzu shaped and thought she was the coolest thing ever.

Lissy was put down when La-Di was a year or two old, I think (my parents and I have the world's worst time keeping track of when dog-related events happened), and La-Di was clinically depressed about it for months. She did eventually get over it. Small dog, smallish brain; I don't think long-term memory is its strong suit.

She's a ridiculously cute animal who is about twice as large as we were told she would be. (Apparently Shih-Tzus come in size classes, like poodles. Who knew?) She has a wall eye and in recent years has gotten even a little blinder and slightly deaf, too, so she occasionally stares at the wall for a while, even when you call her. It's hilariously funny and heartbreakingly sad.
Anyway, she's not doing so hot, and I'm sad about it. I miss her. During those teenage years of mine, she always knew when I wasn't feeling great and would keep me company. I like to think it's because I'm the one who trained her, but the word "train" with La-Di can only be used in the most general sense. I think she spent most of obedience school trying to avoid getting drooled on by the massive Saint Bernard puppy.

I had very deep mattresses on the beds in my room and it was rather impressive that she could jump onto them, which she did, particularly if I was watching a movie and eating popcorn. She loved popcorn, which I'm guessing is not really the most normal food for dogs. Also we had to spell the word "turkey" around her because she loved to eat that too, and would go crazy if we said it aloud.

She puts out an insane amount of body heat and when I was growing up in the world's coldest room (until we got the garage heater), she was the greatest thing ever to pick up and plop down on the bed on a cold winter morning.

I hope she gets better. Love you, Lahboo.

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