Randi Kreiss

Dispatch from a four-legged 5-year-old


Dear Kathi:
I turned 5 years old this winter, and I promised that I’d drop you a note and tell you how my life is with the Kreiss family. Mother’s Day is appropriate: As the breeder who helped bring me into the world, you’re one of my cherished moms.
My birth mom is Mountain Ivy of Chilowee Cotons. My birth grandmother is Destiny’s Rogue Breeze. My human mom is Randi of Brooklyn, and my pedigree is better than hers.
Now, don’t expect one of those heartwarming Lassie stories or a brave-dog-fights-bear story of my life. Think of this more like a Jerry Springer-spaniel (may he rest in peace) sort of tale. I know you thought I was an easy-going puppy, but it was all an act. I’m an alpha all the way, babe.
The Kreisses are OK, as owners go. Clearly Randi and Don (they don’t know I call them by their first names) wanted a replacement for their beloved Zoe, the long-lived pup who trotted over the Rainbow Bridge six months before I was born. I hate when that happens. I want to be wanted just for myself.

By the way, I resent that you sold me. I mean, it was a great price, and in dog dollars it was a killing, but I don’t like to think of myself as a commodity. And you could have been a little more thorough in interviewing the Kreisses. They do not — I repeat, do not — have the fenced-in yard they promised.
I don’t mind that you sent me away from Tucson, where I was born, but I just cannot get used to doing my business in the snow. The ice really freezes up the works, if you know what I mean. The Ms. is out there in wool pants, a down coat, hat and gloves. I’m out there in my birthday suit, and she wants me to hurry up. When I hear “hurry up!” know what I do? I take my sweet time, pretending that I found something great to sniff. Or I raise my ears and stare just behind her, to give her the creeps. Oh, yeah.
One thing I’m happy about is that there are no kids around to share the attention. When we walk past kids at the bus stop, I wag my tail like crazy and pretend to love the little dribblers. The Ms. eats it up. She always says the same thing to the moms and dads: “Oh, Lillybee loves children. Of course they can pet her.” Let me tell you, it takes a lot of self-control not to take a bite out of those fat little fingers.
It’s a pretty easy gig I have. In the beginning, the Mr. didn’t like me at all. He didn’t want me, he didn’t want to walk me, and he didn’t like the fact that I barked in his ear for no good reason for 15 minutes straight every night when he turned on the TV. But he just needed to be trained. I’ve trained him to throw my Frisbee every time I bring it to him. I could bring it to him a hundred times and he just keeps throwing it. And he thinks I eat out of his hand?
The Ms. started out strict, making me sleep in a crate in the kitchen every night, and I pretended to love it. I kept quiet, kept my nose clean and, sure enough, within six months they were discussing the fact that I was bonding more with the crate than with them. Within eight months I was in bed with them.
I know this is a process of give and take, but I did hold my ground in several areas. I refused to be housebroken overnight. I saw no reason to relieve myself outside in the freezing cold when there were perfectly good area rugs in the nice warm dining room.
I will not sit on the floor when everyone else is on the couch, and I won’t eat unless the Ms. keeps me company. From time to time, I bring a small dead bird into the house and deposit it on someone’s bed. I’m a dog, after all, and I won’t let them disrespect my native culture.
I will definitely keep in touch, Kathi, but let’s keep this just between us. The Ms. thinks she’s the only one in the family who writes. And neither of them has any idea that I know how to use the computer.
Love, Lillybee

Copyright 2023 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at randik3@aol.com.