Monday, June 15, 2015

Now I Am Five

I have been living with my humans for a year now. They made today my birthday. I didn't tell them different because I don't know. So now I am five.

I get two meals and two walks every day, and I get a treat each time the humans have their meal. I think the treat I get in the morning is medicine but I will eat it because it is mine and because I will eat it.

I get a bath sometimes. The whole pack joins in this activity. I like baths.

I have a cage, but I almost never have to go in it, so I made it my office, for when I need quiet time.

I have three bones. I am tired of the blue bone. The red bone is for outside. The chicken flavored bone is for family activities inside.

I have five places.* FIVE! Plus a couch**, and sometimes an armchair if no one's watching. At the shelter I did not have these things, but I got meals and sometimes walks and treats. I had a cage which was too noisy to be an office.

What I have learned this year:

I have learned to walk on the leash without pulling. I wish we could go faster at the beginning, but after that it's fine. My fur is growing back where I used to pull against the harness.

Sometimes we see dogs. I do not like dogs! But I get a treat if I don't bark at them, so I begin to see their uses. I WILL NOT LIKE CATS.*** EVER.

photo by John Sandel
The back yard is mine. The sun is there. I am safe there. I can have a nap or I can bark. I bark at sirens. I rage at the mailman. I throw myself against the fence if a cat walks on top of it. I only do that when it's important because the humans make me come inside if I do it. I think I took out some fence boards but they must have put them back. I don't know how that works. I would like to give my humans a dead cat but they don't want one.

I know some words. I already knew "sit," "stay," "no," and "leave it." What is "down"? I don't know "down." I know "off." "Love" means "good." I learned "lick" (mostly comes after "no") and "come" (optional). These are human words. I don't say them. I say many dangerous things.

I had a swimming lesson! I will tell you about it when the female gets the pictures.

I like to cuddle.

Some things still confuse me. I have more to learn. I like learning.


For my birthday I would like to have a bath and a dental chew. I hope we will celebrate my birthday today. Sometimes I still worry that I won't get to stay here, but a year is forever so I think I get to stay.

**********

*Wilma's "place" is her pallet. She does indeed have five, so she can participate in family activities in the living room, dining room, and offices. One pallet stays in the bedroom for sleeping. 

**In the photo of Wilma on the couch, Boz's ashes and photo are in the background. Wilma knows about Boz, but we haven't talked to her about ashes. She's too young for that just yet.

***We use the word "cat" to denote "small animal," so Wilma won't have to distinguish verbally between squirrels, cats, opossums or chihuahuas. Too many syllables. We just say "no cat." 

35 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Love that photo of Wilma and John... that look on both their faces says it all.. Happy b'day Wilma and many more happy days!. She's at peace, that's for sure.

Dina said...

Happy birthday Wilma!! You write so well and you have a good photographer.

William Kendall said...

Happy Birthday, Wilma! You're adorable!

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, KBF. She's at peace some of the time—more than she was a year ago, that's for sure.

Ha ha, thank you, Dina! I'll tell her you said so.

William, I'm afraid she knows it too well!

Jean Spitzer said...

Happy birthday, Wilma. You're lucky indeed.

Bellis said...

Happy Fifth, Wilma! You're now well into adulthood. If you were human, would you be a Millennial or a Gen Y? Wilma really lucked out when you found her! My first-ever dog used to go ballistic whenever we said the word "cat" or "squirrel." I don't think the preceding word "No" ever registered.

I can't even begin to grasp how hard it must be for dogs to understand what we say. It's only sounds to them, and rescue dogs that have had several owners have to learn different sounds for the same thing. No dog I have ever had responds to the words "down" or "lead/leash." The leash word seems to have no meaning to them. Even my super intelligent border collie, who understood more than 26 words, never got it. I wonder why?

Petrea Burchard said...

True, Jean. When you rescue a dog, the whole family is lucky.

We aren't teaching Wilma the word "squirrel," Bellis, so we can talk about squirrels in her presence without freaking her out.
I know they learn words and associate certain behaviors or things with them. When I tell Wilma, "go to your place," I don't know if she knows what the "place" is. But she goes to one of her beds, and sits and stays. The dog may be unconscious actions on our part that indicate what she should do.

Eric Baker said...

Very nice candids of Wilma & Co. You must have a very large bathtub to accomedate the family bathing activities. As a cat owner I must say that the feeling is pretty much mutual though we humans can be their Swiss intermediaries.

Petrea Burchard said...

One in the tub with her to wash, one outside to dry. She enjoys the attention, the warm water, and all that rubbing.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Beautiful photo of Wilma in the back yard with the wood slat fence. Congratulations. Cats don't have any vocabulary but their own - and we are expected to learn it.

LOLfromPasa said...

Wilma is so sweet and she expresses herself beautifully :). Really enjoyable blog post!

Petrea Burchard said...

We've learned some dog language, PA, but you're right. Dogs will learn some of ours, but when cats talk we are expected to listen.

LOL, Wilma says to tell you she is not sweet. She is a killer of cats, a valiant protector, and a sleeper of naps.

savannah said...

Happy Birthday, Wilma! This made me smile and remember our old girl, Abigail! *sigh* xoxoxo

Petrea Burchard said...

I don't think it's possible not to miss a beloved pet who's gone, Savannah. I don't think I'll stop missing Boz, and I'm not even going to think about missing Wilma.

Irina Rekhviashvili said...

My humans are great guys. They are generous and kind and funny. I love to have them in the team (and they are also very agreeable and easygoing and never forget to buy me presents).
Happy birthday, Wilma.
Thank you, Petrea, for being out there, always.

Petrea Burchard said...

Yes, it's a team, Irina! A family. A pack.
You're welcome. I'm always interested to see what you post.

Bellis said...

I love the photo of Wilma looking into the mirror. You know that cats have an M above their eyes, the mark of Mohammed? Well, I see Wilma has an L on the back of her head. The mark of ....?

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Maybe its the mark of 'Love'....
About the comment about Boz, I have found that each pet I have had, the love was different- not stronger or better...than the previous one.. its all about time, place, situation...

Petrea Burchard said...

Sweet.

Katie said...

Delightful recap of Wilma's first year with you and John! And those photos are wonderful. Happy Birthday Wilma!

Petrea Burchard said...

Rowf!

altadenahiker said...

What a lovely post. Oh Wilma, I love you for sentimental reasons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERGHZbd7Js8

Petrea Burchard said...

That's sweet and lovely, Hiker. I played it for Wilma and she cocked her head.

José Mendonça said...

Congratulations Wilma and humans too! :-)

altadenahiker said...

At first glance, I read Jose's comment as, "Congratulations Wilma and human tool."

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, José!

Hiker, I do feel like she's using me as her tool—for food, walks, cuddling, play—whatever she can get.
Story: my friend was fostering her first dog. He sat at her feet, followed her around the house, waited by her side, and stared at her. "I don't know what to do," she said. "What does he want from me?"
"Everything," I told her.

altadenahiker said...

What I've found, is that in the dog-world, the perfect dog-world, their human's life is not a question, it's an answer. We who strike the dog-human bargain will give much to them, while they're quite willing to give all for us.

Petrea Burchard said...

That's beautifully put, Karin, and I know it's true. Wilma risks her life for us every day, as far as she knows. I hope she never has to do so in reality, because she'll do it. I recall clearly two of my strongest bonding moments with Boz: once I saved him from falling off a cliff into rushing water, and once he saved me when we were lost. He was my dear, dear friend.

llandudnopictures said...

Wilma is a real character, hope her birthday wishes came true?!

Petrea Burchard said...

She did, Geoff. She's a happy girl. And already dirty again.

TheChieftess said...

Happy Birthday Wilma!!! Thank you for telling us all about your year with your humans!!! I know it's tough learning human language, Kelly has been teaching us dog language. We have dog language conversations nearly every night. I think she likes it!!! Have a wonderful new year!!!

Petrea Burchard said...

We're learning to speak dog, too. The language learning is mutual!

Shell Sherree said...

Happy birthday to Wilma !! Wise move on the blue bone. Never trust blue food, that's my motto. She's a beautiful girl. I'm so happy you found each other ...

Petrea Burchard said...

We're happy, too. And you're right about blue food.

Ms M said...

A wonderful tribute to Wilma on her birthday! Such a good girl....