**At Sweet Rickey‘s request, given the title, I am editing this post to add: Maya is FINE, very much alive, and disgusted with the world at large.
In an effort to encourage gentleness with Miss Maya, who is a rather old dog, Mr and I frequently remind B of Maya’s age. This appears to have backfired, as B and I had the following conversation in the car today:
When is Maya going to die?
I don’t know, honey.
Well, how long is her going to live?
Hmmm… Dogs like Maya usually live to be fifteen or sixteen. She’s about fourteen now. So she’ll probably be around for a little while longer.
[Silence from the back seat, indicating that his mental wheels are turning]
Mommy, what do animals look like when they’re dead?
Um… like they’re sleeping?
Oh…[beat of silence] Only flatter.
Because I have an excess of imagination, I have always believed that Maya enjoys a rich inner dialogue (monologue?). When she was younger, I imagined her as a Dietrich-esque bombshell, smoking her Turkish cigarettes while disdainfully surveying those around her. When we visited the dog park, she largely ignored the dogs and instead visited with the humans, allowing each of them to adore her in turn.
As she’s gotten older, she indulges more in grumpily swearing about ‘kids today’, and goes on epic rants about having to share her apartment with the noisy, obnoxious hairless puppy*. She’s also taken to randomly pausing and staring off into space.
Mr says she is picking up radio signals.I tell him that’s not very nice.
Truthfully, though, she’s just getting old. The most telling factor is that she no longer wants to run. This is significant, as Maya has spent a lot of time running – and coming back (much like a furry boomerang). She’s not so much running away, as she is just running. In the other direction.(She has also lapsed back into some of her weirder early behaviors, like nervously hovering around the room until she is given a specific place to sit, and expressing her anger through shredded paper products.)
In her earlier years, Madame Escape Artist explored:
- Baton Rouge, LA, and its suburbs (most notably, on the day of my bar exam)
- Covington, LA (most notably, on Thanksgiving)
- Philadelphia, PA
- Greenville, SC (on New Year’s Eve)
- Long Beach Island, NJ
The last time she ran away was maybe two years ago, in LBI. These days, this is about the extent of her running:
(I imagine that she is thinking something along the lines of, “Just open the door already, you fool!!” She can be quite insulting.)
* The term “hairless puppy” is not my own creation – it was coined by a friend of my brother-in-law, to describe the dog’s opinion of a newly arrived infant.