Nellie was sitting on her human’s lap in the dentist’s office, all tricked out in a service vest. A teacup poodle, she tipped the scales at just under 4 pounds. She was a lovely, natural redhead who needed a wee trim around the bangs: there and there. How the hell did they find a vest that small?
Nellie was smiling at me. I prepared to squeal with delight–quietly; it was a dentist’s office–but then I stopped short and asked the teenage girl, “I bet you want me to leave her alone, don’t you?” The girl, shy and sweet and muffled in some kind of orthodontic apparatus, shook her head and said, itth okay so away we went.
Her name was Nellie and she was four pounds of awesome. Right around a year, kind as the day is long and cute cute cute cute cute. She put her paws on my knee and communicated furiously that it was remarkable luck to meet such a high quality person on this day of days.
I’m intuitive; I’m pretty sure she meant it.
While all this was going on she gave me a pretty thorough bath. That was one tiny tongue. The perfect amount of saliva. A soupçon of moisture, who could object?
I admired her hair color and she administered some service. As much as a service dog on level 2 of like 90 levels can offer. She was a natural, though. In my head I saw Nellie fully trained. I saw that she was very proud of her work.
We oogled at each other. A dental assistant drifted past, smiling. “I already got my therapy,” she announced, airily. We watched her go by. I didn’t smile back. She was interrupting my session. What kind of —
I looked down at Nellie. She’d tipped over and was waiting for a belly rub. It didn’t seem like part of our agreement but as I patted her it became apparent we were still in therapy.
Nellie was meant to be their pet, but then a key player in the family had an accident. They took her to the hospital for visiting hours and even as a puppy she surprised them by hunkering down next to the Patient and staying still for hours. This of course was such un-puppy like behavior that they began to consider she might be up for a job. When we met, Nellie was at the beginning of her training.
Her goal? Apparently, it’s to lick and cuddle patients at Children’s Hospital in Denver. A perfect gig for a little peach-colored poodle.
In the meantime, her people are trying to fatten her up so her vest will fit better.