Last week I wrote about the chaos a little puddle on the bathroom floor caused. Well, (heavy sigh) we have leaky plumbing. Again.

Her name is Ryleigh--the little girl with the plumbing problem. She's a tiny thing, but big on wet kisses and leaving puddles on the floor. And she's a bit spastic. Ummm...let me rephrase that...she's a Yorkie and she's flippin' nuts!

After graduating from ASU and the completion of his Disney internship, our son moved home. With an over-saturated job market, he struggled finding work, had nowhere except his bedroom to call his own, his buddies were in Phoenix or Los Angeles and he decided he wanted a dog. His forte is PR and I swear that kid can talk the feathers off a duck, but I held my ground with more than one emphatic "NO".

I was perfectly content with our mild-mannered Shih Tzu, Mercedes (Sadie) whose only vice is squeaky toys. Annoying? Yes. But neither one leave Tootsie Roll treasures under the end tables and by our shoes.

One Friday, a new batch of puppies appeared online, each one decked out in a pink or blue ribbon. Against my wishes and hundredth "NO", he called. The breeder said he was the first to call so he would have the pick of the litter. Again, I said no. He told the breeder he'd be there in a couple of hours. His father went with him (he's a teacher, a MAN, and a Pisces). Do men ever listen?

A few hours later, my son shoved a ball of fur into the palm of my hand. "Meet your new grand-puppy," he said. Oh, no you don't! I looked away. She licked my chin. Crap. She nuzzled my neck and made those little squeaky noises puppies make. Double crap. I pushed the fur from her eyes and gave her a kiss between her tiny little black eyes and set her down. She crawled into my shoes and went to sleep. Holy triple crap. My son beamed and said he'd named her Ryleigh after the main character in my novel. I was doomed.  

Ryleigh is certifiably crazy, runs (she doesn't know how to walk) a hundred miles an hour, and is much too smart. I taught her to "sit" in thirty minutes, but her idea of remaining in the sitting position lasts a whopping 2.5 seconds. If we're lucky. "Off" is a game--jumping "on" whatever you've told her to get "off" of again and again, including my lap which is easy access for a lightning fast French kiss. I'm not as quick as she is and never will be, thus I shall never want for a double dose of Yorkie slobber. She learned to "speak" in forty minutes flat. My bad. Now she speaks fluent human and carries on...and on...mostly during a time when concentration is of utmost importance. Go figure. 

A cat burglar she's not (we don't own a cat)--and I knew better than to let her any where near my closet. And I should never have opened the door to the UPS guy when I didn't know where she was. For a tail that's nothing more than a stub, it wagged fiercely as she proudly laid a pair of my panties at my feet. Dang she was proud! I can still feel the heat crawling up my neck. 

During our bathroom remodel, the mold remediation people quarantined our bathroom with plastic which had zippers to get in and out. When Ryleigh heard the zipper, all four cylinders clicked into high gear and off she'd fly, through the opening, steal something of our contractor's that wasn't heavier than she was, and be back before we realized she was gone! Didn't take us long to figure out why our contractor charged us for pencils, tile markers and knee pads. I think he felt bad asking us if we had any extra rags. A whole pile, as a matter of fact.  

Ryleigh learned her name quickly, but any attempt to call her is a waste of breath. Oh, she'll acknowledge with a backward glance, then take off at a dead run-in the opposite direction. Spider webs set her ears to high alert, ants are made to be pawed and lizards chased, but beetles are her passion. Over and over she'll flip them into the air just so she can pounce when they land. And the game continues until the beetle stops wiggling. Then comes the dead critter roll. Ew. 

Squeaky toys run a close second to beetles. She plops them at my feet, yips faintly (thank goodness), looks at me, then the toy, me-toy-me-toy--I'm sure you get the picture--a five pound walking, talking bobble-head. And I'm certain of one thing--she doesn't sleep. She's recharging for the next go around.

Though beetle flipping is her passion, dive-bombing is her sport of choice. Any object off the floor is a potential runway, and Sadie's head serves as the landing strip. When Sadie has had enough, she'll try to escape. That's when the barrel rolls commence. Lunge, roll. Lunge, roll. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Yeah, I know, Sadie. One of "those" days is every day with The Riles.  

Do dogs suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder? Just askin'.

I did not want a puppy, but my son wouldn't listen. He's twenty-three and not the most patient of men. I understood the restlessness and the need for something of his own. Even though I had made it perfectly clear I did not want another dog, he brought Ryleigh home anyway.

For once, I'm glad he turned a deaf ear.

Because, despite all her excess energy and all the little puddles--I fell in love. 

Until next time--
Happy Reading, Happy Writing


Dog and Poo cartoon courtesy of Grant Cochrane www.freedigitalphotos.com


08/01/2013 1:54pm

Animals are our salvation and damnation all bundled in soft fur, willful hearts, sweet gazes and a desperate need for constant affection. It doesn't matter how many we have, my children are constantly begging for another. And...well...I suppose there are worse things in life.

Though it should probably be noted, so far I've held out admirably and only added one kitten to the full-grown cat already at home. He wasn't pleased, but she grew on him. And pounced on him and chomped on him and...you get the idea. ;)

Very sweet post.

08/03/2013 3:24pm

Hi, Angela--
I couldn't have put it better--animals are our salvation and damnation. They love us unconditionally and what more could you ask for? You are very strong not to give in to your children's wishes. Though pets are a wonderful addition to the family, they are also an added responsibility.

But we sure love them, don't we? Our kids AND our pets!

Thanks so much for visiting my site, and I hope to see you back!

08/01/2013 10:19pm

Dear Susan,
I loved you post about Ryleigh. Yes, Adam can be quite charming and convincing. We worked together at ASU and he was the best student worked we ever had in Purchasing. I hope he had a great experience at Disney and that it will lead to something wonderful for him that he loves. It's not easy for kids to start a career these days but if anyone can do it, it will be Adam. Please give him a hug for me and tell him if he is ever in the Scottsdale area I'd love to see him. I left ASU two years ago to pursue my art career seriously. And Ryleigh is just the cutest!

08/03/2013 3:30pm

Hi, Joan--
Adam was so excited when I read your comment. He sure misses everyone at ASU Purchasing and the college life. Yes, he can certainly hold his own when it comes to charming people into something--especially his mom! I admit, I'm quite the sucker when it comes to him.

Thanks so much for your kind comments and faith in our son. We too, believe there is something wonderful out there for him and he has a great work ethic and will work hard to achieve success in whatever he decides to pursue.

Thanks for visiting my site and I hope to see you back in the future. Best wishes for much success in the world of art. CHEERS!


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