There are a few differences between my new canine child, Lexie (short for Lexington Sapphire Shores), and the previously mentioned, Go-Go My Walkin’ Pup.  The premier difference seems to be that Lexie pretty much refuses to walk whatsoever.  While Go-Go’s mother brags that she walks her “forwards and backwards too,” I’m forced to report that Lexie prefers to be carried from place to place on a bedazzled pillow, donning a tiara, and snacking on caviar.  In fact, this morning she asked me to fill her bowl with “part fresh squeezed Florida orange juice, part Dom Perignon.” Furthermore, Lexie also fails to show any interest in being tethered down by that thing called, “leash.”  In turn, Go-Go seems particularly attached to hers.

As you know, I’ve been looking for a dog friend for a while now (following an exhaustive lifelong search for human friends of course), so I was elated when I found out that Lexie was available. I was even more elated when I drove an hour-and-a-half in the pouring rain, picked a panicked Lexie up out of her cage in a nondescript trailer park, and made it home with both of us alive.  Throughout the drive, Lexie clung to my arm like a monkey, so I assumed that she’d already taken a shine to me.  She seemed to know that I’m her hero.  She seemed to know that I’m the kind of person Mariah Carey sings about.

Because I got her on Labor Day, Petsmart was closed by the time we got back to our neighborhood, so I rushed into Kroger for some of the essentials.  The “rescue group” had sent her home to me without so much as a rope let alone any kind of food or documentation.  In fact, when I asked which kind of food Lexie had been eating, the woman responded, “dry.”  I wondered if she was describing my sense of humor.  Yes lady, I know the food inside of the bag is dry, but are there by chance any descriptive words written on the outside that might indicate the specific type of “dry”?  “Whatever I have a coupon for.”  Perfect.

While I raced around Kroger like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep, Lexie waited patiently in the car and seemed glad to see me when I returned.  Although clearly nervous, the pup behaved as though she already wondered which BFF necklace to get me for Christmas.  “Yep,” I said to myself, “if I had a pink bike, this is the kind of dog that could ride along with me in the sparkly basket.”  When I got home, I put on her new collar and leash (on her of course) and put her down in the grass for a little exploration.  I knew that being frightened and in a new place, she’d stick with me, her best buddy.

It goes without saying that Lexie took off like a shot.  The dog, who both up until then and since that moment, has refused to saunter two paces without being carried, hopped away like Thumper at a top speed rivaling Hussein Bolt’s.  I lunged at the leash trailing behind her and stepped on it with the precision of a seasoned pro.  At that moment, the “breakaway” cat collar that I had purchased lived up to its name.  Why did I buy a breakway cat collar, you ask?  The only answer I can provide here is that following Kelly Clarkson’s single of the same name, I must have had trouble giving the term, “breakaway,” the respect that it evidently deserves.  And for the real answer… the cat collar came in purple while the dog collars only came in red or black.  Like a person new to the planet, I figured, “well, what’s the difference?”  Take my word for it, friends.  The difference is a vast one.

So there I stood, in the dark and pouring rain, screaming, “Lexie” at an eight pound ball of fur who didn’t have the slightest clue that this term somehow referred to her.  It was as if someone started shouting, “moron,” at me and then became increasingly agitated when I failed to respond.   Meanwhile, a man standing nearby told me that Lexie could “sense my panic.”  If I hadn’t been so “panicked,” I would have taken the time to respond, “you’re right sir.  I’ll calmly stand still and simply wish for the best.”

I continued to chase after my new dog –  the dog who had never been inside her new home, had no tags, and who I had zero proof of ownership over – like a ballistic psychopath.  I had been in this situation at least three times before, and I vowed that if I ever got another dog, I would only get one that would never run away from me.  Ha.  “They” say that all dogs go to Heaven, and at that moment, I could hear Mikey and Winnie laughing their tails off at me.

After chasing Lexie around the yard for several minutes, I sensed I was losing the race and out of desperation, dove down into the mud with my arms outstretched… coming up empty-handed.  She was getting away!  Finally, I felt a temporary sense of relief when I chased her into the corner of a fence.  All relief vanished, however, when she started running through the small hole in the wood. As she darted through her passageway into the abyss, I hit the ground head first and grabbed onto her as though she were the final life raft and I had been traveling to America on the Titanic.  She retaliated by biting me ferociously.  We were both wet, cold, and muddy, and an excruciating pain targeted my right knee.  I could barely walk.  Lexie and I were off to a winning start.

Since that day, I’m happy to report that Lexie has already made strides.  She’s made friends with a few neighbor dogs and is now willing to sit on the couch with me for the length of an entire song.  But a long song.  Like something by Meatloaf.   She has a pink heart-shaped tag, beautiful hair bows, and the new middle name, Sapphire Shores.  So… I think we can all agree that she knew what she was doing when she tried to run away.

Although both “Lexington” and “Lexie” have their own special meanings, I’m guessing that “Sapphire Shores” isn’t a name that most of you are familiar with, so that’s the one that I’ll attempt to explain.  Although there are a few reasons that I went with it, the primary motivation came to me from Lexie’s cousin, Cupcake Sweetie-Pie Kremer.  Although, “Cupcake,” is an obvious selection that needs no introduction, it’s also the name of one of Hasbro’s My Little Ponies.  Ironically, so is “Sapphire Shores.”  And when I read that “Sapphire Shores is a famous popstar in Canterlot” and that “she premiered in the episode, ‘A Dog and Pony Show,”  I knew she was the pony for Lex’s namesake.  Later, when I found out that the pony “speaks with a loud and theatrical voice and frequently inserts  musical intonations into her sentences,” it was obvious to me that I had made the right decision.  Besides, sapphire is the stone of September, the month that we had our joyful homecoming.  Finally, to put the cherry on the sundae, I figured that if Lexington Sapphire Shores grows up to be a stripper, she won’t have to change her name.

Although four days later, I’m still not completely convinced that my knee isn’t fractured, I have to say that I love living with Lexie.  Sure, she’s not exactly potty trained and yes, she still seems a bit startled by my presence, but hey, who isn’t?  I know it won’t be long before she has a favorite Judd song and starts quoting Saved By the Bell in everyday conversation.  It won’t be long at all.