Yesterday I worked for three hours making a gorgeous rhinestone and pearl necklace/collar for Fiona the Chihuahua because whenever we lose a Dane she has to soak up the full force of my affection all by herself and that somehow always involves smothering her with jewelry and adorable sweaters, both of which she hates. The necklace turned out really pretty and Fi looked like a princess:
Then, at about 2 a.m. this morning, I was awakened by dozens of tiny but annoying stabbing sensations in my butt and despite having flashbacks of my childhood scorpion fears, I reached down under the covers and discovered Fiona tenaciously (doggedly?) nudging this under me :
The disfigured remains of all my hard work! Minus a dozen or so pearls. Here's the thing: Fiona has no teeth. HOW THE FUCK did she do that???? How did she gnaw through pearls and string and nylon thread and metal rhinestone prongs in just under two hours with NO TEETH?
And here's the other thing: I can't help but take it personally that once she had ravaged and despoiled the fruits of my labor she then seemed to be trying to shove it up my ass. I really see no other way to interpret her actions. It's not like she was trying to bury it under my butt to save it as a snack for later. She didn't need to hide it from another dog because sadly, there is no other dog. No, she was clearly sending me a message which was "Here's what I think of your gaudy, pretentious necklace and here's what I think of you only paying attention to me when I'm the only dog in the house and here's where you can stick this horrible, uncomfortable hunk of metal!" We should never have let her watch Pulp Fiction as a puppy.
In all fairness, she may have a point about only paying attention to her now that Gemma is gone. See, the first eight years of Fi's life she was with me every moment of every day, riding in a red Italian leather bag that was nicer than any purse I've ever owned. She was my little support dog and helped me navigate the world when panic attacks and depression were trying to drag me down. She would just hop on my lap, crawl up me until she was standing on my boobs, and lick my face until I either calmed down or smiled and scratched her ears. She helped me on planes, at the gym (the rapid heartbeat that comes from exercising would often trigger a panic attack), in awkward social situations (i.e. all social situations); I could always count on her. She was (and still is) a fierce ally.
In 2011 our world got turned upside down and I had to go from being a stay at home mom, homeschooling Alijah to suddenly having to go out and find a job. In the world. By myself. I couldn't bring Fiona along. So I got a job. And then a different job. And another different job. And somewhere along the line I realized I didn't have to have Fiona with me in order to be okay in the world any more. Which was great for me but maybe not so great for Fi. She would still go shopping with me occasionally but mostly she stayed at home with Ferdinand.
And then Ferdi was diagnosed with bone cancer and instantly 100% of my attention went to him for the next two years as he went through an amputation and chemo and a miraculous recovery which made him a local doggy celebrity and then the recurrence of the bone cancer and my obsession with creating and completing his bucket list. All the while, Fiona was forced to play second fiddle and she did it with no complaints. All she wanted was to curl up under my chin every night.
When Ferdi died, Fiona was my rock. She immediately fell back into her support dog role and was brilliant at it. Then of course, we got Gemma it all went to hell for little Fi. Not only was she ignored because a giant puppy was careening around, laying waste to the house, obliterating everything in her path, but Fiona was also in fear for her life because the giant puppy wanted to PLAY with her. "Play" in this instance meaning "roll her down the stairs, stomp, nosh, and bat her around like a badminton birdie."
When Gemma died I'm pretty certain Fiona was relieved. In fact, Adam and I even wondered if she hadn't somehow orchestrated Gem's death but we haven't come up with a viable plan of how she did it so I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. Once again, Fi has become my rock, supporting me through the grief. Because I need her again. Her extraordinary loyalty makes me feel pretty shitty by comparison. Which makes me try to assuage my guilt by plying her with ridiculous rhinestone and pearl necklace apologies that she can see right through. So yeah, I probably deserved to have my overly-conciliatory jewelry mauled and shoved up my ass. Fiona the Fierce. She's going to be pooping pearls for days. That's how you can tell she's a real princess.