Snapshots from Eldredge

The life and writings of TJ Alexian

Mean?

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kyra2

“Is that a mean dog? That look likes a mean dog.”

Um. Say what?

Okay, I grant you, the lady at the cash register in the drive-through I was at appeared to be a nervous sort. She looked like somebody’s spinster aunt from an old black and white movie; kind of tentative, with large animated hands she was constantly clasping, and an awkward smile that suggested she didn’t get out much. Maybe she had been bitten by a dog at one point.

Even so. My Kyra, looking like a mean dog?

I honestly had not heard that before! And my habit has been to take Kyra with me wherever I go. Usually, people love Kyra, and go on and on about how pretty she is, want to pet her, want to offer her treats (P.S.: she’s a dog, she loves treats).

“Mean? No, not really.”

It must have been clear from my tone I was displeased with the question. Look, I don’t hide my feelings well. I never have been able to. The awkward lady must have sensed that, because as she handed me back my credit card she said, “Oh, look! She’s wagging her tail. She’s not a mean dog at all.”

“No. No, she’s not a mean dog.” With icicles in my voice, I moved drove away.

So we’ve had Kyra for about four months now, and I have to say, I think she’s wonderful. No, really. I am just crazy about this dog. I love her brown eyes and her floppy cock-eyed ears. She’s the most patient, loving pup there is. Never pees or poos in the house. Goes into her crate at around nine, practically without being asked. Follows me around everywhere. And at around six, as we start eating, she is right there on the couch in her special place, ready to watch TV with us and keep us company.

She’s also pretty damn smart, too. She’s learned to sit and stay and fetch, already, and the only one she’s having trouble with is giving us her paw. She’s great off her leash, too, and hasn’t once tried to run away from us. She simply sniffs around and wanders nearby, and when we call her, comes running back.

The only thing I’ve noticed is a bit of timidity around certain strangers, mostly teenage boys. I think that’s understandable, though, given her circumstances. She is a rescue dog, after all, and did see her brothers and sisters get killed by a group of teenage boys in Memphis who thought it would be fun to jump on top of a bunch of puppies and squish the life out of them. I think given that, I’d be a little nervous around boys, too.

Plus, she’s an awfully good snuggler. She just looks up at you with those brown eyes of hers and licks you like crazy.

I guess there dog people and cat people and when you get right down to it, I’m a dog person. Corb says I don’t have as deep a connection to our cats, and maybe he’s right. I mean, I like them a lot, but there’s just something about a dog. Loyalty. Unconditional love. If only she could clean her room, I might even consider replacing her for my kids.

So, mean dog? Not on your life, lady. There aint no mean dog here. Nothing but love!

Author: TJ Alexian

T.J. Alexian lives in Attleboro, Massachusetts in a renovated green Victorian, along with seven ghosts and his long-time (and long-suffering) partner. He also has three kids and one spiritual kid, and their stories and their spirit form the heart and soul of his novel, Pictures of You. A profiled author in the Writer's Digest book Writer with a Day Job and an award-winning communications specialist, Pictures of You is Alexian's first novel, although he has two more being prepared for distribution: The Late Night Show and Confessions of a Diva Rotundo. Pictures of You is a young adult thriller that combines Alexian's love for social media with the macabre. A ghost story for the dispossessed, the novel tells the story of a young girl haunted by events in her past that never seem to die. But more than that, the novel is about being heard, about giving voice to voices that don't fit the norm. Some that lack the courage...and some, that hide in the shadows.

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