Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dogs


Dennis and I really miss Buttercup, it seems lonely without her around to take care of and go on walks with. Sometimes she was a pain in the neck, but we loved her. Maybe we're ready for another dog. So, I'm looking.


Every time a customer comes with a dog at our drive through at work, I want that particular breed. I know all their names. Lester, the lazy basset hound who keeps the bed warm for his owner while he's at work. Reece, the tan chow mix with the perpetual smile. Queenie, the sweet Alaskan malamute who goes to doggie daycare once a week. Ranger, the sled dog that actually pulls a sled. Zaney Blue, the cheerful beagle who loves walks and surprising his owner with mischief when she gets home. Cappuccino, the relaxed and calm long haired Chihuahua,

Lady, the German Shepherd who regally sits upright in the back seat of her teen aged owner's sports car, quietly keeping watch over her young charge--her eyes never leave her.


We had Buttercup so long that I forgot what it was like when we first got her in California. We didn't know what to do with her for several months until we headed to Georgia. We spent a month in the car with her, finally learning how to bond with her as dog owners should. We nearly lost her, she had been suffering with a bladder stone. We took her to two vets, one in the Bay Area before we left, one in Washington state when we visited my parents and no one knew what her problem was. When we got to Georgia, a vet took an x-ray and found the huge bladder stone and performed surgery to remove it.


So, remembering all the lessons and cost of having a dog, including the fortune of having a dog that was as intelligent and compatible with us as she was--we didn't consider a lot of things regarding traits and temperament, we bought her impulsively based on her looks--I am thinking about our next dog a lot harder.


Next dog might not be as big, but not too small. I want a gentle and friendly disposition. I don't mind grooming. We are thinking about getting a puppy, so to train earlier, the trade off is the time factor. When we got Buttercup, I was working at home with my consulting business, so she was never alone. I took her to the park every day and played catch with her and worked on obedience training with her constantly. I love training because I love seeing them actually transform from spoiled hellion to well behaved companion who knows what's expected of her. Buttercup used to jump up on people that she loved, so she could see our faces closer. When I helped her understand that she could still be excited but not jump on us, it was delightful. She would jump up and do a pirouhette mid air, as though she wanted to jump up on me but decided on a ballet move instead.


I love the idea of a St. Bernard puppy, but they are huge and slobber. Golden retreivers seem like a good idea, too. But I want more intelligence, like a German Shepherd. I love smart dogs.

I often think of Lady, and how protective she was of her girl, as though she'd known her since a baby and still watched over her as she drove. St. Bernard's are huge, but I like their natures and heroic pedigree. Since it snows a lot around here, a St. Bernard would be an ideal winter walking dog. I'd feel warm just standing next to her.
It's snowing right now. St. Bernard would be nice right now.

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