… on stuff that wasn’t in the contract


It has now been nearly two months since Belle-ah’s coronation as the newest Dingle princess, which came about when she was officially welcomed (not eaten) by HRH The Princess Bunny Blaze.

That’s one of their fancy official, glamour-glow photos above. You know, the ones that the royal families release to People Magazine… Entertainment Weekly… Dog Fancy…

During this time, I’ve read a number of articles and essays about rescue dogs and learned that there is this thing called, ‘The rule of threes’ when it comes to integrating a newly rescued dog into your life. Sometimes an article will ease one into this idea using a title like, “An Introduction to the Idea of the Threes When Adopting a New Dog”. This feels nice and gentle and non prescriptive.

But then I came across one article entitled, “Learn the 3’s!”… which I read as, “LEARN THE THREES OR ELSE CATASTROPHE!”. This made me feel threatened and I closed my computer screen for a while because I was all about being zen when it came to my new dog, and this seemed to fly in the face of that.

So ‘The Threes’ go something like this:

Three Days: Your dog is new so don’t go all crazy introducing her to too much, too fast, because you might wreck her.

Three Weeks: Your dog is not so new and is beginning to feel more comfortable. She may be showing you more of her true self which could be akin to a freakishly obnoxious  teenager. Seriously, be ready for anything. Also? Don’t wreck her.

Three Months: Your dog has probably figured out you aren’t going to eat her and is settling in and relaxing and not wearing black all the time whilst bugging you about lots of piercings and/or tattoos – on her lower back – of that cute bulldog up the street. This probably means you didn’t wreck her.

That’s pretty much it.

So, again, we are just about two months in, and I was all, ‘Hey, I think I have a really advanced rescue dog because  – well, not only is she royalty – she seems to have settled in already.


She’s never pee’d or poo’d inside; She seems to have overcome her need to announce every single person, dog, chipmunk, slug, and/or amoeba who passes by the house; She has all but stopped bringing the hair from my hairbrush from the bathroom waste-basket to my feet (and expecting a cookie); and she survived that raw hamburger patty she stole from the kitchen counter (sending me into a tizzy of fear that she had brain parasites).

“She’s practically a post-rescue prodigy!” I exclaimed to JoHn.

It was totally time to celebrate, and possibly with cake.

But then…

We went out yesterday, for what I thought was a traditional ‘pee and explore the yard’ activity and this … thing happened.

Belle-ah is a hound-y type dog. We think she is mostly English Pointer because she looks a picture we found of, you know, and English Pointer. Also, her first owner’s neighbor insisted she was “A fancy biRd dawg”.

That’s it. Those are the only two reasons we think she must be mostly an English Pointer.

Oh, right. And she points. Just freezes and points at things.

I’ve never seen the things she points at. It’s kind of like those frustrating trigonometry classes where the teacher is pointing at the answer on the chalkboard and I’m all, “Yeah, there’s so much stuff written up there that I can’t even see that”. But actually it’s nicer than being in trig class because I’m in my own yard and I’m not being graded.

Since Belle-ah doesn’t like to chase a ball and bring it back, and Blaze likes exactly one half of that activity, I throw the ball for Blaze while I follow Belle-ah around and we check the trees for squirrels.

I always invite Blaze to check them too but she is all…

And sometimes she also turns and makes the face at Belle-ah while she checks the trees.

She’s not a complete fuddy-duddy though. Like, yesterday Blaze tried to combine her ShepHerd-ness with Belle-ah’s Hound-ed-ness.

She was all, ‘Hey, is there really something up there, like for real?’

And Belle-ah was all, ‘Well yes which is why I am behaving in this very hound-like way.”

But then Belle-ah was all done, signifying in the Language of Hound that there was nothing more to be interested in up in that particular tree. Blaze, being a ShepHerd, stayed and tried to talk to the thing she could not see…

And then, also in very dedicated ShepHerd fashion, stayed and guarded the thing that wasn’t there.

She would have stayed well into the night had I not offered her cheese.

But here is the thing… the thing that happened while Blaze was guarding the tree… the thing that has me thinking that, perhaps, Belle-ah hasn’t shown us all there is to know about her in just under two months.

I’ll just let the pics speak for themselves.

That was all I could stand before I walked over to see if she was going to need any help.

She did not.

She stood in that tree and surveyed the world from her new vantage point.

Then Blaze wanted to climb the tree.

It got all kinds of wHeird.

I don’t even know how to feel about this.

On the second day we had her, Belle-ah spotted a squirrel and – in a flash of determination – squeezed her little, non-German-ShepHerd sized body, under the fence. It had been raining and I panicked and ran out of the gate and into waist-high forest foliage – getting totally drenched – to retrieve her which, luckily, I did. But not before I had this sinking feeling of having just posted that I got a new dog and now needing to post that I’d lost my new dog because I had no idea she get through that little space under the fence.

I figured I’d write something about her astounding ability to collapse her ribcage like a mouse (which isn’t really a thing – it’s actually all about the mouse’s clavicle positioning). But I figured the squashable ribcage thing might be a totally believable and understandable excuse for losing my new dog, and would elicit oodles of sympathy – vs. vitriol – from the internet throng. In other words, I had a plan.

Turns out I didn’t need the plan though, because I got Belle-ah back utilizing the age-old technique of pretending I was having way more fun doing what I was doing than she was having doing what she was doing. Then I called the landscaping crew – saying I had a ‘landscaping emergency’ (which is a thing, apparently) and they came over the next day (bless them) and removed all of my temporary solutions (big rocks and also plastic things), and installed wire under all the fence sections that had even a few inches of space between their bottoms and the ground.

But that was in case Belle-ah wanted to go under the fence.


I don’t even know what to do about a dog who can shimmy up a tree and then Superman herself over a fence.

What about getting a dog out of a tree if she climbs too high and can’t get down? Do you call the fire department for that? Do they only have procedures for stuck cats?

These are questions I never thought I’d need to formulate.

There was nothing in her adoption profile that said anything about an interest in ascending to new heights via the scaling of large plants (and, yes, I did check the ‘Skill Sets’ section!).

And now Blaze is trying to climb trees too.

It’s like… contagious!

I can’t even.

And there’s a whole month and two days more until Belle-ah has been here for three months when, according to the ‘Rule of Threes’, she should not be revealing propensities for new things.


What’s gonna happen in all that time?!


Jet propulsion?

I don’t know.

You don’t know.

But Belle-ah seems to know one thing….

It’s a damned good thing she’s cute.

Thanks for readin’.

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