Jennifer Bisbing • Writer • Editor

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10 Days with Bridget

Day 1. The stand off: three hours after her family left we meet in the brown leather chair for peacemaking cuddle time.

Day 2. The race: half block to the garden gate and Bridget beats me. I blame it on my flip-flops. Her handicap is she’s approaching 90 in people years.

Day 3. Giant Growl: If you close your eyes and imagine a large massive dog foaming at the mouth, that is what this little poodle sounds like when she is annoyed with you. I’ve learned not to take it too seriously.

Day 4. Shadow: my normal long narrow shadow looked more like a one foot high by two feet long black furry thing, which wasn’t more than a foot away all day.

Day 5. Bunny hop: there is the one, two skip and then hop. It could win over any non-dog lover.

Day 6. Puppy dog eyes: That look—head tilted down humbly gazing up, showing off the whites of her eyes—it’s so manipulative and works like charm every time.

Day 7. Yoga mat war: Her weapon of choice was her narrow tongue, which tickles me and usually causes some uncontrollable giggling fit. This time she licked my whole shin, so I would move it off the mat, so she’d have room to lie down.

Day 8. What language is that? I know Bridget’s pleading whimper and the “oh my god I got to go out” bark. But we miss communicate on the high-pitch demand. I resort to treats when all else fails to satisfy.

Day 9. The terrifying sneeze: One dog sound asleep. One abruptly loud sneeze. Dog leaps from chair and delivers a horrifying look to the sneezer.

Day 10. Embarrassment on a dog’s face. Though we all get old, this aging poodle does seem to forget that fact and acts like a wee pup quite often. But it is her declining body that startles her sometimes because it does not do what it used to do. Shame in a puppy’s eyes is heart wrenching. Words of comfort just don’t translate to dog speak in these moments.

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