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David Hines [userpic]

dog update

December 24th, 2007 (10:59 am)

Went to the vet this morning. The dog has no chip, and she's much older than I thought -- based on her dentition, she's ten months to a year old. So, um, yes, I was *extremely* off, probably because she's so small; I'm used to larger dogs, particularly larger pits, and she's only 29 pounds. She is quite small. Very mild positive for heartworm, the kind of thing preventatives are enough to take care of. But that she has it at all means lack of preventatives, which means lack of care; she's friendly, so she once had a home, but she's not housebroken. (Though I'm crate training her now, and it seems to be taking.) Which means she's been neglected, and she's not a recent stray.

So, um, I have a dog now.

After the vet's, where she got a hefty sum of vaccinations and preventatives, we went by Petsmart and bought a few supplies. She likes fuzzies rather than squeakies, apparently, so I got her a fuzzy monkey, and a rubber ball to chew and chase. Plus the usual supplies. Now she's snoring beside me on the couch, with her paws in a tangle.

You may be wondering what I'm calling her. The question was pretty much settled when I found her. When my father was young, a friend of the family, Captain Bennett, had a pit bull. When she had a litter, my father got one of the puppies. He named her Cigarette. Much later, he had another pit bull, and he named her Cigarette, too. I knew that Cigarette when I was a kid: she was an absolute mushpot who weighed twice what a pit was supposed to weigh but thought she was a lapdog. I have a lot of fond memories of that dog. (She also brought home Watson, an Irish setter who was being neglected by a neighbor. We fed him for months, and when the neighbors moved they sold Watson to us for twenty bucks.) So the precedent was set: apparently, when Hines men take on a female pit bull, we name the dog Cigarette. It's what we do.

This is not Cigarette as in "so round, so firm, so fully packed." No, this is a literary reference: in Ouida's (Marie Louise de la Remée) 1867 French Foreign Legion novel UNDER TWO FLAGS, the romantic heroine is a camp follower named Cigarette. I have not yet managed to make it through the book, because it is *really* Victorian, but I've downloaded it from Gutenberg and am giving it another crack. Curiously, while I know the book had a strong appeal for my father, I didn't know much about our pits' namesake; Da died when I was very young, so I wasn't able to ask him about it. So I checked around online, and -- well. This is from the Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana:

Ouida's father, who she worshiped, abandoned her, and so Ouida seems to be using Under Two Flags to work out her daddy issues. Everyone in the novel worships Bertie, as Ouida clearly does. Cigarette proves her great love to Bertie just as Ouida wanted to but never could to her own father. In fiction written by amateurs or first-time writers, whether published in fan magazines, vanity presses, or on the Internet as "fan fiction" (stories written by fans featuring characters from their favorite books, television shows, or movies), a common phenomenon is the "Mary Sue" character. A Mary Sue character is an idealized stand‑in for the author, and is tougher, smarter, cooler, nicer, sweeter, more charming, more capable, and more skilled than the established characters, and becomes worshiped by them. Although Mary Sues appeared in 19th century magazine stories written by teenagers, as in stories where a teenaged girl saves a sleeping Indian chief from being mauled by a bear or is raised by Indians and becomes their leader, the traditional modern Mary Sue appears in Star Trek fan fiction, where a new ensign on the starship Enterprise is a better pilot than Captain Kirk, smarter than Spock, and makes both fall in love with her. Cigarette is Ouida's Mary Sue.

...my dog is a Mary Sue.

I think my father just punked me from beyond the grave.

Love you, Da.


Posted by: Betty (brown_betty)
Posted at: December 24th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)

You're adorable. Good luck with the doggens.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: December 29th, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC)

Belated thanks. Doggens seems to be working out just fine. :)

Posted by: cyano (cyano)
Posted at: December 24th, 2007 05:44 pm (UTC)

I am glad that she is fairly healthy, given the circumstances.

May Cigarette have a long and happy puppy life.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: December 29th, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC)
catwoman and holly

Thank you, Wonder Twin.

Posted by: beatrice_otter (beatrice_otter)
Posted at: December 24th, 2007 05:46 pm (UTC)
God's humor

Your dog is a Mary Sue? Yipe.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: December 29th, 2007 01:27 pm (UTC)
pointy teeth

Apparently so! ...although my mother elaborated a little: it wasn't that Da read the novel, but when he was a boy he went to see the film version. Starring, as Cigarette, Claudette Colbert.

...I can see how Claudette Colbert would make a lasting impression on a young man.

Posted by: beatrice_otter (beatrice_otter)
Posted at: December 29th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)

In her day, she was quite something. I've always loved It Happened One Night, and I like her Cleopatra better than Elizabeth Taylor's. Not that she's my favorite actress of the period, but she was still quite something.

Posted by: Wolf Dancer (wolfdancer)
Posted at: December 24th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
what a charming story!

Thank you for it. Hugs. I am so glad that you can take her in,and that she has such a loving home.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: December 29th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
Re: what a charming story!

Thankee! Glad to have her.

Posted by: Fish are my fandom now. (threegoldfish)
Posted at: December 24th, 2007 11:37 pm (UTC)

awww, I'm glad she found an awesome home!

If you're into LJ dog comms, I'm a fan of petbulls and hounds_of_hell.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: December 29th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC)

Thanks for the tip! I don't see myself posting much on dog comms, but might look in every once in a while. I will probably confine myself to the occasional puppy picspam.

Posted by: Basingstoke (basingstoke)
Posted at: December 25th, 2007 01:37 am (UTC)

bwahhhhh. You and Neil Gaiman; you're in good company.

She's a dear darling. I'm sure you will be very happy. :D And my family adopted an unhousebroken dog about a year old as well, and it took more repetition than with a puppy, but we did manage to train her. (She was also EXTREMELY stupid, so that didn't help.) She's 12 years old now and much loved.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: December 29th, 2007 01:31 pm (UTC)

Believe it or not: she got the idea in a couple of days. I am starting to think she must have been housebroken before, but just hadn't had to remember the rules in a while because she'd been a stray.

She also overcame her initial separation anxiety remarkably quickly. A couple of days, and putting her crate in my bedroom, made her realize, "Oh, yeah, he isn't going away." So I can actually leave to do stuff now, which is a help.

Posted by: cmar_wingnut (cmar_wingnut)
Posted at: December 27th, 2007 02:52 am (UTC)

Sweet! Best wishes to you and your Ciggie.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: December 29th, 2007 01:32 pm (UTC)

Thank you! (My girlfriend calls her Ciggie, too, curiously. When I was a child, I referred to the previous Cigarette as "'Retz." This dog will have a few nicknames, I think.)

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