Stephanie Stricklen

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She looks mean and she's NOT cute.

by Stephanie Stricklen

Posted on December 29, 2008 at 2:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:42 PM

I don't know how your Christmas turned out, but mine was awesome. We ate too much and did a whole lot of sitting around with family and just generally had a nice, easy-going Christmas. And it snowed, which made all that Snowpocalypse worth it for me. I can't remember having a white Christmas, ever.

The snow was great. It lasted forever (by Portland standards), and one of those days while I was washing the dishes I could see out of the window the neighbor boy behind us-- eyeballing the vast expanse of snow that was our backyard. It looked like he was possibly trying to reach over the fence for something. Our new puppy Harley just sort of watched him indifferently.

Well, I think I have a clear idea of what may have happened now.

The husband called me a little bit ago to tell me that he heard a knock on our back door. It was the neighbor behind us who wanted us to know there was "a very large, mean-looking pit bull" in her backyard. The husband told her that didn't sound like our dog, who is only 45 pounds and a shar pei mix.. so, he asked her if the dog was brown-ish and cute to which she said, "NO. This dog looks mean and is NOT cute."

The husband hollered for Harley, figuring she was behind the garage or in these huge bushes she likes to patrol. She's an indoor dog who would really rather be left outside, but I'm just not having it. So, until we get a dog door installed, she goes out for half-hour stretches where she can scout for squirrels.

Only, when the husband called for Harley-- she came sprinting up to him and the neighbor said, "That's the dog!"

Poor Harley. No one thinks she's cute but us, I guess. You do recall that she sat in the Oregon Humane Society for 6 weeks. I suspect that's because because she does have a certain intensity to her gaze-- which is actually nothing like her true goofball personality.

Here's a pic of that "stare" that she gives:

Well, everyone got to meet each other and it turns out we have a gate we didn't know existed between our yard and that neighbor's place. We have a big backyard that's fully fenced-- but this gate was a surprise to all of us. It's stuck in between some bushes behind our shed. I suspect that boy I spotted might have been goofing off and unlatched it during the snow storm but no one noticed it was open until it all melted, including the dog. The husband has now wired it permanently shut. And I'm just glad the neighbor's backyard was fenced, too.

But I still can't help but to smile.. poor, poor Harley. The most-affectionate, wrumply mutt I've ever had just can't get past her tough-looking exterior.