According to her paperwork, Heidi was born on July 15, 2007. I realize the vet chose a date at random because they needed a date, any date. "That seems reasonable ," I can imagine them saying. But, of course, in Arabic, as she was found -- as an adult -- on the streets of Kuwait. Another story for another time...
This all being said, today is theoretically Heidi's 13th birthday. An accomplishment in its own right (13 is pretty old for some breeds), it's a really big deal in our household. We haven't gotten to that age in quite a while. Katie was almost 15. Ellie was almost 14. And then... a string of bad luck. We lost Dingo to osteosarcoma when he was 3 weeks shy of his 10th birthday. Heart disease claimed Vishna 5 months before she would have entered the "teen years." SO CLOSE!
I had big plans for Heidi's special day, which coronavirus squashed. I don't think she minds, though, as she likes to keep things quiet. (Unless the neighbors' cows are involved. Then she knows nothing about 'quiet.')
But I still want to celebrate. Heidi is our special little girl. We jumped through a lot of hoops to bring her home, and for a while, I questioned whether we did the right thing. She was terrified of toys. She was terrified of most floor surfaces. She was terrified of Dingo, the absolute sweetest, gentlest dog I have ever known. When we'd come home, she would barely lift her head in greeting. Some days, she wouldn't even bother at all.
She remains fearful, but her cuteness did slowly begin to shine through. She's got a fun, silly side she only shows a chosen few. She's the best "Snuggluki" in the world, hands down. She bounds through the yard, Saluki Style, to chase chipmunks or bark at cattle. She was my favorite running partner (up until the day she spooked and I landed in PT) because she absolutely loves to run -- ears flapping in the breeze -- even with a Slow Hooman. And, of course, her bed-stacking skills are an art form.
So. What do we have planned for our little Saluki Princess? She's too shy for a big party (plus, you know, the pandemic...) She doesn't like cake -- or peanut butter treats. (She's an odd one. She was the strangest dog we've ever had up until the day we adopted Vesper. But don't tell him I said that!) She does, however, like Vital Essentials Turkey Patties* and Vermont Dog Eats' Napoleon's Nibbles*. And butter. Ahem. And she's decided she's a big fan of the hot dog toy we bought for Katie Greyhound I-do-not-even-know-how-long-ago. I can't believe it still exists! So, I guess that's it.
We'll give her the treats she does like, take her for a nice walk, watch her gnaw on that gross old toy, and of course, give her dibs on the bed of her choice. Yes, I said beds (you think she stops at only one?!). Because you only turn 13 once, right?
Welcome to the teen years, Heidi!
[This blog post originally ran in July 2020]