A Cougar, Siri & Me
As a kid, I was not allowed to have pets. My mother was too overwhelmed with all of us kids, there were seven of us! She had to be obsessive with cleanliness and orderliness in the house otherwise it would be chaos right away…. therefore pets were not allowed.
When I had my own family I have to admit that I maintained a disconnection to animals. My daughter was a fan of cats, so we had a few cats and my ex-husband would feed a few outdoor dogs, but we never really had a true “pet” in the sense that I know now. I say “in the sense that I know now” because my daughter brought into my life a rescue dog that we bought for my grandsons.
SIRI is her name. She’s a funny Bijon-like, poodle-ish, terrier type of mix. When her fur grows out long she looks like a sheep. My daughter named her SIRI because she has a SERIous disposition. But she is the most content following my daughter around. She is incredibly devoted to her. Paula brings her to work and she does get very excited any time she sees ME- much to my surprise! Maybe that’s how I started connecting with her; Every time I see her she jumps about 5 feet high and her whole body wags and shakes and she even talks to me (yes, she barks at me!) until I give her a treat. I realized right away that this whole extravagant show is exclusively for ME! In fact, she has a different way of greeting each person who is part of her “family”- it blows my mind.
I have to confess that I now understand how smart dogs are. SIRI understands three languages: dog language, English, and Spanish! She’s incredibly intuitive. She knows what everyone is doing and she knows what we are GOING to do even when we don’t say it out loud. SIRI follows Paula around the store all day long. She knows when Paula is just running upstairs for a moment, she stays put, or when Paula is leaving for the day, she jumps around excitedly around her the second Paula decides in her mind that she’s ready to go! It’s crazy!
When my daughter leaves the room for some reason, she will patiently wait for her at the door she left from. Siri can wait for hours there. If Paula is out of town, it is adorable but it is also heartbreaking to watch her anxiously but patiently wait for her. She looks like nothing in the world matters to her although she is even more endearing because she takes notice when any of us (especially ME) is sad, upset, frustrated, or happy and excited. Sometimes she looks at me with her clear amber, human-like eyes and I can tell that she knows exactly what I’m thinking! And she trusts me, she knows I will take care of her, and that everyone else in the store, will take care of her while Paula is not around.
The only other thing that makes SIRI happier than being at the shoe store, is to go hiking. (I haven’t actually taken her). Paula and her companion take her often and apparently she prances through the woods, splashes in the water, and just revels in being out! About two months ago she was happily hiking on the Windsor Trail with her best hiking buddy until in a quick blink of an eye a mountain lion pounced on her. It was a moment of horror and surprise. Thankfully her hiking buddy was quick to react- throwing rocks at the mountain lion until it let SIRI go. She managed to run into the woods, bleeding and scared. Time froze for them on the trail, minutes could have gone by or an eternity as her companion scoured the trail looking for her. Somehow he managed to see sporadic blood drops and followed them… it was a miracle he found SIRI, who apparently jumped into his arms when he saw her. Siri and him were so scared, but she survived the attack, they both survived.
The whole shoe store was shaken up by the news of SIRIs attack. We literally were all crying, Paula was very stoic- she was in classic mom mode. In fact the whole community was very upset and concerned for SIRI! She IS well known for being in the store! When a customer walks into the store, Siri has the ability to connect with them in a quiet but special way. Sometimes she lays down and she stares at you and other times she runs to you wiggling her tail, enjoying people petting her. Other times, particularly in the summer when there are so many people at the store petting her, she goes and hides behind the curtains, but we can spot her peeking through the curtain.
Seeing SIRI at the vet, mauled, and in pain was so difficult. I had never experienced that feeling for a pet. I now understand the majority of my friends!! But, SIRI got through it, she survived her ordeal although she lost one eye. But we have decided that it suits her personality more- it makes her both tougher looking and yet more profound. What happened to SIRI has shown me the good heart of the community.
We are all so grateful that Paula’s companion saved her!
If you come by the store, you can meet SIRI (if you haven’t met her already!)- she’ll be winking at you.