I’ve written in here before about my rescue dog, Fae. I’ve had her since she was nine weeks old. She is a boxer-hound mix of some sort. She is, as they say, “of unknown parentage”. No bloodlines or registration or fancy, long names for this gal! Fae is a mutt, through and through. She has a body that looks like a perfect combination of boxer and hound: long legs, thinned down waist, big torso and chest. She has, in comparison to her body, a teeny, coyote-looking head. She has an incredibly squirrelly personality. I think of her as my mutt-boxer-hound-coyote-squirrel mix dog.
I realize this description may come across as less than flattering. But know that I type these words with love. There are parts of Fae that are beautiful, even if, taken as a whole, she is a little odd in appearance. She is sweet and loving. She is the gentlest dog I have ever owned. She is a little crazy, but in a good way. In short, I love Fae. She is an interesting creature in a world of boring. She is an unknown in a world of “everything has to be the same”. She is a mystery, running around on four very long legs. She is an amazing runner, by the way. I’ve always wished I could take her coursing, just to let her loose and watch her really stretch out and run. But I’m sure it would scare her to death.
Because that’s the thing about Fae. She doesn’t like most things. She doesn’t like rain. Or the dark. Or strange noises. Or cats. Or leaves that blow. Or bugs. Or strangers. Or other dogs, except for Shiner (our Springer, who she has known since his puppyhood). Or car rides. Or walks. Or having her picture taken. Or … Well, the list could go on and on and on. Basically, Fae doesn’t like the world. It is as if she doesn’t know how to interact with it and doesn’t know what to expect from it. In short, the outside world scares her to bits.
So, imagine my surprise a few days ago when Fae discovered the ribbon. The ribbon came off a package of granola. It is a spring green with darker polka-dots on it, and it was used over the twist tie on the granola package. You know … to give it a homey, pretty look. I opened the granola and put the ribbon on the counter.
Immediately, Fae came over to investigate. Here’s the thing about having a long-legged dog: No counter is safe or sacred. Fae is a professional counter-surfer. She is so good at it that she passed this skill along to Shiner. I know I should have put a stop to this, but the idea that Fae — my sweet, shy, timid, scared-of-it-all Fae — had wisdom she could pass on to someone else warmed my heart. Everyone needs a moment. And, I think this was hers.
Anyhow, the ribbon ended up going from the counter to the floor in short order. Fae sniffed it. She licked it. She carried it around for a very short distance. She looked at it in a way I can only describe as “admiring”. Once I finished putting away the granola, I went looking for the ribbon. I figured she was only interested in it because it smelled like granola. Fae is very food-driven. She is one of those dogs who acts like they are constantly starving.
As I went to put the ribbon into the trash, Fae followed me. She stood on the other side of the trash can, watching as I opened the lid and prepared to drop the ribbon inside. As my hand lowered the ribbon into the trash, Fae reached out and, ever so gently, grabbed the ribbon’s free end in her mouth, just before it hit the trash. Our eyes met. Her tail began to wag.
“Fae,” I asked, “Is this your ribbon? Do you love it?”
She continued to stand there, staring at me with her beautiful, slightly mournful brown eyes. This surprised me. It really did. Because Fae doesn’t love very many tings. She doesn’t even like very many things. And so, I did the only thing I could do. I tied the ribbon onto her collar. The ribbon isn’t very big. It’s just big enough that I can tie it around her collar and make a small bow with the free ends. It doesn’t really show. You kind of have to know it’s there in order to see it.
But none of that matters. Fae knows it’s there, and it appears that, indeed, she loves it. She stood very still as I tied it. Three days later, it’s still there — a small bit of fancy on an unfancy dog. When it comes untied, I will say, “Oh, Fae. Your ribbon came untied.” And she comes to me and stands very still as I tie the bow once more. After that, she goes on her merry way, tail wagging. Perhaps I was wrong. It seems there’s a bit of fancy in my sweet girl, after all.