I thought about Kelli’s message for three days before calling her back. Kelli has this great little Scottie lass…if we still want one. And if… the poodles and Cosmo can play together nice.
But how could Kelli know she was catching me at a weak moment? I don’t need another dog. Two gorgeous standard poodles should be enough. But… for reasons that defy reason, for the last few weeks I’ve been wrestling with longing for a little Scottie dog. And it sure didn’t help that I ran into this journal entry a few days before Kelli’s call.
“As I read, a Scottie crawls into my lap to rest heavily on my legs. He is snoring. A dead weight, dead to the world, completely relaxed in my presence. I hate to bring it to an end, it is so comforting. But duty to Karson calls.”
My Scotties are truly dead to the world now. Tavish, my lap-warmer, died in July 2007 and his brother Mac adopted Maddie into the fold before dying ten months later. Well, to be honest, Mac didn’t exactly throw out the welcome mat upon Maddie’s arrival. Because at first he tried to ignore her, hoping she would just go away. And being a little hard of hearing helped Mac a lot. But when Mac realized Maddie was here for good, Mac began ‘acting out’, letting us know in no uncertain terms of his displeasure. And this came long before Maddie began her torments, of which her favorite was nip-a-scottie-in-the-butt.
At the ripe old age of twelve, Mac was long past playing games. He was retired, for goodness sake, at least before Mad Maddie arrived on the scene to provide him a bit of unprescribed grief therapy. Or maybe we got our signals crossed and Maddie thought she was here to give Max a lot of grief? Without a therapy component?
As most senior dogs do in retirement, Mac slept away his life, either in his favorite kitchen corner, or when I was in it, near my favorite living room chair. Unfortunately, the latter left him vulnerable to Maddie’s sneak attacks, which promptly began whenever Mac began to snore deep, his unknowing signal to Maddie that the coast was clear. Quickly springing up on her young poodle legs, this little lady-in-waiting dived toward Mac’s backside to give Mac a little nip — Maddie’s way of saying — “Let’s play old man.”
It was a rude wake-up call for our little guy. Full of idignation and blustery Scottish fire, our faithful old geezer would stand up all our fours as quickly as his arthritic legs allowed and begin to bark Maddie a piece of his mind, to let her know she’d gone too far. And poor Mac would be so focused on barking that he wouldn’t notice Maddie had flown around the room for her second sneak attack. And then the game was truly on, Mac turning like a weather vane as Mad Maddie tried to nip his hiney from both directions, first north then south.
Somehow, in spite of these torments… and perhaps Mac’s better sense… Mac fell in love with la Madeleine. I noticed Mac’s tenderized heart about a month after Maddie’s arrival, when Mac began expressing interest in accompanying Don and Maddie on their evening walk. We knew there was no possible way Mac could keep up with Maddie’s pace. For even in the prime of Mac’s life, those short legs would have been hard-pressed to keep up with our long-legged poodle.
But true to Scottie form, Mac was determined, so I volunteered to walk Mac so that Mr. December would not hold his new young love back. And to give credit where due, our little guy walked as fast as his old short legs would carry him. But when the inevitable happened, and Don & Maddie disapppeared from sight, Mac threw on the brakes and put his old body in ‘park.’ And no matter how much I encouraged, Mac wouldn’t budge. Because for better or worse, Maddie was his girl, and he knew she’d be back for him, once she’d discovered he was no longer following. And in his way, Mac was right. For when Don and Maddie arrived home to notice Mac and I stalled half-way up block, they trotted up for rescue and recovery. And Maddie’s arrival would make Mac so happy. He’d just get right up and follow Maddie back home.
So I know scotties and poodles make great friends and that Max and Maddie will welcome little Cosmo to their poodle games and walks. And my waiting lap will offer a bit of rest whenever Cosmo’s ready to take a breather from playing with the big kids.