Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday is Teddy Day

I grew up in New England, where Wednesday was Prince Spaghetti Day. This week I issued a royal proclamation: Tuesday is Teddy Day.

Teddy was very timid and anxious as a small pup. When I put him on the floor to exercise with his brothers and sisters, he howled pitifully until I put him back in the dog bed. The other pups wanted to explore their world. Not Teddy. Meg would climb the walls of the bed and escape to make mischief, with Jinx and Berry at her heels. Not Teddy. No, he said, I don't want to leave my bed. I don't want to go to school. I don't want to leave home, ever.

Eventually we noticed that Patch (the mom) was picking on Teddy a lot, nipping his butt, growling at him, and generally giving him rough treatment compared to the way she treated the other 3 pups. Mr. P., who is a very wise man, told me not to worry about it, that this was Patch's way of "bringing Teddy along."
I guess it worked, because Teddy is a fearless fellow now, but his early behavior haunts him. We call him Teddy the Dweeb as well as awful names I won't repeat here (always in a loving tone, mind you - my mom used to be able to get her dachsunds wagging their tails by lovingly reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to them). All the dogs pester us for attention and affection, but when Teddy is pesting me, I tell him, "It's a good thing Grammy loves you, because no one else does. The kids at school laugh at you and steal your lunch money. No one likes you because you're homely and your feet stink and your breath smells like poop." Teddy regards me seriously while I tell him this, occasionally wagging his tail as if to indicate that he's paying close attention.
Yesterday during one of these conversations, I heard myself saying, "Teddy gets extra love and attention today, because it's Tuesday, and Tuesday is Teddy Day." And this afternoon when he put his front paws on my leg and nosed my arm (while I was trying to type), I said, "Go away, Teddy. This is Wednesday. Today is not Teddy Day. You'll have to wait until next week."
You won't be surprised to hear that Teddy wasn't put off by that at all.

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