It's been a week since we welcome our new housemate and it seems to be working out. I've always been more of a cat (felix purrus) person, but I really do like most animals. So when Kitty's cat (felix sneezus) allergy grew to an unexceptable level, it was time to investigate a different type of animal and that meant a dog. Let's face it: a fish was out of the question (you can't make a pet out of something that was meant to be fried). Ditto a rabbit (nature designed them to bring chocolate eggs, not to fetch, roll over, or pee in the neighbor's garden). A snake? Forgettaboutit. Llamas, pigs or goats would be nice, but they are seldom housebroken and our property owners association forbids them. Chickens? Fresh eggs would be nice, but see above re: housebroken, property owners association, and animals meant to be fried. Thus, a dog.
Now, we had dogs when I was a kid (Teddy, whom I don't really remember, and Polly, a half-Newfoundland half-Saint Bernard who would go into the woods on a hot summer day and laze in a stream, coming back out of the woods once she -- and the day -- had cooled, frightening passers-by who mistook her for a bear) and Kitty also had dogs (Dinny, a black cocker spaniel, and then Yancy -- yes, she named him for Yancy Derringer -- a large, protective German Shepherd with an instinctive dislike for men, especially men who came near Kitty -- worse luck for me). When our kids were growing up, we had Molly (a Black Lab pup who was just too active for us) and McGillicuddy (a snaggle-toothed Pekinese who thought he was smarter than we were and might have been right).
So last week we rescued Declan from the shelter, an eight-year-old neutered Black Lab (canis stupiditus). Declan had been to the shelter before and had been adopted. The adoptor snuck back to the shelter at night and left the Declan in an outdoor cage. When the shelter contacted him, he refused to take the dog back. There didn't seem to be anything wrong with Declan and I expect the owner had reasons that had nothing to do with the dog (expenses, maybe? lost job, maybe? moving, maybe? Who knows?)
Declan is a sweet dog. Housebroken. (Yea!) Gentle. (Yea!) Great with kids. (Yea!) Sometimes will sit on command. (We're working on it.) Really, really, really loves us. (He's not smart enough to pull this off if it was an act.) Can't understand why I'll fill his water dish four or five times a day and won't do the same for his food bowl. (Canis stupiditus, remember?) Is not a barker. (Well, barking at squirrels, passing dogs, people coming up the steps, and invisible air monsters don't really count.) Does not like vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, or the dishwasher. (They could be in league with the invisible air monsters, you know?) Likes to sleep. (We're sympatico, he and I.) Does not pull on the leash. (Squirrels, passing dogs, and invisible air monsters an obvious exception.) Is going to need some work on learning to heel. (I need the exercise.) Does not answer to his name. (He's convinced his name is the sound of Old Roy pouring into his food bowl -- canis stupiditus, remember?)
It's been an interesting week. I'm looking forward to many more.