In full disclosure, if I’m going to write about weird things or people in my neighborhood, I should start at home. Because when you point your finger at someone else and say “weirdo,” there are three fingers pointing back at you and then your thumb’s just hanging out trying not to choose sides. But in my home, one of those fingers is pointing at Yadier Pujols Murphy.
Yadi is an eight pound, almost-five year old shih-tzu. She was named for Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals. I got her about a week after the Cardinals won the World Series in 2006. Only later did I find out that the name “Yadier” means friend or companion in Hebrew. This is what Bob Ross would refer to as a “happy accident.”
While I would love to sit here and share Yadi Bear’s life story complete with full-color eight by ten glossies, I will not bore you with all that. Because, if we were having lunch, I wouldn’t want you to tell me every cute, quirky thing your toddler does, even if it was as adorable as what Yadi does….which it is not. But I would probably not say that to your face. I would just smile and nod as I let you drone on while trying to command my body to suddenly have the stomach flu so I could excuse myself to go home and see what Yadi was doing.
By the way, if you’re wondering how we got Yadi Bear from Yadier, you just have to say both names out loud. They rhyme. My mom gave her the nickname, which was odd because up until Yadi came along, my mom had never experienced puppy love. Yadi makes people fall in love with her. It is only because of Yadi that I met some of the people who I promised to tell you about, because we met all of them on our walks. Except for the village living above me. There was just no possible way to avoid the Village, with or without Yadi.
So here is just a little about the love of my life and the reason I am always entertained:
1. She may have gender identity problems because I gave her boys’ names. She squats AND cocks her leg to pee. I tell people it’s because she’s prissy and doesn’t want to pee on herself…but I know it goes deeper than that.
2. Yadi is obsessive-compulsive. About a lot of things. But it really manifests itself in her pooping routine. She will walk back and forth on the curb about ten to fifteen times rather frantically until she finally scrunches up with ALL FOUR FEET ON THE CURB, and poos. For some reason she doesn’t want her feet to touch grass while pooping. She’s just prissy. (See bullet point number one.)
3. She pouts when she knows I’m leaving. If I tell her “Mommy’s got to go out for a while,” Yadi will scan my face to see if I’m serious and if she determines that I am, she hurries to her bed to sulk. She picks up on non-verbal clues too. If I take a shower and put on jeans and socks to go out (Not just jeans and socks, that’s illegal. Found that out the hard way) she KNOWS I’m leaving. She’s so smart!
Yes, I know your four-year old is smart too. Suddenly my stomach is cramping. I think I might be getting the flu….
4. Yadi is passive aggressive. The other day, I picked up the plush bathroom rug that she loves to nap on and she had peed on it while I was out. I know it’s out of spite too, because one day I forgot something and had to come back and get it and Yadi had already PEED ON THE PUPPY PAD. I had been gone for two minutes. It was just a dribble but it was definitely a rebellious dribble.
Yes, I still use puppy pads when I’m not home. I see your seven-year old running around the front yard in nothing but a diaper because he won’t stop playing long enough to go pee. Don’t judge me.
5. Most of the time, Yadi doesn’t eat her food out of a bowl. I fill a ferret treat ball with IAMS and she rolls the ball around with her nose, occasionally pawing at it to get the food out. I originally bought her a dog treat ball but her food was so tiny that it just fell out with one nudge. Maybe using a ferret ball contributes to her identity issues, but it buys me some time to get things done.
6. Yadi has a KONG and loves it. If you don’t know what a KONG is, it’s a hollow Christmas tree-shaped toy that you put treats in and the dog has to work to get the treat out. When I need to work, or spend hours watching horrific clips of high school musicals on Youtube, I use it to keep her busy. Yadi knows this, so she will chew off as much of the treat as she can and then stand there, looking at me and doing this deep growl while she stomps on it with one paw. It’s her version of a temper tantrum. She knows I can only stand so much of this before I will help her get the rest of the treat. It’s a battle of wills and she always wins.
7. LIke a little kid right before she falls asleep, Yadi gets this sudden ultra-burst of energy. I call it getting “rowdy.” The form of rowdiness depends on where she is when she feels the energy. If she’s been napping belly-up on the couch with me, she lunges and growls at me, wagging her tail the whole time. It’s the cutest little gravelly growl I have ever heard.
No, I don’t want to see the “art” your little Picasso painted with the same finger that he just had up his nose.
After a few minutes of rowdiness , she’ll trot around in a tight circle and go back to sleep until I carry her to bed.
Yes, I carry her to her bed. You still read your thirteen-year old bedtime stories so shut it.
If she’s on the floor and she gets the burst of energy, she will want to play fetch for a few minutes. But her version of fetch is “watch me prance around with this toy in my mouth.” After prying the toy out of her mouth and flinging it across the room about six times she wants a belly rub and then passes out for the evening.
So that should give you an idea, for now, of what I deal with on a daily basis inside my home. If it weren’t for Yadi Bear, I probably would not know as much about my neighborhood as I do.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I just looked at my word count and it’s right around there. Man, I totally could have just posted this picture instead…