OPINION

Norman: Daphne Fay -- the wonder pug

CHARLIE NORMAN

About a year and half ago, wife Carolyn and I got a pug puppy. They don’t come any cuter than little pugs. I took Daphne Fay with me to a lot of places early on, especially when it was easy to carry her in my arms. Invariably people (especially the ladies) would stop whatever they were doing to come over and “ooh and aah” over her and want to pet this 6-7-8 pound bundle of cuteness.

Charlie Norman

Whether it was at the bank, the drug store, or the YMCA, the reaction was always the same: “Oh, so adorable... How sweet... I want one...Makes my day.”  NOW, I know why my son wanted a puppy when in college. Go figure. It even happened to me at the Glen Rose soccer park walking track.

I was clippin’ right along with little Daphne on leash when two nice middle-age ladies (whom I actually know) passed me going in the opposite direction, when one of them hollered back to me ”so adorable!”  My response:  “Well, thank you!... but what about the puppy?!”  

Originating in 16th-century China, the pug has been described as a “big dog in a little package.” That’s Daphne Fay alright. She thinks our large yard, front and back, is her territory. I mean, when I let her out first thing the morning to do her business, she takes off a runnin’ like a greyhound at the races. Just shoots straight out the backdoor looking to and fro for anything that moves --- be it a squirrel, rabbit, birds, whatever.

She’s just-a-barking, letting all yard critters know “this here is her domain.”  We call this daily ritual --- “domaining.” Now Daphne Fay does have has her annoying quirks though. Sometimes she won’t come when called. Stubborn... stubborn.

Daphne doesn’t close her mouth when she eats and “smacks” a lot too. She gets into things she ought not to. And periodically, she’ll drag up something organic (oft times bigger than she is) from out of nowhere, and seems very content to ingest whatever “that” was --- we don’t even want to know.

Moreover, almost anything new left on the floor in the house, is fair game for her and she thinks it was brought in for her enjoyment... She has shoe fetish, too. Not good. You can ask Carolyn about that one. But she is great with our grandkids. That’s her saving grace with the wife. “Daph” thinks the kids have come just to see her when they’re over at the house, and dutifully follows them along on little hiking trails around our property when they’re visiting.

She never snaps at them, and actually likes it when they pull her tail. Daphne also loves to do “zoomies” around the kids, just to let’em know she’s happy they’re there. Many a time we find her waiting patiently in the hallway seated at the closed bedroom door, awaiting a sleeping little boy to arise from his nap. She’s smart too.

At night when it’s time to go to bed, it’s the strangest thing --- all I have to do is say: “beddy-bye time” and off she goes, dashing cheerfully and obediently into her sleeping pen. Some dog, that Daph. In all my years I’ve never seen a dog watch TV the way Daphne Fay does. I mean, she really watches it, and reacts to it too.

She’ll even huff, puff, and bark and stand on her hind legs if she spots another dog (or animal) on the screen. Like she could really do something... yeah, right. She barks at these animals she sees on the screen (acting so tough)... the thing is, most of these animals in real life could, well... let’s just say, easily devour her as an appetizer.

But it seems Daph’s favorite shows are the old-time westerns. She especially likes "Bonanza" ... and particularly “Little Joe.” I’ve even caught Daphne sitting front and center in the living room just staring at Little Joe when I’d be passing through the room. Problem is, I’ve discovered she wasn’t alone.

Wife Carolyn was sittin’ there doing the very same thing. We gotta have a talk.

Charlie Norman has lived in Somervell County since 1994. He and his wife have two adult children, who graduated from Glen Rose schools. You can contact him at chas234@windstream.net.