Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Living with Helen Keller

We went to see the puppies today. Hannah’s puppies, which would make them my Cassie’s full brothers and sisters, although in a different generation altogether. Genealogy is so challenging when you dwell in the world of dogs.

Then later today, someone said to me that living with adolescent puppies reminds her of what it must have been like to live with Helen Keller. You always feel that you are the verge of some communications break-through, that any minute the figurative light-bulb will go on over their all too literal fuzzy heads.

I laughed out loud, thinking back to a moment not so long ago, when I felt like I was Helen Keller. My beautiful puppy came to me, desperate to convey to me a concept, which I suddenly realized was a single word, her word, meant to say Mom-I-am-dying-to-go-outside-for-I-really-must-pee. A simple concept, surely, and how frustrating for her that I was so slow to learn it.

This, in a nutshell, is the difference between living with a German Shepherd or any other dog smarter than its nominal owner and living with retrievers. Retrievers are needy; German Shepherds are in charge. Seriously.


Anonymous said...

I need someone in charge over here. Could I borrow your shepard?

What fun it must be to learn her personality as she grows up.

Nan - said...

I just love this idea. And it goes along perfectly with the cozy mystery I am reading now, called The Tale of Hill Top Farm by Susan Wittig Albert, in which Beatrix Potter is the main character. The animals in this book talk to one another and struggle to make themselves understood to the humans. One of my dogs, a stray who wandered here three years ago, must be part German Shepherd. He is the smartest fellow I've known, and the most empathetic. I found your blog via hoarded ordinaries (and that one via lifescapes).