Andie is truly a Cocker’s Cocker. She is very sweet nature’d and other dogs like her, so do most cats, because her Fairy Dog Mother brought Andie up in an animal diverse home for her earliest puppy days. She’s fun to be around, very playful and is absolutely interested in everything. Well, there still remains a minor problem; Andie got addicted to cigi-butts and gum on our many walks, because the grounds of Methodist Church around the corner seems to grow them like dandelions.
I often have to sit her down and tell her in a very stern tone that if this keeps up she’ll turn into a dog version of Betty Rizzo in GREASE and get a bad reputation. If that happens I’ll have to send her to the local Catholic school, because our reversal of fortune has eliminated the chance of a Swiss boarding school where one of my saddest early friends spent his youth or worse Phillips Exeter, where in its generous hand-up to the aspiring classes accepts arriviste bad boys and snotty bullies from one of the lesser states, like Kansas.
Andie didn’t understand any of it and gave me the above dog version of ‘seriously dad?’ Then she ate one of the last remaining desiccated olives fallen last Summer from an old tree alongside the road. The olive was the dregs of hunting, because at this stage of the year all the apples, plums and other goodies fallen from the Autumn have already been gleaned. No doubt about it, Andie is a Foodie and fits in perfectly with our wine country ethos.
Next week we are taking a seminar on how to grind our own ancient strain organic corn with river stones to make polenta, which we’ll wrap in grape leaves, while listening to Philip Glass and eat it with a side of goat cheese and a good bottle of boutique Cabernet. Andie, however, is not allowed to drink wine, so she will have a bowl of Badoit mineral water described as:
“…the water is naturally endowed with a generous amount of trace minerals as well as light, playful bubbles that give Badoit its signature taste. Today, the water is a common sight at fine restaurants, where its delicate carbonation and balanced taste complement the subtle flavors of gourmet meals.”
We had to have a garage sale dedicated for the express purpose of buying a few of these bottles costing as much as a Junior League’s dozen of Barbie Dolls and so giving us a frisson of elegant sophistication. Being well bred ( the two of us) we never discuss this in public, much like my beloved grandmother, who never wore her diamonds in public, lest she be considered vulgar.
The truth is that Andie and I are not very chic these days, but bad habits of former bourgeois glory haunt a ragged genteel decline and so once a month we drive into town, arrive at Whole Paycheck and buy overpriced Fuji apples, because she loves them even more than cigi-butts. These little accommodations to luxury make us feel better, not to mention making Andie’s breath a tad sweeter. I suspect I would end up like Ms. Havisham if it were not for Andie. “”So!” she said, without being startled or surprised; “the days have worn away, have they?”
Andie hangs out in the kitchen waiting for ‘stuff’ to fall from heaven like supplicants from Lourdes desperate for grace. The good thing about that is learning she likes broccoli, cauliflower, shredded carrots ( not sliced ), green beans and English muffin crumbs, also garlic, which makes the apples our best kitchen friend and thus, we come full circle—ying and yang as they say here-bouts .
The kitchen time is good for me for spatial choreography is the play of every day because of the differential in size and height between us. It would be like a seven story building living with a Volkswagen that chooses to park at any given moment according to some lunar phase inscribed by Steiner as the perfect optimum.
On a more down-to-earth level, Andie has added to her hunting repertoire of Flora the Fauna of stalking rodents. I don’t approve, first because I absolutely loath rodents and secondly because Andie has become a gopher miner and would dig to the earth’s core to extract one, but those evil little creatures would be lucky because Andie is a dog Bodhisattva and would never shred one if her play with stuffed toys is any indication.
It all started a month ago when she unearthed a gopher condo in a grassy mound on the corner. I swear she can hear them down there breeding infant rodent terrorists dedicated to destroying gardens. Thus, it was not surprising when she dug deep holes in the rose garden. Previously she had free run of the back garden, but now I have to watch her and discourage her dog version of the ‘Hunger Games.’
Andie is an indoor-outdoor dog….loves it, loves sunshine, loves walks, loves meeting other dogs, loves treats, loves rain, loves chasing bubbles, points, holds and is in every way the perfect Cocker. I am just so grateful that she is too tiny for show and through a miraculous karma ended up here with me.