After the death of our stubborn and beloved Luigi Lu two years ago, it seemed that there would be no more dogs in the Leann and Benny house. Enough with the responsibility of walking a dog, expensive vet costs or remembering that you have a dog no matter what your plans. No dogs in the house meant that the house was much emptier without Luigi.It was quieter and lonelier. I couldn't bear to part with his leash, his bowl and his blankie so I put them in the basement.
Fast forward a year and a half and here comes Covid. Times are indeed different and I began thinking about a dog again. My two brothers are dog role models. Their dogs are part of their lives and their lives are much enriched by their dogs. It was agreed, after much back and forth, that we would get a dog, despite life being simpler and easier without a dog.
We adopted Trixie from Alabama. For her first year she lived in a home with a 90 year man in a wheelchair, his demented wife and three great danes. After a while, when it became too difficult to care for Trixie, she was relinquished to foster home where she lived with 14-20 other dogs. Her foster mom was crazy about her. She still texts me and asks about her even after all these weeks.
Trixie arrived with her name. I had dreamt of new names, but in the end decided not to change Trixie's given name as this was part of her past and I wanted to respect that. I love to bestow middle names though and Trixie went from Trixie Louise to Trixie Moo but Trixie Noodle is what stuck, so now Trixie is sometimes Trixie, sometimes Trixie Noodle and sometimes just Noodle.
Trixie Noodle arrived at the beginning of September and as we head toward November she is feeling more comfortable at our home. Just as the online literature suggested, it was not easy for Trixie to adjust. She wasn't and still isn't accustomed to busy city streets, to a quiet house with no other dogs. At the beginning she didn't sleep well at night and barely ate. She was afraid to even go to the bathroom for a few days.
True to the descriptions of Trixie, she is a very good girl. She listens well, isn't stubborn and willful. She walks quickly and enthusiastically. She is very curious about the huge numbers of squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits in our neighborhood. She doesn't follow us from room to room, and prefers the privacy of her sleeping places. She doesn't try to sit in between us on the couch if we are watching tv. Tricks are readily learned so that she can get a tiny treat.
While I thought that taking Trixie out in the neighborhood would encourage conversations with the neighbors, things didn't turn out exactly as I had thought. Trixie is a big dog and people shy away instead of approaching and saying what a cute dog she is! She has one brownish eye and one eye a mixed color of white and brown so she has an odd look that can look intimidating. Trixie inherited Luigi's blankie, his bowl and even his leash. We've come full circle.
I am a firm believer that dogs give more to their owners than owners do for their dogs. Trixie has already given us a giant gift. When my husband gets home she wants her ears rubbed. He sits down and bonds with her. There is no one in our house these days. No grandchildren running around, no Shabbat dinners with the family. Trixie is our hubbub, our noise, our focus. She makes us laugh and she brings out the best in both of us. Dogs do that. They scoop out happiness and joy from their people. They are better than therapy, wine or drugs.
They make you smile.
I have begun my travels with Trixie. Together we scope out our neighborhood for 5 or 6 walks a day. She and I get fresh air and exercise together. Trixie is training me to see like her. Under her instruction I keep my eyes peeled for squirrels and chipmunks and bunnies. Like Luigi, she teaches me to look down and all around when I walk. There is magic on the ground, there are birds in the trees and squirrels everywhere. Who knew that squirrels, in addition to ruining our garden and fruit trees, could also be so attractive and interesting! Thank you, Trixie Noodle for being my teacher and teaching me the art of seeing the world through your eyes!