2014-03-12 / Editorial

JUST US NOW

Don Lively

Most visitors to the wooded enclave call her Lucy but that’s not really her name.

It’s phonetically correct but technically wrong.

Her real name is LoosE, as in loose.

As in morally loose.

Like a floozy.

I wanted to call her Floozy but there were objections from some of the more genteel lady kin.

So I hung LoosE on her years ago based on her, shall we say, dubious romantic habits. She showed up around the homeplace with her two sisters, all unapologetically pregnant, and since I don’t speak mutt they were unable to attempt justification of their behavior.

What I did know was that they were unwanted by whatever lowlife dumped them off by the driveway. And to be perfectly honest, I didn’t want them either.

At the time of their arrival I was often on the road and simply did not have the time nor the desire to become the caretaker of three worthless dogs of questionable breed. I’ve always loved dogs, but big ones, strong and muscular, not ones that are not much bigger than possums.

But before I could figure out a place to take them something happened.

I noticed that they were kinda cute.

So, against my better judgment,

I let them stay.

Cause I’m an old softie.

Within a few weeks I had given them the collective nickname, Stray Girls Gone Wild, because they spent their nights chasing critters through the woods and because they refused to be inside any structure be it house, barn or vehicle. They preferred outdoors no matter how cold or hot it was.

So, I became the reluctant guardian of the three.

Over the years LooseE’s sisters, Bossy and Spooky, went on to their rewards, so I am down to one.

In her first years with me LoosE was a bit on the lazy side. She was fatter than her sibs and preferred sitting in the shade on a bed of pine needles to hunting or stalking.

Not much has changed.

She is more spirited now that she’s an only child but I think it’s only because she doesn’t have playmates. So she has designated me as her main source of entertainment.

For instance, I can be working my own tail off, cutting wood, stacking brush, cleaning up from the recent storms. When I shut down the chainsaw that started out weighing about eighteen pounds but after I’ve spent three hours on the business end is up to half a ton, in LoosE’s mind, hearing the saw cut off can only mean one thing. That I am dying to scratch her ears and belly and that there is nothing on Earth more important at that moment in time.

In the late afternoon, if I ease out onto the swing on the west porch or the rocker on the north, LoosE believes that my only purpose for sitting down is to create a lap for her to jump into and loll about on.

If I bring home a meal from one of the fast food joints in town, as soon as I open the truck door and she gets a sniff, LoosE is certain that she’s entitled to at least half of whatever delights are hidden in the paper bag. And, because I’m an old softie, she does indeed get a share, though rarely half.

She has also become the neighborhood volunteer street cleaner. She spends hours every morning clearing the ditches of containers of half eaten meals that some other lowlife has thrown out a car window. Of course, having no other place to put the garbage, LoosE deposits it in my driveway.

God love her.

She’s also developed her acting skills. When I come home from work, about halfway up the drive, I can see her take off after a squirrel or rabbit, I never know which since by the time I get parked she’s at the truck door waiting for me to create a lap, scratch her ears or feed her French fries. She thinks if I see her chasing wildlife I’ll believe that she does that all day when I’m gone, thereby earning her keep.

Yea, right.

I know exactly where she spends most of her day.

In the insulated house that I built and furnished with nice blankets and a pillow.

It’s warm in the winter.

Cool in the summer.

Comfortable all year long.

All for LoosE.

Cause I’m an old softie.

Don Lively is a freelance writer and author of Howlin’ At The Dixie Moon. He lives in Shell Bluff. Email Don at Livelycolo@aol.com and visit www.DonLively.com.

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