For the Love of Picasso

I have a love / hate relationship with Picasso. Not  the artist, but a 100 pound rescue mutt named Picasso. She got her name because she resembled her namesake's self portrait in a twisted, cross-eyed way. An odd combination of cow dog, german shepherd and whatever else was running in the alley the night she was conceived, she has one brown eye and one partially blue, freckles on one side of her face and gigantic mismatched ears.  Let's just say that she was butt ugly not the best looking dog at the pound and I was pretty sure if I didn't take her, she was destined for the doggy gas chamber.

We got off to a rocky start...

Picasso as a running companion? With great enthusiasm, we took to the trails for quality time together. I envisioned long runs with her at my side, strides in sync with all the other runners and their canine counterparts. I've never been completely successful in "trail training" her and she is terrible about crossing in front of me when she smells or sees something that fascinates that mustard seed brain of hers. Once on a run at one of Austin's well-traveled trails, she darted in front of me and  I took a roll down a dusty hill. Covered from head to toe in dirt, I looked like a dirty powdered donut jogging the rest of the way back to the car.  Oh, and there was the asphalt fall that landed me in the emergency room.

Protector? Again not...that is unless you are a squirrel or a cat.  She has made life a living hell for my cat and the tree squirrels in my neighborhood.


Gardening Buddy? She's great if you need digging assistance or a hole in the fence. As I have mentioned in other posts her backyard name is A-hole. That's the name I give her when I look out and see a new excavation in the flowerbed.  By the way, my neighbors actually think that is her name.

Loyal Member of the Pack?
I believe this picture speaks for itself. That's Miss P's nose trying to roll over Tootsie...whose full name ironically is Tootsie Roll so there you go!


So with all of these issues how can I possible love this ball of fur?  At times I really contemplated dumping her on an abandoned highway finding her another home, but everything changed for us on an early morning run a few months ago.  Oblivious to our fate, we were attacked by two roving Rhodesian ridgebacks. It was a vicious attack and, without going into the gory details, I almost lost Miss P that day. Because she was tied to my waist, she was trapped and couldn't escape the relentless attack as they ripped her to shreds.

It was a long haul to get her back in shape...she couldn't walk for a couple of weeks, was on an arsenal of medications and was completely helpless. On the day of her attack everything changed for the two of us. I fell in love with this big, obnoxious, misbehaving beast. She needed me and, truth be known, I needed her too. So true confession, I had always had a soft spot in my heart for her.

Today she is pretty much back to her old self with the exception of a new limp, some wicked scars and an anxiety when another dog approaches too quickly (we both have this anxiety now). We walk now more than run, she still trips me occasionally, pulls me into ditches, digs up flower beds and howls at squirrels.  But now I am a converted art lover and a particular fan of Picasso, an abstract little piece who is a permanent part of our dysfunctional collection.


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