Franny is looking curiously over my shoulder as I write this. She lets out a braying laugh ( a very disconcerting noise coming from a Dachshund rather than a donkey ), and says, snidely, ” No, she would be a Poodle.” I detect a black hole of issues here, and decide to ignore her. Of course, I understand that Franny does not like to have the spotlight of my discerning, god-like intelligence ( more braying laughter) focused on any other dog but her, but I’ve always had a certain admiration for Mokie, who parades a kind of je nais se quoi wherever she goes, whatever she does.
This was evident early on. When I brought Mokie home at five months of age, it was like the Oscars had descended on our house. The male dogs were at her side instantly, behaving like they’d just donned cummerbunds and tails. (Ok, bad pun.) Mokie accepted their obeisance with all the charm and smooth approval of a French courtesan. Her hindquarters swished like a metronome, her ears were pert and cocked, and her expression was one lifted eyebrow of superior bemusement with a promise-of-future- delights kicker. Franny was not amused. Like an older actress narrowing her eyes at the red carpet arrival of a fresh ingenue, Franny saw her privileges, her status, and her appeal to Fritz and Izzy decimated like the clueless extras in a slasher movie. When she did condescend to a brief sniff of Mokie’s puppy bouquet, her worst fears were realized. Where the male dogs found an ocean of ambrosial delights, Franny detected a sink of slut-dog stench that made Mokie’s eventual dominance a mere matter of time.
But there was more to Mokie than her scent, her curly dappled coat or the come- hither whisper of her sinuously flourished tail. And Franny knew this. If that was all it was, Franny could have held onto the boys by simply being in heat when Mokie wasn’t. She could also stop biting her suitors faces when they hopped off her bony, unforgiving flanks. (Many were the times I watched her curl her hind end toward the unlucky stud, enticing, then frisk away, offer encouragement, then a snarl when the mount appeared to be eminent, and finally, with a perverse sense of gratitude when the act was consummated, destroy the poor fellow’s post coital bliss in a sudden slash attack that guaranteed he’d never come back for more. She was like a tease on a mission. It’s a wonder she ever had any litters. The ones she had, she loved to distraction. Go figure. Men and dogs, if they could only talk together, would have a lot to discuss, oui?)
But bitches living together eventually come into heat together, and Franny found that even if a stud saw her first, which usually guaranteed the full thirty seconds of courtship, falling in love, and pledge of undying fealty that passes for canine commitment, she would find herself summarily dumped when Mokie, who always arrived late to the party, sashayed into view. Franny tried to rectify this situation many times. She flirted with the stud; she proffered her nether quarters, practically chasing them down to make the connubial offering; she kissed them, licked them, winked at them. To no avail. They were all in love with Mokie. They didn’t have to know why. Like reporters and paparazzi converging on Bardot, Loren, Bacall, Monroe, all they knew was something glorious, some accidental arrangement of genes of electrifying enchantment, had just entered the room.
I think it was around that time that Franny changed her strategy. Building on her natural intelligence and ability to think circles around any adversary, her need for control, her predatory instincts, and her persuasive whining and love of grandstanding, Franny has decided to run for congress.