Saturday, August 01, 2009

2litlegirls and 1littledog

We've put another addition onto our home. This one comes in the form of a Whippet, Jack Russell, and Kangaroo mix. Or as I like to call her, a Smorgasbord, Meet Daisy.

My wife and I are dog people. Very much out-of-practice dog people, but dog people nonetheless. From the moment I was born to the day I left for college I always lived with a canine sibling (sharing a bed with an overweight yellow lab for 13 years, in fact). Since the girls were born, we'd often contemplated when the right time to introduce a dog to this house would be. So naturally we made the financial decision to add an expense to the household while I'm currently unemployed. Yup, careful decision making here. Truth be told, after putting the addition on the house, I didn't have a whole lot of interest in muddy paws messing up those brand new carpets just yet. But my lovely wife accidentally came across this little critter on the Internet, was smitten, and that was that. Be damned, the lack of paycheck! We're getting a dog!

Daisy was a stray picked up by Animal Advocates. Frankly she was quite a deal. She came housebroken, crate trained, microchipped, and spayed. She included a nicer carrying case (her crate) than the last power tool I bought. The family that fostered her told us she was a great dog for kids, though a tad on the "needy" side. She even had some basic training. In fact when she first got home we gave her a biscuit, which she promptly carried into the kitchen to eat lest she soil the living room carpet. Good dog.

Yeah, that needy thing. The moment I sat down to type this she realized I wasn't in the same room as her, dashed into the office, and jumped onto my lap. I hope this Mac's keyboard responds well to slobber.

Truth be told, we couldn't have done better. Okay, she's a little bit on the small side, but at least she's not the sort of dog you would carry in a diamond-studded bag through your local mall. for years I told my wife that my one requirement of a dog is that it be able to jump into my Jeep Wrangler on its own. I sold the Wrangler four years ago, but the rule still applies.

They say a loose Whippet is a lost Whippet. This part is going to take some adjustment. Growing up, the act of taking my dog for a walk involved opening the front door and saying, "see ya later". Only an hour after getting Daisy home, I went outside to get something and mistakenly left the workshop door slightly ajar. Within seconds I saw this flash as she launched herself like a fighter plane off an aircraft carrier. I figured we were in for the shortest period of dog ownership in history. But luckily I caught up with her when she stopped to examine he neighbor dog's poop, and even more luckily I got her just before she rolled in it.

The girls, of course, were beside themselves when we got her. We surprised them as they got off the camp bus, and the screams of delight were unreal. Thus ensued hours of "Daisy! C'mere Daisy! Daisy! Daisy! Daisy! Daisy! Daisy! Daisy! Daisy! Daisy! Daisy! Daisy! Daisy! Daisy! Daisy! I'm thinking we should have named the dog "space bar".

Daisy's first night was almost frighteningly flawless. As I mentioned she came with a crate, which we strategically positioned in a corner of our bedroom. After we tucked the kids in for the night and Daisy went in to check on them several times, she decided it was time to crash, and came into our bedroom. First she found a place for herself in the middle of the bed. After I kicked her off, she decided a good location would be on the floor in front of the bed. Then, just for kicks, I led her into her crate, where she settled down and I shut the door. And the next time we heard from her it was 7:30 in the morning. I NEVER thought that would go so smoothly, especially the first night in a new home.

Taking Daisy to the fenced-in dog park was an interesting time. Until that point, Daisy had been a pretty mellow, sedate sort of pup. But as we approached the gate to the park and she saw the local competition, she shifted into high gear. It was there we learned she can actually bark. We also learned that for a small female dog, she's got balls of steel. While still on the leash, she confronted the biggest, meanest looking shepherd she could find and, snarling and growling ferociously, she made it clear who was the new queen of the castle. At first we thought, hmmm, maybe this "dog" thing wasn't such a good idea after all, but an older, seasoned gentleman with three dogs older than him told us that she was just establishing her turf, and once she was off leash she'd be fine. So I took a deep breath, removed the leash, and off she went. And he was right. Daisy had a blast. She dashed around, jumping and playing with all the other canines, sniffing every new butt she could find. Running at a speed just under that of sound, whenever she came across an obstacle (like another dog, a rock, or one of my children) she'd simply jump over it without slowing down. we were highly impressed by her vertical leap.

So it appears this dog thing may just work out. Our only issue with her right now is her current tendency to growl and bark violently whenever she comes across another dog during her regular walk, but hopefully that's nothing a little obedience training won't cure. Now if I can just remember to keep the danged door closed (I repeated my mistake on day two, and luckily she dashed right into my arms), we might just be able to keep her around for a while.

1 comment:

Howard said...

Your wife met her in a chat room?!?