How many of you remember the old Sammy Davis Jr. song from the 50s? Anyone?
Well, that’s sure been an apt description of me and Ronni, all the more so in 2022. We seem to be kindred spirits, all but joined at the hip.
I’d noticed Rhonda had started bonding even more closely with me after we lost Abby in 2020. Of course, that was partly my doing – I missed Abby so terribly. As much as I’ve always loved Baxter, it was Ronni’s cheerful impertinence that kept my heart from shattering into pieces that year.
Rhonda’s not at all like Abby, who oozed unconditional love from every pore, and was happy to do anything I wanted, any time I wanted as long as she could be with me. 💗 Abby was a plushy stuffed doggy come to life; calm, comforting and stalwart. I still miss her every single day.
Ronni is more demanding, more open to negotiating terms and more manipulative (in a cheerful manner that’s hard to resist). She’s a dachshund, so no surprise. She is pure love, but wants to get her way and doesn’t mind using under-handed means (like puppy eyes … I mean, seriously?) to achieve her ends.
And, she can be just plain sneaky. For example; there is food on the side table. Ronni has decent manners and knows she can’t just lunge and grab for it. She’s very good at not begging.
So, she’ll jump down from the sofa, trot past the table without a glance and give her best little “I need to go outside, please” bark, looking at the door.
Well trained servant that I am, I’ll get up and reach for my jacket. In that instant of inattention, she has whipped stealthily around me, onto the sofa arm and has the food. If Baxter hasn’t seen the opportunity and gotten there ahead of her, that is!
Monsters, both of them! You cannot leave food unattended in their presence. It’s sure a good thing they are short.
The one thing I can truly say that Ronni and Abby had in common are their eyes. Not all dogs enjoy or even tolerate full eye contact. But both Abby’s and Ronni’s big brown eyes would/do well up with love and hold my gaze unstintingly.
I guess Rhonda has been “my dog” in pretty much every sense of the word, since the day she arrived in June of 2018.
Well, perhaps I should rephrase that. With Rhonda, it might be more a case of my being “her person”. She was so very WANTED, you see. I’m afraid I would have been more than a little crushed if she hadn’t wanted me right back.
Don’t get me wrong; Ronni loves Jerry, too, and enjoys rambunctious play bouts with him and with older “bro”, Baxter. A “family” car ride, or long walks together, when Jerry has Baxter’s leash and I have hers, are epic in her eyes. She has everyone together, Mom is attached to her and we’re going somewhere. Oh boy! “Wait … was that a bunny I sniffed? Later, folks!”
Rhonda is full to overflowing with love most of the time (just ask some of my friends who get mugged by her regularly), but she picks and chooses where and how much love to parcel out with most people. She can vary from tail-whipping friendly to somewhat reserved to full-out distrust (although that doesn’t happen often and I sometimes wonder if they didn’t somehow just startle her). Who knows?
Even with me, her beloved person, her full cooperation can sometimes depend on the value of the food bribe involved. “Roll over? Yeah, I don’t think so. Oh wait! Is that chicken??” Flop, flop.
After my surgery last January, Ronni became much more clingy and even protective of me. She’s always been a love-bug, albeit sometimes a demanding one, but in January, she definitely understood I was injured and very seriously took on the job of nurse, comforter and guardian. Abby would’ve been proud of her.
Thankfully, she quickly learned to stay away from the injured knee, but was otherwise pretty much glued to me for much of the past four months.
For an active young dog whose main joy is found in running, jumping, tunneling and hunting – her behavior over the long winter months of inactivity both surprised and comforted me.
Now, nearly five months post-op, I’m on my feet again, just in time for summer dog sports! I’m so grateful to finally be able to pay her back for her diligent love and loyalty.