You know when you’re googling “dog reincarnation” that you either are dealing with insomnia (I was), or some highly interesting, if not entertaining, events have been occurring.
It was mid-September last year when I shared the story of how, after losing our beloved Jack Russells, Bonnie and Rosie, and flatly refusing to even consider having another dog for at least a year or two, that two doppelgängers just happened to come to my attention.
Although, when you’re scrolling online through local “Pets Lost and Found,” it’s more than “just happened to come to my attention.” Be that as it may, it was a bit of “Shock and Awwwww!” when the puzzled faces of two 8-week-old litter mates that were virtually identical to our own late dogs, popped up. Long story short, all our rhetoric of “Let’s be dogless for awhile so we can actually travel together,” went flying out the window and Poppy and Posey became immediate Funny Farm residents.
While Poppy has Bonnie’s identical, Jack head, the rest of her body, as well as Posey, are far more hound-like, including their yodel. But the brown and white of Poppy and the tri-color of Posey always give my heart a little gasp when I see them bounding over the fields or sprawled on the sofa. They’re so alike it’s surreal.
And then the character traits began emerging with more frequency.
Bonnie left no doubt that she was the alpha queen in the family as does Poppy. Rosie tended to approach us with an expression that looked as if she had just broken a lamp. That is Posey to the core.
Reading one woman’s account online, who claimed she’d had five incarnations of her dog (and actually proved it by showing that each dog resembled the first, whose markings included the letter “B” on his bum), this isn’t unusual. Sure, you have to make that leap: does reincarnation even exist? If all living things, she suggested, are made of energy and energy never dies, simply goes on to another existence, then … ?
Listen, I dunno. I just find it quite odd that within the last couple of weeks, just as Rosie used to do, Posey has taken up the habit of leaving our comfy-cozy group on the sofa, watching nighttime television, to trot up the stairs and go to bed, thereby staking out her claim against the territorial Poppy. As with Bonnie, this doesn’t go over well with Poppy at bedtime, who fixes her with a steely glare before curling up against my shoulder, obliging Posey to reposition further down by my hip.
When I hook the heavy iron drag to the hitch of my truck to drag the sandy footing of the riding arena, this used to be Jack Crack for our two girls. Don’t ask me what makes driving slowly around in circles so appealing to Jack Russells, but if they were in the house and caught sight of me heading into the arena, they would become utterly hysterical until Paul let them out. Tearing across the yard, they would leap into the front seat and Rosie, doing a wonderful impression of Snoopy perched on top of his dog house, would somehow squat on top of the back of the truck seat to get a better view out the windshield. And she would remain there the entire time looking like a lop-eared vulture.
Posey began doing this last week. She’s twice the size that Rosie was. How she can hunker that 35-pound body to remain balanced on four inches of seat top is beyond me. But perch she does and perched she remains.
Like our first two, Poppy and Posey are loving, jealous, greedy and disgustingly raid the cat-litter box. But really, what dog doesn't? And it should be said that, whereas Bonnie had no fewer than six toys and knew the names of each, Poppy’s idea of entertainment is complete and utter obliteration of anything left before her. When my back is turned, she will pull every plastic container out of the recycling bin and go after them as if they were raw steak. Posey’s vice is paper, cardboard, and my favorite plum-colored cashmere sweater.
“They often come back to console their owners or if they still have lessons to learn,’ wrote one woman in the article I was reading. That rather goes beyond the loyalty dogs are known for, doesn’t it? But it’s a lovely thought.
As far as lessons still to be learned? They’re dogs, for Pete’s sake. What else do they have to learn? Typing? Small engine repair? Actually, as I wind up this column, the answer was made crystal clear.
Vomiting on the wood floor and not my new rug would be ever so nice.