Monday, January 19, 2009

Adventures with Millie

This is Millie. She is my constant companion, alarm clock, and source of aggravation, frustration and amusement. From the time that I got her she has had an attitude the size of the Montana sky (if ya'll have never been to Montana just take my word for it that its huge!).

When I first moved to Montana I considered bringing my dog with me. However, I didn't know where I was going to end up living so I left him home with my parents. Of course by the time I got settled there was NO chance of them letting me take him A FULL STATE away from them! Also, I didn't think it would be a good idea to get a dog with the crazy schedule that camp has.

So, I got cats instead. One car drive-by and a runaway later I was catless. I went along in life for quite awhile without a pet. Since one of my cats drove me absolutely crazy it was kind of a nice break!

But then my parents decided to stage an intervention. During the winter I struggle with Seasonal Depression and have the tendency to just not want to do anything. I get out some, but it's a bit of a struggle. So, my parents thought that if I got a dog I would have companionship and also be forced to take her for walks (therefore getting exercise). Mom and I went to pick up Millie on New Years Eve 2007 and my life has never been the same!

She has been an interesting adventure. She wasn't fully house trained until she was a year old. She chooses to ignore me most of the time when I tell her to do something. She has a fetish for socks (which is why my bedroom door is closed today - after getting home from a weekend away I unpacked and put everything on my bed. then when I was exhausted and falling asleep at 9:30 I just threw everything on the floor and that is her DREAM!). She is one of the funniest looking runners I've ever seen (she just goes flat out - her little legs are stretched the front and to the back and you think she's going to crash!). She goes lots of places with me, including work. She has stolen the hearts of a couple of area families, which is wonderful when I need to find a place to leave her when I go somewhere! She wakes me up multiple times a night so she can go outside. She hates being left alone and will throw a party anytime I come back home. She ate through an electrical cord when she was a puppy and almost killed herself. She always picks the worst times to be disobedient.

Which brings me to the reason for today's blog. I went home for lunch as I normally do (I live about 5 miles away from camp and it would make a lot more sense to just bring my lunch with me, but there is something so nice about getting away from camp for awhile!) and had plans to go for a walk with Millie. (I stopped bringing her to work this fall, just because it was a pain to haul her around and to have to worry about what she was getting into in the office. I'm sure she'll come back once it gets nicer and my hours get longer.) So, I enjoyed my lunch of tomato soup, grilled cheese and pickles (pickles don't really go, but I was REALLY craving them) while she played outside.

I had about 20 minutes left before I had to be back at work, so I put on my mittens (it's SO nice here today ya'll! can I just express the wonderfulness of not having to put on a bulky coat and being totally comfortable in a long sleeved shirt and vest??), grabbed my sunglasses and hit the road. We walked around town and then since it was time for me to leave, I headed back to the house. Well, little Miss Millie decided she wasn't quite ready to come back yet.

Since I tend to psychoanalyze most situations I find myself in, I decided that she had some built up anger/resentment to get out since I had left her with some friends for the past 4 weeks. (To be honest, I'm not sure if the anger was because I had left her or because I made her come home. I try not to delve too deeply into that situation!)

Anyways, she took off. She went off down the road and was sniffing at this and that. I got her to come back to close to the house (at a dead run no less!), but she WOULD NOT come in the yard (I have a fence and would have closed the gate on her). She then took off again and wandered around the neighbor's yard. I know that you're not supposed to chase after them (cause it makes it more of a game) but ignoring her wasn't working and I HAD TO GO TO WORK! So, I climbed over my fence into my neighbor's yard and wandered after her. She went past my house again and ended up across the street.

AND THEN SHE LAID DOWN. Oh yes, she did! She just laid there, smiling at me, wondering what it was that I wanted her to do. (cause, you know, my screaming her name and telling her to come wasn't quite clear directions ...) So, I just stood there, with my hands on my hips, and stared at her. I was frustrated, but not livid (which I thought was very mature of me!), and knew that if I just gave up and walked away that would mean she won and would make her more of the alpha dog. And actually, my tactic worked. After I stared at her for about a minute she got up and trotted across the street. She then followed me most of the way to our gate. And then ... SHE SAT DOWN. Seriously.

So what did I do? Well, I stared at her some more. And then she got up and just trotted into the yard and into the house like nothing had ever happened. Is it just me or are dogs weird??

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