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The Suburbanite
  • JIm Hillibish: Lily's lost in a dream world of doggin' around

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  • Lily, lost. Oh my God. My life passes before my eyes, all 15 seconds of it.
    Lil, our mini-doxie, adores “helping” me with yard work. Maybe she reads my gardening column. She’s ready to roll every Saturday, tipped off by my work hoodie.
    So we’re outside raking leaves, big piles of them. Then I look around, “Where’s Lily?”
    911 TIME
    Now we’re in panic zone. I fear one of our neighborhood hawks whisked her away, or a dog thief. Only pet fanatics could appreciate my paranoia.
    I take a deep breath and yell “LIL-EEY!” I think I loosened a molar on that one.
    Suddenly, I hear a rustle in the leaf pile. The leaves are moving. Then I see a wagging tail. Then a head pops up.
    “Gotcha, Jim!”
    That little devil dog does her victory dance.
    I’m convinced it’s genetic. Dachshunds were bred to slaughter rodents in holes underground. Hence her wiener-body configuration. When they aren’t burrowing, they’re thinking up all number of games that practice the skill.
    DIG THIS, JIM
    If there’s a blanket on the couch, she’s rooting under it. My tarp in the garage is her playground. When she sleeps with us, she’s under the covers whipping our toes with her tail  amid dreams of rat homicide.
    Thunderstorm? She’s burrowing under the living-room chair.
    Her favorite toy is Mr. Fishy, a stuffed creature she brought along when we adopted her. Our game is for me to bury him some place cramped and dark, such as under a radiator. She’ll commence the search, tail on autopilot, and delays discovery as long as she can stand it.
    Then she buries him in another spot (often under the couch), and we play the game again, and again.
    LIVING FOR LEAVES
    Her leaf thing obviously is part of this. She hides her valuables in the piles.
    When we walk, no leaf pile goes unsmelled. Then the city’s conga line of Pelican street sweepers comes by. Lily howls like a hound dog, first time for that. The city did a great job. Not one precious leaf left.
    So it’s back to other leash adventures. There’s a house with two large, concrete lions out front. Lily hits the brakes and lets loose with another baritone hound-dog growl. Must be they’re a little large to hide under the couch.
    Oh well, soon there will be snow. Snow to Lily presents unbridled burrowing opportunities. Come spring, I’ll find my gardening gloves, my hat and the key to my snowblower, chewed a little but serviceable.
    Page 2 of 2 - Until then: “Hey Jim, let’s  Mr. Fishy.”
    Coming, princess.