This might be cheating because Beignet Gibson Arceneaux is my baby canine. Except I guess she qualifies as a full grown dog now that she is NINE years old. However, she still acts more like a 7 month old puppy.
Up until my 6th grade year, the only pet that had graced the Arceneaux household was a fish that lived for three days. Oakes and I asked a few times for a dog, but the answer was always no. I'm still not sure what changed in that year for "dog" to become part of Sharbear and Paul's vocabulary, but one Saturday afternoon we all piled into the car for a trip to PetSmart to gawk at the Second Chance Adoption dogs.
After talking Paul out of a pit bull, we fell in love with Beignet, then named Arwin. She had a buddy named Frodo. Rescued from a puppy mill sometime in December, she entered our family around April-ish. Her foster owner dropped her off with a caution that it could take some time to change her name. False. She answered to Beignet almost immediately--as if she had been waiting for the Arwin curse to be lifted. I spent my first few days with our new furry friend laughing at her fear of stairs and laying on the floor while she repeatedly licked my face. We named her Beignet because of her white (sometimes of the off variety) fur, reminiscent of the powdered sugar on the beignets from Cafe du Monde in the New Orleans French Quarter. Gibson was inspired by the infamous Mel Gibson because of his production of The Passion of the Christ that year.
Beignet had free reign of our giant yard in Raleigh, but I remember the yelps that would resonate when she would try to chase the deer beyond her electric fence line. A hater of squirrels, she chases them all, but has yet to catch one. She did, however, snag a bunny and brought that little treat into the foyer in Raleigh. Sharbear was so pleased.
We drugged her for our move to Beaumont, certain that she wouldn't do well with such a long drive. Every so often I would look back from my game of Tetris to see her dumb grin with her tongue lolling to the side.
Her domain in Beaumont was quite a bit smaller, especially due to the pool. She avoided the vat of water like the plague, but on one unfortunate occasion, slipped on the waterfall and fell into the deep end where she ironically struggled to doggy paddle.
Beiegnet is a relatively smart American Eskimo mutt, but she has some quirks. Sometimes she'll randomly decide that now is a good time to snap at your face if you lean over her too closely. Sometimes she'll take time to roll in the mud and dirt in our Oklahoma City backyard. Sometimes she'll dash off in fear of an electrical cord or a trash bag. But she'll sit, stay, shake, dance, lay down, and pray with the best of them if a Milkbone dangles in the balance.
She's not a lapdog, but she'll stick close through storms, even the emotional kind. It's no secret that Paul is her favorite member of the family, but she tolerates A Very Lucky Girl.