Saturday, August 18, 2007

Yo Lupita, What Up Now?

Our Willow hosts, Dan & Joan, have a dog named Lupita. She's part Chihuahua and part, um, something else. Really, she's Joan's dog, as anyone would know if they spent any time at all there. Lupita shadows Joan like a dutiful little cocklebur.

Lupita also happens to be the only dog my Duchess (who shadows me nearly as closely) will play with. Duchess is a dog-loner. She loves me, she usually loves Brady and Jonathan, and she occasionally loves Rob (the 'occasional' thing is quite mutual), but she most decidedly does not love any other dogs, especially if they pay any attention to her at all. She's a solo operator, a snob, prejudiced against her own kind. She likes to be in control. She looks down her snout at other dogs, yawns a "yeah, yer not all that", then looks up at me as if to say, "Um, please pick me up?"

Her limited and very particular play with Lupita, then, is defined by a very strict relationship. Duchess chases Lupita and Lupita allows herself to be chased. Round and around the yard they go, making identical zig-zag patterns in the yard. They don't wrassle or tangle, and when one stops, the other stops and freezes. There's the occasional sniffing, but otherwise only parallel play and very little contact.

They're fond of leaping into my flower beds - first Lupita, then Duchess - making quick football player-like cuts, kicking up soil and seedlings as they go. (Dratted furry little rascals.... why I oughtta.... )

Photo: Duchess guarding an unwell Jonathan

Lupita made herself pretty scarce at Willow, but as Sunday was winding down and the last few folks were tending the grill for the evening meal, Lupita ventured out, enticed no doubt by the scent of sizzling meat. When she begged for morsels - which she did very politely, she's quite the little lady - Dan took the opportunity to get all "my dog knows cool tricks" on us, and proceeded to have Lupita perform a trick where she did a turn on her hind legs. It was pretty cute, I guess. I mean, it was a hard trick, I suppose. For Lupita, maybe.

The other night I was making dinner and Duchess was begging, and I thought, let's show that prima donna Lupita what you can do, huh, Duchie?

Duchess says, "Yo, Lupita - check this, grrrlfriend... "

Ohhhh, snap.

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