Sunday, June 06, 2010

Dogs in Boots

When I was a kid we had a little dog named Fifi. I was very defensive about her name, because the kids at school mocked me about it if I didn't get the explanation out there quickly enough. When someone would ask what my dog's name was, I would say, "Fifi, but she already had that name when we got her."

We got Fifi from the dog pound when my dad was out on WestPac on his submarine. If he had been home, he would have tried to talk us into getting a more substantial dog than a 5-pound (6 pounds after dinner) poodle/terrier mix. By the time he got back home, though, Fifi was part of the family, and Daddy just had to get used to the idea.

There were times when he would hold Fifi in the crook of his arm, and while he scratched her tummy, he would say to her (always within our hearing, of course), "Now, dog (actually, he threw an "r" in there, so it came out, "dahrg"), you know I don't like you (more tummy-scratching). And I've tried to teach you how to run away, but you just won't learn." Then about that time, one of us kids would let out an exasperated, "Daaad-deee!" and he would give us a look that said, "You don't believe me?" while he kept up with the tummy scratches.

When my dad retired from the Navy, we moved to Montana to be near both sets of grandparents, and that first winter was Fifi's introduction to snow. I've told the story before this way:

Fifi grew up in San Diego and then moved to Montana with us, where she learned about snow for the first time. Little snowballs stuck to the hair on her feet, and she shivered. It was so sad.

So my sister bought Fifi a set of doggie snow boots for Christmas, and my grandmother accidentally shrank her dog's sweater, so she gave it to Fifi. My dad rigged up string to hold the snow boots on like idiot mittens, because Fifi hated the boots and would kick them off. The sweater kept the strings in place, and we'd let her outside all decked out for snow. For fun, one of us would put her at the end of the driveway and the others would be by the door, and we'd call her. She'd run as fast as she could, flicking all four feet to try to get the snow boots off, and we'd just about roll on the ground laughing at how funny she looked.

Not too long ago, I was on YouTube, and I found a couple "pictures" that are worth a thousand words each. Somebody else (more than one somebody else) has a dog with boots. This is what it looks like, only Fifi's boots were black and she ran and flicked faster:

Or this:

Dogs are so entertaining, and Fifi's entertainment value was endless. This was just the tip of the iceberg.

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