Because she would kill a full grown swan, and that's why I love her

IMG_2692 Mina's been sort of pissing me off lately, and it's hard to pinpoint why, specifically, because, really, it's so many things. She went through what I would classify as a slight depression after the baby was born, skulking around with her tail between her legs and a martyr expression plastered on her face, like "I know you guys are busy, so I'll just settle for this bit of dusty kibble I've found in the corner of the kitchen, don't worry about me," and, I don't know, maybe that was worse than the way she's behaving now.

It's like she's entered some sort of renaissance period. Everything is GREAT and she's recapturing her YOUTH and she is pooping ALL OVER THE PLACE. She loves the baby all of a sudden. She was always fine with the baby, but now they're like soul sisters or something. I'll look away for a few minutes only to look back and discover Mina crouching in a play bow, and Nora laughing hysterically. Are you kidding me? Mina hates kids, but whatever, I'm glad she likes mine.

That's beyond the point, though. Mina's new glee is universal and uncontainable. When it's time to feed the dogs, she leaps like seven feet in the air, all the way from the food container to her little bowl (which, by the way, is pink and from the Beverly Hills Hotel). I'll be quietly eating my dinner and all of a sudden find her balanced on the edge of the sofa, quiet as a mouse, her face mere inches from mine, her eyes averted, ready to pounce if I give her the go ahead.

She's taken to making messes, and then pooping on them, as if to mark her handiwork. Gets into the downstairs closet, tips over the food container, eats her fill, poops on top of the leftovers. Removes all the trash from the basement bathroom, poops on it. Makes a bed out of the clothes were organizing for Goodwill, takes a nap, gets up, poops. I realize that part of the problem is that, with our new baby and the neverending winter, we've been lax in taking Mina for the walks she needs, apparently, to do her business (while ever-obedient Cecilia sees nothing wrong with going in the backyard when it's 30 degrees, Mina prefers to use the little park down by the water as her personal dumping grounds, she's prissy that way).

And no matter how angry we get, it seems, her spirit cannot be contained. Just a few minutes ago she was sitting by the window in our living room, her lips quivering, a low growl issuing from her tiny body, looking out the window at the guys picking up our trash. You know, because she was going to kill those 200-pound guys if they got too close to our house. That behavior is anger and aggression, sure, but it's also a form of happiness for her, I'm telling you.

But this morning I was going through some photos from the last few months and found the above, of Mina at my parents' house, a huge swan in the background. The swan had flown over from the nearby pond and waddled around our yard for a good hour or so, and Mina just about had a heart attack. Justin and I giddily questioned at the time whether we should let Mina outside. What would happen? We didn't, because I've heard swans can be pretty violent and, besides the unbelievable sadness that would follow the death of either of our dogs, I don't want to have to explain to anybody that "Our 10-pound dog died when we decided to let her take on a swan. Yeah, a swan fighting a Miniature Pincher/Pomeranian. I know. We should have thought it through."

The point is, the photo reminded me of that incident and how funny it was. And how Mina's little escapades are always funny, and that, even when she's trying to persuade me into letting her eat my dinner, which is undoubtedly annoying, even then, she's pretty funny. Furthermore, underneath all the bravado, she is a very loving little dog. A dog who used to dominate my photo galleries, in fact. I'm glad she's snapped out of her mini depression and decided to join us in the good times. I mean, the pooping has got to stop, but I'll take the unbridled, if irritating, merriment. After all, she's brought us a lot of happiness (sometimes at her expense, um and here and here, also), and will no doubt be the subject of very good stories for many, many years.

7-10-06 001