Blitzen IV[1]

If you visit our home and ring the door bell, you will be greeted by the loud and happy barking of our dog2, Blitzen IV, usually referred to just as Blitzen or Blitz3.  The IV refers to the fact that she is the 4th in a string of4 black Labrador retriever dogs5 that we have had over a period of about 38 years.  Both Don and I (and now our children) are exceptionally6 fond of these big, friendly, gentle animals.  We have loved them all but we both think this one is extra special.

 

When Blitzen III died, Don tearfully7 announced that he didn’t want another dog because it hurts too much when the family pet dies.  However, I was determined that we WOULD have another Blitzen when the time was right.  The following summer we went to our vacation home8 in McCall, Idaho9; soon after our arrival there, a neighbor pointed out to us that the animal shelter10 in McCall listed the availability of a 4-month old black lab11.  The following morning we visited the shelter, and by noon were home with our new puppy12.  We knew nothing about her excepting that she had been found in the big state park13 in the nearby national forest14.  She obviously had ridden in automobiles before15, as she immediately jumped in ours16, determined to go with us to whatever new home she would have.  She was well trained17 and made herself at home in our condo18 immediately.  In fact, when Don took a nap19 after lunch, she crawled20 up on his stomach and napped with him.  There was no question about the fact that she knew how to “bond21.”

 

Blitzen is now almost nine years old and is a very important part of our life.  Don takes her out for long walks.  I don’t know who enjoys that activity the most.  She has a wonderful sense of time.  Of course, she always knows when it is 5:00 in the afternoon, for that is when she gets fed.  If we go more than ten or fifteen minutes after that hour she starts making a “yowling22 sound  to remind us of our neglect23.  She also knows that Kim gets off work at 3:00pm and will be home shortly after24.  By 3:00 she is in front of the door waiting for Kim’s car to enter the driveway   She also knows when we are going to have company for dinner25.  As soon as she sees the extra place mats26 on the table, she stations27 herself under the table so that she can get some extra morsels28 from whoever is sitting there.  We have some long time friends29 who often eat with us on Tuesday evenings.  I think she knows it’s Tuesday long before we set the table as she is there waiting ahead of time.  She also knows when it’s bedtime, and if she thinks it’s getting late, lets us know it’s time to go to bed.  She likes sleeping at the foot of our bed30.

 

On Thanksgiving our son Jim brought his young Shih Tzu puppy31 Lucky with him when he came for dinner.  Blitzen wasn’t sure she wanted to share her territory32 with this new young intruder33 but reluctantly34 did so.  All went well until I let Blitz have the potato dish to lick35 and the puppy had the audacity36 to want to share.  Blitz chased37 him away, but fortunately Lucky decided not to be afraid of “Aunt” Blitzen38, and peace was restored39.  After Jim and Lucky went back to Des Moines, Blitzen went throughout the house40 to make sure that all of her dog toys were still here.  She seemed satisfied that all was well, and slept the sleep of a truly exhausted41 dog for the rest of the evening.  

 

Blitz has a special relationship with each of us.  Don is principal feeder and walker42; I am the comforter43 she comes to when it storms, for she is afraid of the sound of thunder44.  Kim is the one who plays tug-of-war45 games with her and her toys and takes her for rides in her car.  Now it is Jim who brings that puppy with him!!!!!  She’s not sure she’s happy about that.  She doesn’t really want to share any of us with any other dog. 

Notes:
1. Blitzen IV (布利茨4): the name given to our Black Laborador dog (拉布拉多,一种狗).  Each of our dogs has been named Blitzen – meaning “lightening” in German – because each has had a white streak-like mark on the broad, black chest.  The designation of IV indicates that this is the fourth of these dogs we have had as pets.
2. you’ll be greeted by the loud and happy barking of our dog: the loud and happy barking of our dog will be the first thing you hear (when you arrive) (你首先听到的会是我们那只狗的大声高兴的叫声).
3. referred to as Blitzen or Blitz: 被称作Blitzen 或Blitz
4. a string of: a number of similar things or events coming one after another (一连串,一系列)
5. black Laborador Retriever (黑色拉布拉多猎犬): a specific breed or type of dog which are known for their pleasant disposition and gentle behavior as well as their ability to hunt and retrieve game animals and birds.
6. exceptionally: unusually
7. tearfully: sadly with tears evident.
8. vacation home: usually a second home, often in mountains or lake areas, etc. with beautiful scenery not present in the primary home.
9. McCall, Idaho: the name of a small town in the valley of high mountains in the state of Idaho, a resort town which initially was an area for mining and lumber production but now known as an area for excellent fishing, hiking and camping in the summer and hunting, skiing and other winter sports.
10. animal shelter: a place where homeless or lost animals are cared for until they can be returned to their owner, or placed with a new family (动物避难所).
11. lab: laborador (拉布拉多狗)
12. puppy: a young dog
13. state park: a large tract of land set aside and maintained by the state of Idaho (爱达荷州立公园).
14. national forest: a large area of wooded land owned by the federal government (国家森林).
15. She obviously had ridden in automobiles before: 显然在这之前她乘过汽车。
16. ours: our car
17. well trained: 受过良好训练。Usually this means that some person has taught her what she should or should not do in a house, around other people and other dogs, etc.
18. condo: (AmE.) an abbreviated name for condominium; (one apartment in) a building with several apartments, each of which is owned by the people living in it (公寓楼,公寓楼中的一套公寓)..
19. took a nap:  took a short sleep, especially during the day. .
20. crawled: 爬行
21. to bond: to become emotionally closely associated with someone (建立感情/友谊).
22. yowling: making a loud, long mournful noise typical of expressing a desire for something, or a show of displeasure (哀号).
23. neglect: 疏忽
24. shortly after: soon after a particular point in time (很快).
25. company for dinner: people invited to dinner.
26. place mats: smaller flat protective items placed on a table instead of a table cloth to avoid damage to the table (餐桌上放盘子、刀叉用的垫子).
27. stations: places oneself in a specific location or position.
28. morsels: small bits of food  (少量,一点).
29. long time friends: friends who have been one’s friends for many years (多年的朋友).
30. the foot of our bed: the end of our bed (我们的床头).
31. ShihTzu puppy: a young, small breed of dog, originally from China, but now widely spread as a pet (小西施犬).
32. territory: an area of living, or an area under one’s control (领地).
33. intruder: an individual or animal in a place where it is not welcomed (不速之客,不受欢迎者).
34. reluctantly:不情愿地
35. to lick:舔
36. audacity: boldness or arrogance in behavior of a person or animal (大胆,无畏).
37. chased: driven away; force away from a place (赶走).
38. “Aunt Blitzen”: a joking name given to Blitzen IV as the elder female dog.
39. restored: renewed or returned to the rightful state or place (恢复).
40. throughout the house: in every part of the house
41. exhausted: extremely tired; worn out (疲惫不堪的).
42. feeder and walker: one who provides a pet with food and exercise (喂狗和遛狗的人).
43. comforter: one who quiets, consoles and assures another person or a pet which is bothered (安慰者).
44. the sound of thunder: 雷声
45. tug-of-war games:拔河游戏

blitzen

blitzen-with-hat-on

 

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