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Bringing Up Blondie
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These days, some three years after she first entered our home, Blondie is, above all, exuberant. Ask her if she wants to go for a walk and she’ll bow, spin and wag her tail ecstatically. She likes to root around in her milk crate for just the right toy, toss it upward, pounce on it and, with her butt in the air and her tail circling like a helicopter rotor blade, manically bite the squeaker. When I let her in from the back yard where she’s been running full tilt, I always say, “Watch your knee caps.” When the door opens, she comes through it like it’s the starting gate at the track: she bolts up the stairs, through the kitchen and dining room, and slides to a stop as she crosses the living room like a canine Kramer from Seinfeld. But she’s not on the track, and she knows it, sidling over to where I’m sitting and positioning her great chest over my thighs so I can hold her.

Our friends in the adoption group joke that we “failed foster.” It’s the proudest I’ve even been about—and the most I’ve ever enjoyed—failing.

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 76: Winter 2013

Yvonne Zipter is the author of the Dog Writers of Association of America-nominated poetry chapbook Like Some Bookie God, the essay "Life after the Finish Line "in Barbara Karant's photo collection Greyhounds, and numerous other works. She lives in Chicago with her partner and their two retired racing greyhounds where she works as a massage therapist.

theknotwhisperer.blogspot.com

Photography by Barbara Karant

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