Monday, December 7, 2009

How Mina Greets Me

When I first "fostered" Mina, I was a college student. This actually worked out great for fostering and dog guardianship/ownership in general - I was home far more than I ever was with a regular full-time job.

But I also had to leave and come back more frequently than now (morning, lunch, back from work). This inspired a great amount of enthusiasm from Mina, who was very concerned that every time I left, I'd never return, and every time I returned, it was like being reunited after a 10-yr absence.

Mina's excitement was contagious as well as dangerous. I'd open the door, and there would be this dog, sliding across wooden floors with a stupid grin on her face. In her opinion, the appropriate way to greet a long-lost biped involved a great leap, followed by a bashing of heads (my head being the one to get bashed, mostly).

When she gave me a black eye and bloody nose, I figured she needed to learn a less violent way of greeting me. I noticed her affection for all things stuffed and a 100-watt bulb went off in my head. Figuratively, of course. I started to stock my car with stuffed animals. People probably thought I had a hoard of messy children, what with the elephants, bears, frogs and other assorted critters flung haphazardly across seats. Or maybe they thought I was crazy. Didn't matter to me so long as my facial features remained free of Mina's hard-head greeting.

Every time I entered the house, I'd hold out my offering, arms length away, praying that Mina would see fit to take the bait. The first time, she was quite confused - what on earth are you doing with my purple frog, minion? The second time, she was pleased to find me with her pink dinosaur, which at that particular moment happened to be her favorite toy. And the third time? Well, there wasn't a third time. I walked into the house, a stuffed bear at the ready, when who should I spy trotting toward me? Miss Mina with her purple frog in her mouth.

And from that day on, she has always greeted me with a toy. Always. Sometimes she isn't pleased with her toy selection and she'll spit it out, rush over to her tall, wicker toy box, stick her whole head in it and pull out a "better" toy. If I have recently put all the toys away, Mina gets herself in a tizzy if there isn't a toy within a 2' reach of her mouth - she'll spin, play bow, and then rush frantically over to the toy box. She'll turn back to me and bow, an invitation to rejoice. I can't help but tell her how wonderful she is, she can't help but bring a toy to receive such appropriate compliments.

There are dogs and then there are dogs. Mina is the latter.


Laura said...

i love when they figure out their own solution. or at least i do when its that cute!

Mary said...

Daisy does this, too, except I don't think I ever did anything to teach it to her. She sees me walk in, starts to run towards me, then veers course as she remembers that she has something to give me. She goes to get whatever it is (usually a bone) then comes and drops it at my feet. It warms my heart every time.

Kari in WeHo said...

Ha Mesa does the same thing. She either has a toy in her mouth when I get home or she runs and grabs one. Sometimes she gives it to me but more often than not, she and Baily start to play with it :)

Anonymous said...

Oh yes! Quizz greets me all wiggly and joyfully with his treasure du jour. A chew that has been buried in the back yard and rediscovered. The latest bone, etc. It definitely makes the difference from the weird forehead bruises I'd go into work with, that included an explanation that I was not a victim of domestic abuse.

I just got back into town. He greet me from the porch. All wiggly and happy. He waited for me to bend down and give him kisses. No more acrobatics.