Daisy in the Spotlight


Daisy’s favorite spot at the beach house is on the back of the couch. From there she can see the squirrels taunting her from the trees outside the window.

She can see part of the street where dog walkers go by every five minutes or so.

Pepper has taken over the antique silk wing chair by the picture window. Little did I know that every time a dog jumped off the chair, she would rip the silk fabric.  By the time I figured it out, one arm and the seat were ruined.

The antique silk wing chair by the picture window will now be referred to as the dog chair.

The beach is different because the front yard is fenced, solid redwood on either side and open slat design in the front. The sides have been replaced. The front is grandfathered in. If I were to replace it, it could only be four feet high. Daisy can jump a fence that height.

Speaking of Daisy, I replaced my four-foot-high gate between the front and back yards because she could scale the gate and be gone.  Her newest trick is to dig her way under the gate when I leave with Pepper for a dog walk. I am too old to walk them both together. Pepper doesn’t pull unless Daisy is pulling next to her. It’s a girl competition thing.

No one every trained Daisy on a leash. She is six or seven, and I am her third owner. People laugh at her sled-dog methods, so I often lock Pepper in the house after her walk and bring out Daisy to play ball instead of a walk.

The two dogs have drawn blood over tennis balls — mostly Pepper biting Daisy, saying, I was here first. I am bigger.  I was a puppy with our human. You cannot have my ball, share my ball, or be anywhere near my ball, or I will make you bleed.

Daisy doesn’t seem to remember from one bloody episode to the next.

My girlfriend asked me if Daisy was dropped on her head once. Maybe. I have no way of knowing.

Another day, as we walked our Jack Russells around the reservoir, the same friend asked if Daisy was autistic because she ignored her puppy named Teddy.

Maybe. Can dogs be autistic? She certainly is a weirdo, but that doesn’t make her autistic, right? She ignores all other dogs, except her housemate.

Daisy growls at Pepper to give up her chair. Pepper gives it up (uless it’s the prized dog chair). I am amazed. The vet says the dogs can trade off on being alpha in different situaitons.

Big Pepper is alpha for balls, food, and all dog toys.

Daisy is alpha for laps, chairs, and the bed. She spends a lot of time on my bed during the day because Pepper has no interest in working that hard to get up on it. There, Daisy is safe. She may not understand why she gets bloody from time to time (bad memory?), but she knows she won’t get bloody while up on my bed.

I am a senior citizen who has had a number of dogs throughout my lifetime – Cleo, Huey, Tess, Boomer, Penny, Wiener, Pepper, and Daisy. Each dog has taught me something about doghood.

My house is hairy, but I have a Roomba.  My bed is doggy, but I have a built-in heating pad.  My house is protected, because I have two furry security alarms.

Daisy, you can stay here as long as you remain as cute as you are.

Pepper, please be patient with our little weirdo.

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