Mazzy is a teenager. Actually, her first birthday was in July so I'm not quite sure where she stands in dog years, but she's already acting the moody, aloof part of a teenage girl. When it's just the two of us everything is cool, much like when my sister, clad in braces and over-sized flannel shirts, would, in the walls of our own home, hug my dad and smile rather than rolling her eyes and scowling like she did in public. Lounging on my couch with no one else around, Mazzy curls up by my feet and occasionally glances up from her canine half-sleep to stare at me contentedly before stretching, sighing, and curling back into the lima bean shape that marks her deepest state of relaxation.
But as soon as we're in public, I might as well be wearing a shirt that says "World's #1 Dad". On walks, Mazzy nods at other dogs and then looks at me as if to say, "Check out this guy. He's not really my owner, I'm just letting him walk me because I have to. It's part of my probation." It was bad enough when, after straddling a friend's dog's face, I thought she might be a tramp, but at least then she still acted like she couldn't live without me. Now she flashes ass to other dogs and then acts like I don't exist.
The culmination of Mazzy's descent into pubescence happened this weekend. I had been out of town on business for two weeks and Mazzy was staying with friends who own a young puppy and have a massive backyard. I pulled into their driveway late on Friday looking forward to having an Old Yeller moment. Mazzy was going to sprint to me, leap into my arms, and lick my face uncontrollably. Instead, after my friends opened the garage door and let Mazzy wander into the driveway, I was greeted by a look that said nothing more than, "Oh, it's you." There was no running, leaping, or licking. Mazzy gingerly sniffed at my shoes and jeans and then turned around and walked back into the garage as if to collect her things. The fun was very clearly over.
Today things are a little better. She has regained some of her goofiness and is lounging by my feet as I write this, but earlier when I sang and danced to "Train In Vain" by The Clash, a ridiculous display that usually riles Mazzy into a fit of playfulness, I swear she snorted at me and sauntered back into the living room. Pretty soon I'll catch her putting her paw down her throat and throwing all of her Science Diet up into the shaded corner of the backyard or sneaking under the fence to go run around with the neighborhood German Sheppard. I should have gotten a male dog.