She's regained the lead

Mina Originally uploaded by caramaria.

You may call me hateful. You may say I'm abusive - but the truth is, I don't always love my dogs equally.

It's a lot of fun having a big dog and a small dog. It's fun to put peanut butter on their noses and watch them try to lick it off one another. It's fun when the big dog, Cecilia, gets a tasty bone and hunkers down on the carpet, happily chewing, and then Mina gently glides onto her back and goes to town, humping like a horny gerbil on a whale.

As most of my friends know, Mina will always claim a special place in my heart. I might go as far as to say that she claims the part of my heart that keeps me alive, that if anything were to happen to her I'd die, my heart would simply stop beating. But I must admit that as of late my attentions have been diverted. Cecilia's been campaigning hard. We took a walk in the woods with her recently, something she's always enjoyed. We hadn't gone in months and the leaves, the creek, the sheer joy of life - it was all so thrilling to her that she filled with love and practically floated above the footpath. She and I have been taking jaunty walks along Barclay Road, checking out the mailbox scents and shooting one another adoring looks before coming home to cuddle on the floor. She's a little much, admittedly. When visitors arrive Cecilia nearly faints with excitement. Her energy is vertical. Her ebuilliance, however, is growing on me in ways I never thought it could. She wants to please her fellow beings on this Earth. When she comes on too strong it's followed by remorse. When she acts angry, it's because of fear.

Mina has been watching our suddenly frequent lovefests with the disdain that she has come to perfect. While Cecilia is compassionate, Mina is manipulative. While Cecilia is generous, Mina stands over the cat's head while he eats his food every night, which takes forever because he has practically no teeth, until he's finished the last crumb in the faint hope that she'll be provided a tiny morsel and thus will deny this morsel to anyone else.

Today, though, today something happened.

The dogs were out in the back yard and I was inside waiting for our new couch to be delivered. I visited them, taunting them with my hot coffee and my thumbs, giving me the ability to go inside and do whatever the hell I wanted, when I noticed Mina was shivering. It has gotten colder, and she's a ham for attention so I put on her nice knit sweater. She's got a couple and her wearing them - in addition to providing her warmth - provides me with humor.

When the couch and delivery men finally arrived I expected a typical uproar from the tiny animal, but there was none and after they'd departed I rushed out back to see what in the world was the matter. Mina was in the the yard, her tail down, her clothing crooked. I'm not sure what kind of incident occurred to cause her such distress. Perhaps she'd had a particularly jarring memory from childhood or maybe she'd been caught on a twig. You never know because of the complex nature of her mind, but occasionally she does have her moments. And she needs support.

When I brought Mina inside she immediately retreated to her safe place under the bed. I coaxed her out but she was not recovering from the unknown trauma well. So I did the only thing I knew to do. I brought her into the kitchen and held her while I fed her treat after treat from the cylindrical glass canister on the counter. She ate. She gave me kisses. I didn't even care about the poop that might result, I just wanted my baby back. When she seemed satiated I put her down. She wagged her tail and was off to explore the new furniture. Her calorie-induced euphoria didn't last all that long. Soon she was back in the bedroom, this time up on the bed at least, her head upon her paws and her eyes hard and serious, thinking about whatever she'd experienced earlier, and perhaps delving into other philosophical quandaries. I peered out the window and saw Cecilia standing on a plastic lawn chair looking for squirrels.

I love them both, but my heart only aches for one dog and that is my trailer park princess.