Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happy birthday to Mother's Little Helper

Both my dogs have May birthdays. Sam's was 10 May. Jacey-Kasey's is today, 19 May. She's six years old.

Jacey 18

Jacey, originally named Pinerun Torri, is one of a litter of nine (five boys, four girls). With 16 races (no wins, 2 second place finishes, 3 thirds, 6 fourths), she was the second-best racer in her litter--which tells you how bad seven of her littermates were. In a race in September 2005, she quit and turned back. In a race run on 30 November 2005--my birthday--Jacey finished 4th behind Canuhemisaurus. Canoe now lives here in Georgia in retired bliss. In her one meeting here with Canoe, Jacey snarled and growled at him. It wasn't sour grapes because Canoe beat her; it was her usual "bow-down-and-worship-me" approach to making friends.

Jacey Flowers 4

In fact, her not-so-sweet disposition around other dogs is responsible for her wonky ears: one points forward while the other points back (unless she spots something interesting, in which case both ears point left). Jacey had a disagreement with another dog while they were at the kennel and up for adoption (24 March 2006). Both girls were muzzled, but Jacey's ear still got munched. The experience didn't teach Jacey better manners.

Smiling--and half asleep--DSC01209

Jacey, then called Tori, also had a reputation with the kennel walkers for two things: smiling, and barking. She still does both (even smiles in her sleep, sometimes), although she usually manages to limit her barking to greeting me when I come home from work.

...then a lot

She gets along surprisingly well with Sam. She's very tolerant about his collapsing onto her on the sofa. But when she does growl at Sam (usually over food), he backs off, looks to me for help, and whines. ("Mom! She's picking on me!")

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Once or twice, when we've paused during a walk, Jacey has surprised me with a lovely, spontaneous "sit," for which I've praised her highly. But if you ask her to sit, you get this un-lovely, rolled-onto-her-hip performance, and I haven't been able to break her from that. She doesn't "roach," and she may be the only greyhound I know who doesn't do the "sphinx" down. Ever. Not on her own, and not on command. If you insist on "down," you get a rolled-onto-her-hip down. There's no sign of hip trouble that the vet or I have ever seen; Jacey just has her own style.

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She's mother's little helper around the house, usually following me from room to room. She helps with the laundry by lying on it while I'm trying to fold it. She races to the kitchen every time she hears the microwave ding--or when she thinks she hears it. And, clearly, her dreams involve kitchens and food. One night she'd gone upstairs (to my bed) early. She suddenly woke up, bolted from the bed, flew down the hall, down the stairs, and into the kitchen--running right past Sam and me on the sofa. Apparently, she'd dreamed I was in the kitchen...

Quite often, she thinks I move too slowly when I'm headed to the kitchen. She's been known to get behind me and push. When I turn around to fuss at her, she looks back over her shoulder as if to see who's pushing her. And if I order her out of the kitchen while I'm working in there, she makes it about two steps into the dining room before she whirls and scoots back into the kitchen; it takes three or four tries before "Out!" seems to stick.

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In the three years she's been with me (more than half her life), she's gained quite a bit of white in her face. She's become resigned to thunder and lightning...and to Sam's antics. She's conquered separation anxiety (thank you, Valium and Clomicalm). She's grown a personality--or just relaxed enough to let it show. She's become a fun dog to have around.

Jacey and Sam

Happy birthday, Jacey-Cakes.

4 comments:

LittleWit said...

Happy Birthday Jacey-Kasey! :)

bunnysquirrel said...

happy birthday, pretty girl!

Zan said...

Happy Birthday Jacey!!

Debbie (Emma's mom) said...

Happy, Happy Birthday!