Madam Precious Huggy Bear, Precious to her many friends and admirers, was rescued with her brother (Able, Baker, Charlie Dog), or just plain Charlie to his many admirers, when he was two years old and Precious was one year old. Old old Dave and much younger Anita had visited a rescue home where 14 smallish, fuzzy faced dogs were fussing, fighting, pooping, whizzing and biting each other in one single living room. As we sat on a divan talking to the boss lady, two little bichon frise pups walked calmly, shoulder-to-shoulder through the doggy mêlée, hopped up on the divan, and Precious eee-mediately snuggled up and went to sleep on Anita’s lap while Charlie kept old Dave busy petting him. That’s when we knew that we had been adopted.
It seems like every regular walker/jogger/baby buggy pusher and garden volunteer at Veterans’ Park knows Precious by name, and adults, kids, and the usual suspects always want to pet her fluffiness. Always initially shy, eventually she loves the attention. Last summer, we sat on a park bench at a busy intersection of two cement sidewalks where it seemed that everyone knew her. Old old Dave, and much younger Anita, remained more or less a necessary but anonymous sideshow.
In mid-summer and until now, a flash mob of cute little squirrels have developed a taste for the sunflower seeds that we usually have in our pockets. Actually, a chubby little squirrel that we call Earl decided that the threesome of old Dave, much younger Anita, and Precious Pup was an easy free meal and not a threat when old Dave wears his red hat, red shirt and red suspenders. Whistle and they will come. Earl happily eats seeds and unsalted peanuts within about a foot of our extended feet, and turns his back to us because he trusts us that much. Amazing! However, if old Dave does not wear his red gear, Earl will eventually come but not so close, and Pearl, Merl, Berl, and Girl Squirrel eat cautiously at a safe distance.
A big white cat named Nibbles, who lives next door, eats at our front porch feline feeder a couple of times on many days, and has a casual Mexican standoff with Precious. No barking, no claws, no foul. Our beautiful feral cat, Casey, adopted us one afternoon, lived in close cat and dog harmony with Precious for 15 years, and died purring. Of course, we cried a lot just like we did when Charlie passed away apparently from eating a bad /nasty ingredient from China in his dog food.
Precious was 12 years old last July 17. Naturally, we held the usual gala celebration with a birthday cake with candles and topped with her favorite meringue. Of course, Precious had filet mignon steak, which Davy brings to her for every birthday, and she shared it with the rest of us. Precious is a fine, big, beautiful grrrrrl who warns us when anyone is foolish enough to sneak into our back yard. “With a clip of eight, unlock. Ready on the right. Ready on the left. Ready on the firing line.” We are so fortunate to have such a great watch dog.