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Archive for July 1st, 2010

Mitzy Gainer

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything personal, but it’s time I shared a bit about life …

Shortly after I left for my vacation in Europe a few weeks back, a night of mayhem ensued here at Anse Soleil that resulted in the death of more than twenty-five dogs. My Rottweiler, Dinah, was one of the victims.

I set up facebook group dedicated to passing along information on random poisoning of animals and the horrific toxin that is scattered with that intent, but this post isn’t about that.

It’s about Mitzy.

I arrived back in Seychelles early on a Sunday morning, met by Gay, Sam and Cj at the airport. It was on the drive home that Gay told me about Dinah, and in addition to being sad about the loss of such a great dog, I was angry about the circumstance and concerned over security.

I live in the bush, and dogs are the first line of defense in this country. An adult dog with a good bark is about the best protection there is against intruders, and mine was dead. The thought of starting over with a puppy did not appeal, as my energy levels at the moment don’t allow for the outpouring of work, patience and time a puppy requires, so by the time we reached the house I was making a mental list of new locks, security lights and cameras, even trip wires maybe, that would be needed to let me sleep in peace now that I had been robbed of my automatic barking alarm.

Pulling into my house we couldn’t help but notice, much to our surprise, seated comfortably on my top step … a dog. It was astonishing enough to see a living canine in the area, since almost all had been killed, but to find one apparently awaiting my return was astounding.

We’d never seen this smallish beast before, but she seemed to know us. Tentative, but tail wagging, she was young, but no puppy, her maturity obvious by teats that had nursed at least one litter. At less than half Dinah’s size, she didn’t terrify, but there was no question she could bark.

Tired after my journey, I didn’t bother shooing her off, as I would the stray dogs that occasionally made their way down my road in the past, and somewhere in the back of my mind was the thought that she was here for a reason.

When the next morning dawned and she was still around, I found it odd since strays usually continue their straying and rarely stick around for longer than takes an opportunistic sniff to discover no food is available. Not only was she holding her ground, she managed to look very settled in it, so I let her onto the veranda. An obligatory nosing around seemed to confirm to her that she belonged. She was so polite in the process … even to the cats … and that had me thinking the same thing.

I waited three days before the kids and I started discussing names, wanting to be sure she wasn’t simply passing through or attempting to hide a vicious or obnoxious nature. Not only was she at the door each morning with what can only be described as a huge smile on her muzzle, she’d also made no messes, damaged no goods AND had alerted me to the presence of visitors.

After the kids ran dry on names, I named her Mitzy, first because she’s small and I liked the cadence of Itsy Bitsy Mitzy, but also for Mitzy Gaynor … not because I expect her to sing and dance, but because I can spell it ‘gainer”, as in: Dinah’s loss was Mitzy’s gain.

After a couple of weeks, I took Mitzy in to get her vaccinated and spayed. She had never before, I’m very sure, been on a leash or ridden in a car, but she took to both as if Westminster had been the last stop on a world tour. Within minutes of hitting the road, she hopped up onto the shelf behind the back seat and spent the entire drive to town calmly gazing at trees and traffic.

Happy grinning dog ...

In less than a month she’s settled into routines that fit our family; each night as I tuck the kids into bed, she joins in, moving from Cj to Sam with a friendly lick from her for a goodnight pat from them. She hops up on my bed for a cuddle as I wind down, then slips downstairs to sleep on the rug near the door … listening for any sound that might require a bark.

It seems that Dinah died, and Mitzy went to heaven; from scrawny stray … and local dogs can have a very hard life … to treasured family member. How she did it, how she knew, I have no idea, but there must be a wisdom in this silly little dog.

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