She's just a dog. A mutt, even. Part Catahoula Leopard, other parts unknown. She was unwanted and unloved and whoever owned her mother unceremoniously dumped this mutt and her litter mates along the side of the rode up north toward Mt. Shasta.
Her luck changed the day the Marin Humane Society, as part of their pet partnership program with the local overcrowded shelter, brought her down here.
Our maybe it's our luck that changed that day nearly four years ago.
In the end, though, she's just a dog. From the moment she rested her head on my knee when we met her at the Humane Society, all she's ever been is a dog.
She howls at the sound of sirens.
She chases a ball incessantly, only stopping when she collapses from exhaustion and near-heat-stroke.
She will not leave me alone in the morning until we go to the field so she can chase balls.
And she will start harassing us again starting at about 3 p.m. each day because she needs to be taken out to chase balls.
She treats Pete and me as her servants, always wanting to go out. Or, no, wait, come in. No, no, no, back out. Oh, back in.
She envies us our opposable thumbs.
When she sees us first thing in the morning, her whole body submits at the pleasure. You can say it's because she sees us, even though we might think it's because she wants breakfast.
She is just a dog.
And she has a tumor on her backside. We'll find out on Monday precisely what it is. The best hope for Corrie the Wonder Mutt is that it is benign and she'll have outrageously expensive surgery on Thursday or Friday.
And she will continue to be just a dog. Our dog.