Carolyn Melf “Do ya wanna play some football?” “Puffins” and “Decadence” Background: BS Communication, CSU, Chico Previous publications: Contributor: Paradise Post, Insideout Magazine, Newsletter column "Melf Musings" for Paradise Garden Club Inspiration: 1-The pleasure of owning my 1 year old shih tzu, "Iris" 2-Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport, Oregon, Puffin Flight Enclosure 3-Owner of iris and peony garden called Iris Spring. This iris is called "Decadence" Medium: Digital photography
The Gift: MINDY even-tempered, and very sweet; she was our then losing her was devastating. Her little Angel. But this little dog!!!!!! Is determined to body just wore out and we couldn't let her suf- get her own way, no matter what she has to do, fer any more. We took her to our Veterinarian or how long it takes her to do it. She pesters, and he put her to sleep. She went quickly and she barks, she whines with so many different peacefully. However, I did not take it peaceful- intonations, until it gets to an unnerving ly and had to flee the office, get away from the shriek! However, she does mind us and if we building entirely. It was one of the hardest tell her to knock it off, she does. She would be things we ever had to do. It was her time. She a tyrant and a dictator if we let her. We will not!!! However she makes it known that she calmly accepted it and went gently. We were not ready to go out anytime soon does not like it one bit. She will plant herself and get another dog just to fill space. As far as right in front of us and with her head on her I was concerned no dog would or could ever paws she proceeds to give us the dirtiest take her place. I did not want to go through looks. She is pouting!!!! Big Time! Hopefully, that kind of pain and hurt again, ever! As it she will grow up and get over herself, but in the meantime patience, patience, patience! turns out I was very wrong. The credit for the “Modern Shih Tzu” goes After several months of missing Tessa’s kisses, playing, and especially her exuberant to the Dowager Empress, who was considered greetings that she bestowed upon us after to be the most powerful figure in China durrunning errands and leaving her, we received ing the last half of the 19th Century and the a call from our Veterinarian that his wife first decade of the 20th Century. She was the breeds Imperial Shih Tzu’s and that they just last Empress influential in the development had a batch of puppies, three to be exact, so I of the Shih Tzu as we know it today. The Shih Tzu was nearly completely decided to go over and check them out. There was one female and two males. We really destroyed in Post-World War II in China. The weren’t sure we wanted another Shih Tzu. We breed had already made its appearance into thought another breed might lessen our England and America where it eventually thoughts of Tessa and her breed, maybe a was distinguished as a separate breed from Pug, Chihuahua, poodle? Besides it was like a the Lhasa Apso. In 1955 the AKC allowed the betrayal to Tessa and her breed. I told myself Shih Tzu to be shown in all breed dog shows. it was just my curiosity to check these pup- Finally in 1969 the AKC allowed Shih Tzu’s to pies out, with no intention of getting another be registered and five months later the Shih Shih Tzu. Right? Wrong! We fell in love the Tzu was eligible to compete in AKC shows for minute we stepped inside the door and saw championship points. Mindy’s father was Sire those beautiful tiny puppies playing and hav- “Sam I Am the Tzuaa” from a long line of ing so much fun. There was one in particular champions. Her mother was Dame Zoey’s that was really enjoying every minute of beat- “Miss Mimi Sparkles.” These little dogs go ing up her brothers, She was relentless, biting back as far as 1000 BC and they are all of ears, tails, anything she could get a hold of. “Tibetan Origin.” They were originally bred They were having so much fun tumbling and exclusively for Chinese Royalty and were romping, I fell in love with them all. But it called little temple dogs. Imperial Shih Tzus was MINDY, that really caught my eye, she were given as gifts to China as early as the was the ONE!! She was definitely the Moxie Ching or Manchu Dynasty. female, who would not let her brothers get the Mindy was given to us as a gift from Tessa, best of her, the tough one, and without a all 7 pounds of attitude and moxie, yet so full doubt, THE BOSS!! The Alpha Female. This of love. And we don’t have to be Royalty. We little girl was not taking any guff from her thank Tessa, our Angel for her precious gift. brothers, no way, no how. She was” MINDY” Just hope Mindy doesn’t wear us out before and she was going home with us. our time. We love animals, it doesn’t matter This was the “GIFT.” We got to take her what kind of an animal, as long as it has legs home a week before Christmas! Mindy was 8 and doesn’t slither. I would love to have anothweeks old, and a handful, but we loved her to er companion for Mindy, but we can’t have death. Christmas that year was the Best and more than one dog where we live, maybe some the Worst. The best was, we had Mindy, the day. In the meantime Mindy is more than Worst? Well, we didn’t have Tessa (after 15 enough. For those who are wondering, Shih years of Christmases) and she was very much Tzu is pronounced “Shid Zoo”. missed. It seemed strange not to have her A footnote: Mindy will be 4 years old this year with us. But we will hopefully, have that many and is still full of attitude and moxie! She is as Christmases with our gift, Mindy. Mindy is gorgeous, she has the longest flow- bossy as ever, but we love her more each day ing eyelashes you have ever seen. Any woman and she us. would die for those lashes. She has a little black button nose that matches her huge black eyes. She is a beautiful mix of white Joan Peisley and gold, a hint of black here and there. She “The Gift: MINDY” is very spoiled. She is pampered, and most of Background: One class in writing all she is loved. But of course she knows that and she gives us back so much of that love Inspiration: My love of words and animals. totally and unconditionally. She is so very difMedium: Short Story ferent from our Tessa. Tessa was so laid back, Thursday, July 30, 2009 • A rts & L etters • PARADISE POST 25
Having our Shih Tzu (Tessa) for 15 years
Collection of Ridge Artists and Writers works.