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    Those jealous dogs / Always on the alert

    A few years ago, my buddy gave his wife a pair of chihuahuas as a present. Now that I’m staying with them, they’ve become my companions.


    Don’t they look adorable?

    Of course–in still photographs. In real life, though, they move.

    I call them the Millicujos.

    They open their little jaws and bark at the slightest noise, often for close to a half hour before settling down. Usually, it’s the elderly elevator in our brownstone that sets them off, but sometimes the stimulus appears to originate somewhere around the kitchen skylight–a creak caused by the wind? the piping of a bird? Usually I can’t make it out. No trouble making out their response, though.

    The blond with the limpidly innocent gaze is, you shouldn’t need to be told, the more implacably hostile of the two when the public isn’t around to observe. Not by all that much, though. His darker, younger brother is a willing accomplice.

    J. and his wife have nicknamed them “the Woofies.” This is a courtesy title, about as connected with reality as “Princess Di.” These two wouldn’t be able to produce a butch, baritone, thrillingly menacing “woof!” if they sold their souls to Cerberus. Even “yap!” errs somewhat in the direction of resonance, as far as I’m concerned. My conclusion–borne of repeated and lengthy exposure–is that “arp!” is the best transcription of the noise they make (and make and make and make and make).

    They’ve grown accustomed to me now, so they’ll sometimes jump up into my lap when I’m trying to type. Mostly, though, they still eye me with deep suspicion. Unless I’ve just cooked something along the savory/buttery/meaty axis, that is. Then I become their new best friend. Their little eyes liquefy, and (I swear) they pout. For those who’ve been wondering why they’re not hearing more about how adjusting to New York has been, a major reason is that I’m too busy defending my breakfast eggs.

    5 Responses to “Those jealous dogs / Always on the alert”

    1. carolyn says:

      Wow, my (smallish) cat is bigger than they are! Jessica would tell you that those don’t qualify as dogs. ^_~ (Shhh, don’t tell her… but I think they’re kind of cute, minus the arp-ing.)

      Glad you’re enjoying NYC!

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Hi, carolyn! Yeah, the dogs are…compactly built. Not teacup poodles, but very small. Amazing how many decibels they can squeeze out of those little lungs.

      I hope I get to see Coco again soon, Eric.

    3. Jafe says:

      How funny, they look (and act) just like our pair, except our smaller, younger one is female. Much barking ensues when they hear someone in the hallway or the apt. buzzer rings. Our little one has it in for Eddy the Staffordshire terrier next door (who’d probably eat her if they ever met). Every time Eddy goes in or out it sets her off, barking at full volume and trying to claw through the metal front door to get at him

      Food treats create a temporary lull from barking. Etiquette classes are badly needed.

      Pictures here

    4. Sean Kinsell says:

      Food treats don’t work with these two. I mean, they take the food treats, but they don’t repay me with silence afterward. No other dogs in the building that I know of–grateful for small blessings!

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