|Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in. -Mark Twain|
The pic above is of my Maltese Tempe. I had no idea that if I'd only added and S and T at the end of her name, it would have been much more fitting. Yes, Tempest suits her perfectly! This fluffy little creature couldn't be more adorable if she tried. (And she doesn't.) Don't be fooled however by her silky fur and cute and cuddly appearance. Cesar Millan would freak if he saw her in action.
First I must add here that she only owns me. I should also add that my last dog Maggie also owned me. I'm beginning to see a pattern here. Since I'm the only common denominator in these two ownings, I'm having to face the fact that it MAY be the tiniest bit my fault.
Tempe plays me like Beethoven tickling the ivories. I may as well be a marionette with all the corresponding strings that make me dance. She's not an outright teeth showing, snarling, attack beast - but what she does is just as effective! Here are a few of her most winning tactics.
1. She makes this high pitched (apparently silent to my husband) whine whenever she wants something. It's not just mildly annoying. It's water dripping on the forehead annoying. It's sleep deprivation and starvation annoying and she is relentless with it until she gets whatever it is that she's set her heart on.
2. She looms and stares. Not only does this adorable ball of fluff hang around doing the whining noise and driving needles into my brain, she combines it with a hole boring stare. It doesn't matter what else is going on around her. It's useless to call her name or try to distract her. She's like Eddie fixed on Fraser - laser focused with icy precision. There is absolutely no ignoring it. I've tried to pretend - not to notice and to keep from making eye contact but that just ups the volume of the piercing whine to almost mind numbing.
3. She believes all free time is Tempe time. If I sit down she's on my lap or bringing a toy to play with. Just being on my lap is adorable. That's not what I mean however. When she's on my lap it means I need to scratch her back. If I stop or slow down she grunts or growls until I start back up. IT'S SO ANNOYING. She doesn't do this to my husband who can sit and read for hours without being disturbed. She'll sit on the sofa and sleep next to him. THAT is even MORE annoying!
4. She does guilt better than my grandmother! If I do manage to withstand the icy stare and out last the piercing whine, she sits looking adorably dejected and abused - as though I threw our her favorite toy or didn't feed her (the home cooked meals I prepare for her.) It's so far beyond pitiful that if there were such s thing as Doggie Oscars, she'd win Best Actress paws down!
5. She disses me at the door. This may be the cruelest thing of all. When my husband (who does NOT cook for, play with non-stop, feed, groom, do endless back scratches for, and is not at all moved by her goings on) comes home, she sings the daddy song. The daddy song is no mere happy bark of acknowledgement. No. Instead its a full blown opera complete with glass breaking notes that any mesa-soprano would envy. When I come home, it's a supreme effort for her to lift her head from her comfy pillow and look in my general direction!
Am I bitter? You bet! Who wouldn't be? If I wanted to go through this I would have adopted a toddler instead of getting a dog! That being said - and I hate to admit this, I wouldn't trade her for the world. Yes, I could have taken her to "obedience" training early on and trained the sass right out of her. I could have opted to have a dog who would do my bidding, jump at my every command, and heel on demand. I could have had a slipper getting, paw giving, rolling over type of dog if I'd wanted it that way, but I'd hate to live that life myself so who am I to impose it on another creature? So I guess there's nothing more to do than to linger on in indentured servitude - loving every minute of it.