Black dog

Saturday, Zuzu turned 2.

Zuzu models her new pink bandana with little monkeys on it. She’s not too sure about the camera, but she still hoots like a chimp at times, so the scarf motif is appropriate.

She’s the black dog of our two shepherds, and that’s how people on the street refer to her, but she’s nowhere near as black as dearly departed Toby (nor is she nearly as big-legged). But she is as big-hearted.

Sure, at 2 she’s a 90-pound puppy who’s scared of her shadow but will bowl me over to dart out the doggie door to see why Tess is barking. She’s the 90-pound puppy who lets the babies use her for a stepladder and Jude use her for a pillow. She stays chill when the babygirls poke her in the ears or eyes or pull her tail.

She hops on our bed whenever she feels like it and will barely make room for the grownups to get in. She’s irritating, irrepressible and irresistible. We love her to pieces. Some day she’ll make a fine adult dog.

Her big day, of course, was cause for celebration and a family get-together. Any excuse will do, but we do love our doggies. We made pumpkin frozen yogurt in my parents’ old ice cream freezer, of which I now have custody. Mother says they probably got it in 1961. Still works like a champ. 

The dogs were super-excited about the frozen yogurt and got their own servings and the babies’ leftovers. They also got chew bones and Zuzu got a new squeaky toy, which Tess insisted on opening for her. Aunt Cathy got her a hot-pink bandana, too.

The dogs and babies wore party hats, at least for a while, and Jude and my great-nephew Nathan blew those annoying birthday kazoo-like/horn thingies and sang Happy Birthday to Zu. It was a madcap madhouse for a while.

The birthday girl snitches Sylvia’s leftovers from lunch.

Tess is a party-hat wearer from way back.

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