Snuggles does not like to look at the camera. I had to shake her paw to get a picture of her face.
Even then, she tried to turn her head, which produced a blurry nose in this next picture.
A geriatric bichon-frise, Snuggles is not just a pet, but a member of the family.
She is an eternal optimist when it comes to begging for food. She thinks all humans adore her, include my friend who hates small, white dogs. She is scared of the cat, chicken, rabbit and almost any other dog.
When a skunk comes through the backyard, she seems to forget her cowardliness. Hence her multiple tomato paste baths.
She does not usually bark, except when we egg her on. For example, when she is in the car and sees another dog, she might start to growl. At that point, we say, "Attack, Snuggles, attack!" She will then start to bark and carry on like a tough dog...until we roll down the window. Then she'll crawl into the safety of human arms, where she might quietly growl (and we let her), so her tough-dog ego is not completely shattered.
She has a propensity for crawling under or through fences to go visit the neighbors or go on other adventures.
Snuggles always confesses when she is naughty, but not until someone finds the scene of the crime. Often we do not even have to say anything to her. She will be following me around the house and we will come across a tipped-over garbage can. Snuggles will put her tail between her legs, lower her ears and skulk off to her kennel, her body lowered almost to the ground. Sometimes she does this walk in slow-motion, as if she is walking to the guillotine, waiting for any sign of liberating mercy.
Snuggles loves unconditionally. She forgives quickly and is eager to please, even if, for her, that means doing twirls in the kitchen until she gets a treat.
In Snuggles' younger days, she would follow me around the house during the days I was home. Now she likes to loaf on the couch, where she has a clear view of the birds at our bird feeders. I love to have her as a gardening companion, but the minute I turn my back, she stealthily runs off to her spot on the couch.
For all the non-dog-lovers out there, it might be hard to believe this: Snuggles teaches me great lessons on friendship, loyalty, forgiveness, love, cheerfulness, sensitivity and optimism.
Good dog, Snuggles!