Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Amazing Adventures of a Deaf, Blind, Toothless, Anorexic Bird Dog

You are not going to believe what my dumb dog Birdie did the other day. In a fit of whimsy while hanging out in my sister's back yard, I let her off the leash to explore. Because really, how much trouble could she get in, right? Ha. Joke's on me. I keep thinking she's normal, you know? Like she isn't blind (did I tell you about the cataracts the vet just told me about?). Or deaf. Or toothless. And have I mentioned her strange eating disorder? It turns out 14-year-old stick figures aren't the only creatures that yearn to be runway models. Birdie is sittin' pretty at 30% underweight, and no matter how I entice her, will not snack up on anything other than chicken, which, it turns out, gives her hives. But every time I think to myself OH GOD WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO, I look at her cute little cute cute cute cute cute little face, and I completely forget to worry. Look. Here's a picture of her being cute. Please ignore the devil eyes. Cataracts, it turns out, are reflective.

Not only cute, but look at her tongue! CUUUUUUUUUTE!

A little more about that tongue later, but first I'd better get back to answering the cliff-hanger with which I began this post. Off your tenterhooks, bloggers, I'm about to tell you what on earth my dumb dog Birdie did the other day when I let her off the leash in my sister's yard. The cast of characters involve the following: a hole in the fence and a patch of briary burrs. In North Carolina we called them "hitchhikers," but people in Texas look at me like I'm speaking another language when I use that term. They are pea-sized burrs that stick to your pants as you walk by them, scratch you up when you try to pick them off, and most importantly, bury themselves deep in doggie fur. DEEP in doggie fur. Birdie essentially face planted right in a particularly prolific hitchhiker bush, and when I finally looked over the fence to see if she'd climbed through, she looked up at me and her black face was light brown. I mean, completely, entirely, 100% carpet-bombed with hitchhikers. You know in the movies when somebody gets a pie in the face and then they're left with a whipped cream face-mask? It was like that, except not whipped cream. Hitchhikers. They were also dug in deep in her legs, stuck in her paws, and covering her cute little underbelly. Birdie was a total mess. Umulu and I got some scissors and started cutting them out of her fur, but the task was overwhelming. I heeded one of my dear Aunt Mary's famously effective maxims --"this is one of those situations that will become enormously less stressful if I simply throw a little money at it." -- and a professional groomer took care of the rest.

I was worried about how close a shave they'd have to get her. Birdie's long silky hair is one of her finest features. Will she look silly without it? The answer, in case you were wondering, is NO. If anything, she's actually even cuter, which I hadn't thought possible. And the best side benefit? I had long suspected that she wasn't entirely gifted at keeping her tongue in her mouth, but the long hair obscured my view of what is one of the most hilarious things I've ever seen. Blog, let me introduce you to Birdie's tongue.

I think it's because she doesn't have any teeth to keep it in. Sometimes it pokes out the front:

And sometimes when she's feeling tired, it sort of slips out the side:

Can you see it? Here's a close-up:

I can't take too many pictures or it makes her self-conscious. Look at this face. You know what she's saying? Hey, Mom, quit it. Are you making fun of me?


Frank Irwin said...

Oh, POOR Birdie! She does look cute with her new haircut, though, and I'll she's cooler.

We were really bad at brushing our dog when I was a kid (i.e. we never brushed her), so she would get a shave every summer. She would hide under a bed for the rest of the night.

That tongue picture is HIGH-larious!

Kate said...

I bet she would have happily sit still in my dad's lap while you cut out each and every one!

Kate said...


Frank Irwin said...

Probably, Kate, but she likes my lap, too. :-)

Birdie, I mean...

Claudia said...

Oh she is so cute!!! I love her!

Prunella Jones said...

Aw, too cute. That goofy little tongue has personality!

Bev said...

Poor Birdie! Well, she looks cute before and after, so well-done! ITA about Aunt Mary's maxim -- that is a favorite of mine as well.

Love the pix! You are both adorable! :)

Cheasty said...

Frank - my mom does that with her fluffy poodles. shave and a haircut, two bits! twice a year.

Kate - indubitably. i was wishing i had him around to help out!

Claudia - she loves you too!

Pru - she's AAALLLLLLL personality!

Bev - thanks, lady! aunt mary (and you, too!) is a wise woman.

onebadmamajama said...

Birdie is a.dor.able! I'm glad she's okay and all hitchhiker free:)

Anonymous said...

Oh, poor Cheasty and innocent little deaf, blind, toothless Birdie. I get covered with those things in some of my walks here, and just throw my socks away so that I don't have to battle those pesky, painful little buggers!

Among the many things to be learned from your sweet, loving pooch is to maintain your dental health- even middle aged and old ladies don't have enough facial hair to camouflage a lolling tongue.

~ Isaac's Gree/ Kate's Mom

Cheasty said...

obmj - ME. TOO. i'm keeping her on a leash from now on!

Kate's Mom - HIIIIII!! Oh, how exciting to get a comment from you! Thanks for the wise words, i'm off to floss right now. :)

Penata said...

Awww, I love the new photos of Birdie! And the one of the two of you is FAB-U-LOUS. Dahling, you are gorgeous!