BARBARA

This. This is Kelsey.

Kelsey is a fourteen and a half year old diabetic Yorkshire Terrier.

Kelsey wasn’t always diabetic.

Prior to that, Kelsey was an unpredictable agent of terror.

Kelsey began her life as my sister’s dog. Within a few years, she had ascended to supreme dictator of my parent’s home. To this day, it is still unknown if she is responsible for such incidents as the ceiling tiles collapsing in the living room leading to the premature death of a parakeet or giving the previous family dog cancer.

Please note, Kelsey is totally fine with guinea pigs, though, as they are generally in cages on the floor… Beneath her.

Most importantly, Kelsey has always been possessive of her toys.

That’s the bunkey.

That’s the monkey and an unknown toy whose squeaker was torn from its soul much too soon.

This is Barbara.

Barbara was once used as a device to establish that I should not be in a relationship with someone. Of course, being that this was a dog establishing this, the communication was unclear.

It should also be noted that Kelsey is fluent in the English language. She doesn’t just understand commands. She understands them and usually ignores them. Kelsey knows the names of all her toys and, perhaps most frightenly, if she has multiples of a certain toy, can bring you the right color.

This is a Yorkie you can not trust.

I was in yet another one of my great many long distance relationships and she was in town for an extended weekend. Following a dinner out with my family, we were hanging out on the couch. The television was on.

And up jumped Kelsey with Barbara in her mouth.

Nobody move.

With Kelsey being as possessive as she is about her toys, a visitor’s instinct to take the toy from the doggie’s mouth and… ‘Play’… Is the WRONG INSTINCT.

It was a trap.

Dare to take Barbara from her mouth and Kelsey will wreck you like a gremlin after midnight (though I don’t know if that reference works because I’ve never seen the movies because the previews scared the crap out of me). We awaited the forthcoming growl, but one never came.

This is when things got tactical.

Kelsey dropped Barbara. She dropped Barbara from her mouth.

Kelsey dropped Barbara from her mouth into the lap of my long distance visitor.

Things were too quiet – even with the television on.

Barbara might as well had a red wire and a blue wire, one of which had to be disconnected to keep everything from exploding. But, on the flip side, Kelsey had never done this before. It was unprecedented. Maybe this was a sign. Maybe this was a very good sign for this relationship.

Nope.

Now, Kelsey has a bipolar, Jekyll & Hyde, Fight Club, personality so anything was possible. After dropping Barbara into the lap of my long distance visitor, she looked up to her with her cute face. As this was a time where digital pictures were barely a thing, I can only provide a modern day representation…

IT WAS STILL VERY IMPORTANT TO NOT TOUCH BARBARA.

15 Seconds passed. Maybe 30.

Perhaps Kelsey was providing a peace offering. Maybe Kelsey was showing her approval. Maybe Kelsey was accepting my long distance visitor with potential for a long term relation—

Nope.

Kelsey’s cute look turned. First she looked down at the long distance visitor’s lap. The tension in her body (Kelsey’s, not my long distance visitor) is most accurately represented in this photo:

And then, Kelsey looked up at my long distance visitor…

And then came the slow building grumbling growl. A slow building grumbling growl that usually crescendos with an uncertain reactive outburst.

The options were limited:

1) Run.

2) I could fall into her lap and onto the proverbial sword, taking a potential attack on myself… Chivalrous.

3) Attempt to swat Barbara off the long distance visitor’s lap, hoping Kelsey follows… Chance of success: 43%.

4) Run.

The stress level was such that I don’t clearly remember what followed. I know no one was harmed as a result. What I did know when all was said and done… the message was clear…

Anytime Kelsey wants.

Anytime Kelsey decides.

Kelsey can end this.

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