In our last column Mama Ruth pondered human friendship. Today I, Greta, am pondering doggie friendship, especially my friendship with Mattie the poodle. Our friendship is less complicated, but just as fulfilling.
I met Mattie when she arrived at a friend’s home, an elder who had lost a doggie and was not ready to have another. Her daughter had brought Mattie home one night, gray-black and thin. The two worked for hours, washing and shaving the wastrel. Her hair was matted and filthy, so they named her Mattie.
When Mattie’s hair grew back, it was pure white and curly. Then she looked like the gorgeous poodle she always was.
I have never been much of a playing dog. I had been a breeder. Mattie decided she would teach me to play. She was assertive, sometimes excessively so. She ran and nudged until I ran and nudged also.
Mattie and her elder were in a terrible accident one day. Mattie ran from the demolished car unscathed and people said it was a miracle, and dubbed her Miracle Dog.
Mattie then went to live with another of Mama Ruth’s friends, and after a while was happy again. Mattie can cheer up the whole apartment building with her friendly nature and lively antics. Mattie loves kids, she loves adults, she loves dogs mostly, and she loves me. When we meet, we run and nuzzle and cavort until I run out of steam. Mattie understands that I am older.
People are happy around me too. I don’t know quite how to say this, but I am exceptionally cute. People like looking at me and petting my soft long hair.
When we got to Mattie’s home, I quiver and jump and speed past feet straight to her door where I run around in circles. When she greets me, we cover a lot of carpet with our small paws. I worry she will become bored with my slow ways, but she is always ready to play. Mama Ruth says I am her Angel Dog, because I came into her life when her husband passed on. Mattie is my Angel Dog; she introduced me to a whole new way of life. Without Mattie, I would never have romped!
When Mattie barks, I retreat under a table. I tell her she is just a little dog, that big dogs out there like to be Top Dogs and might like to have her for a snack. Mattie can retreat quickly, but I fear someday she’ll not be fast enough!
I haven’t talked about soulmates like Mama R. did, but I know Mattie is my doggie mate. We were meant to be together in Walsenburg. We are a doggie team– a warm jumping mini-Alaskan dog sled team (southern contingent) lifting the spirits of our town residents and forging ahead toward unknown people’s hearts.