Jun 24, 2007

Celeste loses her fans - time to grow up

Today I plan to get out of the house for a while. I've been kind of waiting to hear from one of my sisters, but haven't yet. Yesterday I spent my day inside mostly, waiting for her to call, and then waiting for Omar to come home from work, but they were both wrapped up in something else and so nothing happened here. I did some laundry, cleaned the apartment, and went to the market for some food. Celeste didn't get to go with me to the market, although we did go for a walk in the afternoon. She's getting big enough that I can't handle her and carry my groceries home at the same time now. She is getting big, but still has a puppy mentality.

Because of her size and mentality, she is losing her fans. She's no cute little baby anymore. She's long and gangly, replacing her baby teeth with bigger ones, her feet are big and dirty now, but she still thinks she can charm people by jumping at them and trying to crawl up their legs. Fewer and fewer people call to her, although there still are some who do. They call to her as they pass us on the sidewalk, then scream or get indignant when she jumps to greet them or puts her big, dirty paws on their clean clothing. She doesn't understand that growing up means changing that spoiled baby behavior or risk losing her friends. Very few people enjoy seeing a mouthful of big teeth coming toward their faces, even if it is most assuredly followed by kisses and playfulness. The fact that she is no longer the cute little baby was driven home to her last week in the vet's office. Last month, people were still taken by her sweet face and blue eyes. This month, at 5 months old, she was ignored while the people looked over the new pups in the office, the cute, roly-poly fuzzy babies that squealed and whined while the people made a fuss over them. No matter how many times Celeste threw herself on her back and waved her feet in the air, no matter how many times she barked at them, no matter how she whined and cried, the people were attracted to the babies and not to the rotten half-grown dog throwing a tantrum there on the floor. With a little time, she understood that they were not going to visit her, as they stepped over her without noticing or avoided her altogether, and she decided she could lay there quietly, tantrum over.

Aha. Life is not all about Celeste anymore.

She's still an "it's all about me" girl, but I think that with time, she'll come to the realization that in order to keep her friends, she needs to change her selfish point of view. She's growing up and fighting it all the way. I think it will serve her better, now that she is older, to stop fighting the fact that she is growing up and behave herself. She will be much more welcomed if she can figure out how to present herself quietly and calmly, without trying to climb into their laps, up their legs or jump at their faces. As it is, she's hitting the end of the choke chain before she actually makes contact, most of the time. A couple of times, when people call her, I don't get her stopped before the feet dirty up their work clothes and then we get those angry looks. Of course, that does put a stop to them calling to her as often.

Celeste does love her mirror, though. She now understands that there's not another dog in the room with she sees her reflection. She pauses ever so slightly to bat an eye at her reflection as she passes. She turns herself to see every side of her perfectly teen-aged body. She gives a light kiss to her reflection as she passes from the living room to the hallway. She spends 20 minutes at a time lying in front of the mirror, gazing at herself.

Ah. There are still some things in life that are all about Celeste.

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