THE LIFE OF MISS ESSIE, BOOKSTORE DOG

MY BEGINNINGS

October 10th 2011 8:48 am
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No one really knows when I was born. The Mama chose April 10, because it seemed like a good day. The year part is right – 1984. Which made me 18 when I went to the bridge. Didn’t seem long enough, but the body gives out whether you are ready or not.

My puppyhood must have been bad; I had some neuroses as a result: don’t mess with my feet or my tail (my tail had been broken some time, maybe more than once), and please don’t leave me alone! Oh, and I wasn’t overly fond of children – guilty until proven trustworthy!

When the Papa brought me home from the pound, he hadn’t consulted the Mama first. She was mourning the loss of their Siamese cat, Isis. Isis has another long story attached to her, but that’s for some other day or possibly never. Good cat, though I never met her.

I had been kept at the pound way past the usual kill date, because the staff liked me and felt sorry for my homely cuteness, and I was small, so I didn’t eat much. I was ecstatic to be rescued! I instantly loved both the pawrents with a passion that endured beyond the grave. I wasn’t housebroken, though the pawrents didn’t find this out till later – lucky for me! I won’t go into the gory details; it took weeks, I think, for them to get the idea across that peeing and pooping on the floor was unacceptable. And then, suddenly, one day it just clicked! Like one of those cartoon lightbulbs going off over one’s head - I KNEW what they wanted!!! And from then on, there was never a problem – well, until I became very old, and had a few doggy Alzheimer moments.

My first days out of the pound were spent in the bookstore there in Santa Fe. I was good in the store from the start; seeming to know instinctively how to act with customers. When we were open for business, I was quiet. I rarely bothered people, though over the years I did develop human friends, some of whom, though not dog owners themselves, took to carrying biscuits for me. I was properly delighted to see them when they would come in the shop; they always seemed pleased by this.

When the day was done and the door was locked, though, that’s when I became Essie - Guard Dog Supreme. If anyone so much as touched that door handle, I growled and barked, sounding about 3 times my size, which BTW, was around 10-12 lbs. Yappy – I wasn’t! Not sure why I wasn’t – I LOOKED the type. Maybe it was because the Mama has always preferred the quiet, and she and I had some serious psychic simpatico. The only instances I couldn’t contain myself in this regard were those times when I got left in the car. Then I yipped and yapped to beat the band! In time, though, I mostly grew out of this.

 
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Miss Essie (1984-2002)


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