*In case you've been wondering what the deal is with the week numbers, it corresponds with how old dear ole' Syd is. So...she's 38 weeks...equals 8 1/2 months*
If dogs could be nominated for sainthood, I think our dear little Daisy the Wonderdog would be in the running. Certainly she has her flaws. Like barking at every dog, cat, squirrel or piece of paper that happens across her path. And she has a tendency to sort our trash out for us, just to make sure that we didn't accidentally throw something edible away. How could we, after all, have not been more thorough with the inside of our yogurt containers? Daisy to the rescue, cleaning them out. She also has managed to chew up several rungs on our dining room chairs, and I have a Woe is I book that's missing a cover (still a fabulous read, nonetheless). Despite these flaws, she is sweet and charming and thoroughly house-trained, which is perhaps the key reason we've kept her these four years. She sleeps at our feet, or if there's a storm thundering outside, then she moves up to sleep next to our heads. Sweet Daisy. She sits up, rolls over, turns around, plays dead, and 'sings' when we 'sing' to her. Infinitely better trained than Sydney, that's for sure.
We wondered how she would react when Sydney came along, and I have to say she has done okay. She's not Sydney's best friend or anything, but she tolerates her pretty well...considering. Considering the fact that Sydney takes up her space in the bed. Considering Sydney takes Daisy's toys and chews them up herself. Considering Syd likes to pull on Daisy's tail and play in Daisy's food. Daisy looks at us as Sydney crawls around the house with dog-toys in her hand, "Is nothing sacred?" she silently pleads. Alas, nothing really is. We've had a few run-ins with the dog growling when Sydney pulled on Daisy's ears. And in these times Daisy has received a hard thumb on the rump. Now she mostly runs from Sydney, although when Syd gets scolded I notice that Daisy moves in a little closer and wags her tail. I think she's happy to see the 'other child' get in trouble every once in awhile.
But this past week Sydney has discovered Daisy's weak spot: howling. How our sweet little baby managed to figure out the exact pitch at which to screech in order to get the dog going is beyond us. True, we have through the years had great fun with howling along with Daisy. But at 8 1/2 months, Syderini has become quite the antagonizer. First thing in the morning, when she sees Daisy she lets out a screech of such intensity, steadily staring at Daisy until finally the dog has to chime in. (Here's a picture of her screaming...)
Howl! Screeeech! Hoooooowlll! Screech screech screech! Bark! Howl! Bark!
It's like some terrible opera that might be featured on an episode of Clifford.
Sydney and Daisy will go at it for thirty (!!!) minutes. It was cute, at first. But now it's a bit wearing. The only benefit I've noticed is that I get telemarketers off the phone quicker than usual.
"What's that?!" I yell into the phone. "I can't hear you! Speak up!" And they always give in because if there's anything worse than a telemarketer, it's screaming babies and barking dogs.
Since Syd hasn't grasped the concept of "inside voices," then we have turned to Daisy, admonishing her to be more silent. But so far it hasn't helped much. Yes, welcome to the Zoo.