Whack Job!

You may think, with a headline like that, I am going to share more revelations about the service industry. Nope, still in self-therapy mode as I adjust to life out from behind the bar. This is about a whack job I love, and what I learn from her everyday. No, not my sister either. It’s Zelda!! I promised a long time ago I would include her in this, and I don’t enough. Time to fix that, as we are getting close to the 6th anniversary of our Gotcha Day!!

She’s laying on top of my feet as I write, and that will last until either a squirrel or human breaches the perimeter. There she goes! Judging from the bark, it’s a squirrel this time. I had no idea what a menace to society those critters are until Z came into my life. But now that I know, I curse them in a snarl and growl that would make my girl Zelda proud. There’s one on Mason street that didn’t make it across. I may walk Zelly over there so she can gloat. That’s what you get, squirrel!!

So her name Zelda came about thanks to my nephew Will. When we rescued each other, her name at the shelter was Arizona, which was dumb because she came from Tennessee. I wanted to change her name, and I was taking suggestions. Robin Williams had just passed away, and his daughter’s name is Zelda. Will was big fan of Williams, who wasn’t, really? So he suggested that and it seemed right. A little credit to the video game, but mostly it came from Robin Williams as a little tribute. We may have missed it though, with that name, because she very often gets called Spaz, Weirdo, Whack Job and other things of that variety, and she seems to know that I am talking to her. But on paper, it’s Zelda. I am thankful to Will always for a unique and appropriate name for my whack job.

She’s noisy, not all the time but when it’s necessary. Like most dogs, she is protective, and there is an area that it cannot be tolerated for people or animals to breach. Like in front of the house. Out on the street. In the car when we are driving. Actually in the car she is usually pretty chill. But one day at a stop light, a guy, wearing a hat, crossing the street just ticked her off. She barked at him like a nut job. The hat was kind of dumb, to be fair. But she is kind of a neighborhood terrorist. We have a couple of ways we take our walks, and she knows the houses that have dogs. When we approach, she will kind of pause, and wait to see if the dog notices her, and if not, she will bark and wait for the reaction. Get them riled up. She is obnoxious. And the disappointment when the dog isn’t home is palpable. She pouts, almost.

Zelda loves her some tennis balls. She is particularly fond of them when they are underneath furniture. That’s a whole other thing though, more therapy for me. But we get lucky most summers. We live near a high school, with tennis courts. In the summer, normally, there are tennis camps over there, with teenagers. Lots of big hitters. We can normally walk that way and score several tennis balls that make it across the street. Well, the ‘Rona has ruined that, so it’s been a lean tennis season. There are some people that use the courts, but they must not hit the long ball too often. We did get one the other day, someone went yard. She carried that thing joyfully for easily 20 blocks and through a park. And she has had it under the couch and TV stand countless times. Yay.

Zelda isn’t always good around other people, so I have to keep an eye on her. But when she loves someone, it is game on! My brothers Mike and Paul, Paul’s family, and my sister Margie are some of her favorites for sure! We have an older couple that lives on our block that she adores as well. When we walk past their house, she sticks her big nose between their hedges looking for them, and their cat Levi. She is obsessed with Levi, but scared of him. When he comes over by Zelda, she scoots away pretty quick. But she is still looking for him every single time. And she just loves Tony, the older gentleman. He took his time gaining her trust, and it’s paid big dividends for both of them. It always makes me happy to see them outside because I know Zelda will go into spaz mode and give lots of loves to them, unless that cat walks up.

We are similar creatures, me and the Z-dog. And the longer we are together, the more we are alike. We are both pretty food motivated. We like our walks, we both hate squirrels, naps are cool, and we both love the people we love, and hate things that tick us off. We protect our stuff, and we can both be pretty noisy when it’s appropriate. I love that girl, and she seems to love me, most of the time. She kind of doles out affection on her terms, but when she decides it’s time to snuggle up on the couch, and rest her head on my lap, it’s just everything I hoped for when I let her pick me out at the shelter. She has some quirks, but who doesn’t, really? We will carry on together, and I am thankful every day she picked me, because she truly did. She is a lot of work some days, but what relationship doesn’t require a lot of love, patience and treats?

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