Robbie and Chancey are 10 today. Since Chancey's real name is Chanson, or "song" in French, that means that, for today, she is . . . wait a minute . . . hold it, a BIRTHDAY SONG. GROANNNNNN.
Anyway, my two babies are both 10 today. I have been in love with them since the moment I first spied them through the door of the breeder's house, all mismatched ears, beady bright eyes, with an attitude, in their puppy playpen, with their sister, whose birthday it is too. Happy birthday, Wyndsong's Regan, somewhere in Texas.
How could you not fall in love with puppies who scampered around a kitchen, chasing a paper towel tube? Or the puppy who promised to love me forever, if, when asked if she wanted to be Chancey, I would only call her some other name than Cordelia? She had me at the moment that she tugged on my skirt, and then chewed the tie of my dress.
And those awful months of early puppyhood, when, frustrated at her "moments"--tossing Felix in the air to make him holler, til she got busted doing that, much to our abject horror, and running my car up along a guard rail--and still grieving the loss of my beloved Dana, I would ask her, "Why can't you just be good." Her reply: I am trying to, but I have a lot to learn in a short time, and, while we're on the subject, I am not this Dana of whom you speak, I don't want to be like her, and I'm tired of being judged based on her. She's dead, and I'm alive, and you got to work with what you have. SO DO I." And that fantastic day, January 1st, 2000, when I actually managed to fall asleep with her off leash, and take a nap, and she was in the same place, calmly eating her pig ear, when I woke up. Pig ears got us through some rough times in puppyhood.
And through the years, when she got through the terrible teens, and we learned to be buddies. How I knew I needed a new car when, standing on the front seat of my old beater, she put her face up to the poorly working AC, and gave me a look like, "This ish must stop. My people do not ride in crappy cars with no AC. Not in the summer, not in the winter. NEVER." How after the accident, I worried that she'd been forgotten on the side of the road in the rain, this pretty little dog I'd promised to take care of, and how I asked about her, and then insisted to my boyfriend we had to go get her, because, deep down, I knew if I just had my girl back, I would be OK. And, at the firehouse, when I promised her, I'd do everything in my power to make sure she never went through that again; we both cried, I can't say if it was from shock, or relief, but I held my girl the rest of the day, and during the next few months, while I rebuilt our lives from the scattered pieces of the accident.
And along the way, I kept up with her brother. Cheered when he won shows, cooed over photos of his puppies. Chancey was so unmoved by her new status of aunthood. When I'd tell her to go do something, she would tell me she was the sister of a canine celebrity, and not to speak to her that way. I ignored her. But I never knew my paths would cross with him again.
Two years ago, I was given the gift of being Robbie's forever home. It is a gift I appreciate beyond anything. Because I got to give Chancey her fambly back. And of course, his sister puts him in his place. I have given him a life he enjoys, and, in return, he has blessed me by being my quiet listener, my #1 fan, and my protector. I am so grateful.
10 years has gone so quick. I can't believe it. I hope we have another 10 years.
Happy Birthday, Sweetness and Light!