Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Tale of One Puppy

Who me?
As you all know, or may not know, this is my dog, Dickens.  He's a 15 month Cairn terror terrier. Cute, eh?

Let me tell you about what cute doesn't cover.  Cute doesn't excuse the fact that in a past life, he operated as a paper shredder.  He's a literary dog.  Actually, he's selective about the titles he chews.  Very selective.  He leaves the classics alone and makes short work of anything else.

During walks I keep an eye out on the road ahead.  If he spots anything white, he'll get it.  He has a serious white fixation.  White plastic bags, tissues, napkins, drinking straw covers have all fallen victim to his jaws.  "Leave it" works sometimes depending on how worked up he gets.  Ditto what folks toss out of their car windows as inedible.  The Secret Service should hire me for the sidewalk surveillance involved in walking this dog.

Dickens also has a fierce loathing of trucks no matter the model.  A friend well versed in all things canine drew herself up and said, "Of course, he's a terrier.  What did you expect?  This is typical terrier behavior.  They are very determined dogs."  Well, thanks for that news bulletin I didn't take out an ad that said "Must love trucks."  Who thinks of these things as their selecting man's best friend?

Which brings me to the subject of terrier determination .  As I attempt to write this Dickens has decided that he has other things in store for me.  He has tossed his bone into my lap.  Grabbed his rope bone and flung it at me.  Picked up his now empty food dish, only to stare at me with said dish hanging out of his mouth in an Oliver Twist expression that says "More, please."

Ditto for treats.  Neighbors are still giggling about the time Dickens hung off the back of my pants because he felt he deserved a treat.  Or the time he almost pants me in a valiant attempt to help himself to a plastic bag hanging out of my pocket.

This small bundle of cuteness doesn't stop at the word "no".  He hears that as a challenge to be met and eliminated.  "No bark" equals "bark louder" in his mind.  The bark that emanates from that small body would make a soprano at the Met envious.  This little guy shouts one note that commands respect.  As we walk by houses I wonder how many crystal glasses he's shattered.

Despite all his flaws and idiosyncrasies, we are crazy about each other in a very weird relationship way.  He knows when I need a break.  That fierce determination for a walk also serves as "taking care of my lady."  He does know.

Having him as been an introduction to the neighborhood.  Dickens draws folks to him.  The neighbors and I have struck up friendships, support, and security, barking at all.  I apologize for this dog's crazy vocalization.  Many shrug and say, "I didn't notice.  He's too cute."  I am grateful.

We've come a long way with a longer path to follow.  We take care of each other.  There are some days I believe this dog doesn't love me...that he wouldn't know if I fell off the face of the earth.  Then, there are those days as he runs around during a play date with that grin and shining eyes that I can't help but believe he loves me more.

When the tears flow his rapt attention and kisses don't make it all better, but it doesn't hurt either.  He's a compassionate dog.  He has the capability to help me fight the lows and honor the highs.  I'm starting to believe he doesn't want to see me sad.

I've always believed love would never come one's way if were based on our faults.  The love train would pass right through the station.  And, no doubt, if Dickens could right a similar post, he's probably begin with, "Why my lady doesn't understand me."  He'd be correct.  We're still working it all out.  In the meantime, we'll just let love do the heavy lifting.

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