This is Gracie (sometimes known as Grey, also known as Baby, Sweetie, and Pretty Girl), the newest change in my life:
She has hazel eyes that border on olive and they look very out of place in her otherwise black-and-white color scheme. Though, her coat is black in the way that coffee is black– in the light, it shows up as more of an espresso brown.
I’ve been trying to find a suitable name for her all day, as I’ve been trying to find a suitable dog name in general since I decided I absolutely HAD TO HAVE a dog. I don’t want something overly poetic, like Persephone or Desdemona, because I don’t want to be the kind of dog owner other people roll their eyes at ("What a pretentious dog name– it’s like she thinks she’s an English major!") and I didn’t want something overly cute, like Jelly Bean or Bootsie, because if I’m at the dog park and there are a bunch of guys around, I’d like to be able to call out my dog’s name without sounding like… well, like a girl. *You* know. A GIRL girl.
In the same light, I didn’t want to give her an obvious name like Pepper or Midnight or Shadow. I thought about Dell and its variations (Del Mar, Delaware, Delaney), Pen and its variations (Pendulum, Penumbra, Penfeather), and various cities (London, Brighton, Tallahassee).
The Guy came over and threw out a few suggestions after encountering first-hand the results of my dog’s stress levels combined with a questionable diet, leading to a disturbed digestive and gastrointestinal system, which is all just a long-winded way of saying my dog farts. He proposed I name her after "ladies" who refused to be ladylike in their eras– Molly Brown, Eliza Doolittle, Mae West. I kind of liked Mae because it reminded me of Mayzie, Dr. Seuss’ vainglorious bird, but I still wasn’t sure. I sort of wanted something that reflected what this dog is for me, namely, hope for an escape from my depression, but– nothing sappy or corny.
When I was saying goodbye to The Guy at the door, I asked him what he thought of the name "Gracie." I explained I’d wanted to name her that since before I adopted her, but it just felt like a cheesy sort of name– he said he didn’t think there was anything cheesy about it and he thought it was nice.
Since then (a whole 30 minutes ago), I’ve been calling her Gracie and I can’t stop, which I guess means that’s her name now. She looks at me when I call her by her name, and looks at me in such a manner, as if to say, "Woman, what took you so long to figure out my name? IT’S ABOUT TIME."
Gracie walks, sits, runs, skips, and even breathes like a horse, and her long, long legs only contribute to the correlation. She *leaps* before she takes off running and does a little half-jump before briefly skittering across the living room in pursuit of a toy, and makes little whuffing noises when she’s lying down. Her coat reminds me of a horse, too, and I groom her accordingly; a soft wire-bristle brush acts like the currycomb and a soft-bristle brush sweeps off and collects the loosened fur and dirt. She had her bath this afternoon (and behaved marvellously), and now her coat is nice and shiny.
I’m trying to figure out what her history might have been. I don’t think her past family mistreated her because she doesn’t show any signs of abuse. She doesn’t shake and she’s incredibly personable. She understands the role of toys and fetches and tugs and chews contentedly, implying she’s had them before. Her manners, the flatulence aside, are commendable: she doesn’t jump up, she has yet to get into the trash, she doesn’t jump on the furniture, she doesn’t beg at the table for food (not actively, anyway). Because she’d been in the shelter since Feb. 4, I have to assume she wasn’t a lost pet; I’m guessing she’s one of the many dogs in this city who are given up by their families because of moving issues. The fact that she had hot pink nail polish on her nails leads me to believe the owners had children. I like to believe that Gracie was very, very loved in her previous home, and I’m sure she loved them back with equal affection.
She’s on the skinny side and I’m trying to fatten her up and improve her digestion, but she refuses to eat the chicken-flavored rice I made and mixed in with her kibble. ::sigh::
She’s crazy energetic if you ask her to be. The Guy came over tonight to see her, and as soon as she heard the knock on the front door, she perked up (she’d been napping all evening) and looked at me, waiting for me to get up so I could open it and she could see who was there. And sure enough, as soon as I opened the door, her tail started wagging furiously and she was pressed up against his legs, body wiggling in joy.
And yes, watching The Guy play with Gracie made me melt, just a little.
And of course, one of the great advantages of having Gracie is, new subject material for my posts.