That’s my dog. Pretty cute isn’t he? I’m biased but I think he’s the cutest dog in the entire world. He’s actually pretty smart too. He can catch a soft Frisbee, fetch his tennis ball, do quite a number of commands and he helps bring the groceries upstairs when we come home from the store. It’s usually only a can of something or a box of pasta salad but he earns his keep and I appreciate his heart and effort.
After I got him the first question people asked was what breed is he? Now for some reason breed seemed to be very important at first so, when asked I would say: “oh, he is a Basenji, Nova Scotia Duck Toller, Chihuahua, Retriever, Chow, Terrier mix”. The response was usually, “a Basenji what?” I know, it’s quite a mouthful right? Well now when someone asks I just tell them he’s an all American mutt. Not just any mutt mind you he is 100 percent booger rolled up into a terror terrier mutt, but I love him very much. He is my little buddy. I enjoy taking him every where I go. I also enjoy watching him do his terrier thing. There are times, I must confess, he does something that leaves me wondering, “why in the world are you doing that?”
OK, don’t judge me. I know that’s a very large basket of dog toys. You know how some people buy watches, or jewelry or precious moments figurines; well I buy my dog toys. I am a compulsive dog toy purchaser. There I admitted it. So now that I have confessed to, well a handful of people, I am on my way to being free. Hallelujah!! The first step to freedom is admitting you have a problem right?
Anyway, my dog enjoys bobbing for toys the way most kids enjoy bobbing for apples at a Halloween carnival. Am I dating myself when I say that, regardless you get the picture. Once my wife has picked up all his toys and cleaned the living room he loves to go to the basket, push his head as far down as it will go and pull a toy out and start squeaking it. If that toy isn’t the “one” he wants, he goes back in search of another till he finds the “one”. By this time toys are strewn across the floor and my wife is standing there with a look of half amusement and half frustration. The frustration is aimed at me mind you because out of all the tricks daddy taught junior, putting his toys BACK was not one of them. So I end up being the scape goat and usually cleaning once he is done finding the “perfect” toy. Which brings me back to the question I have always asked, why that toy?
Why did you choose the little lion little buddy? Is it because during the day while you were in your kennel Mr. Lion was at the bottom of the basket mocking you, “NA NA NA NA you can’t get me”. Or is he wearing a special cologne that just drives you insane to the point you can’t wait to scoop down grab Mr. Lion and chew on him making him squeak till he becomes completely covered in you saliva and lays drooping lifeless from your clinched jaws? I have no idea why, but if I had to guess I would imagine it’s the taunting. No one likes a smarty pants lion in the first place, so good for you buddy; you did a great job putting Mr. Lion in his place.
I know everyone knows what that is. However, to dogs it’s a very magical and powerful yellow sphere that summons owners into playing and into giving them treats. My dog uses it for summoning and for marinating. Yes, I said marinate, the same way we would marinate a nice juicy steak as it’s cooking over a grill during the summer, my dog marinates his ball. It starts by him bringing me his ball, usually without me asking, and once he drops it at my feet he makes a yawning type sound to ensure I’m aware of the command and his presence, as if the thud of the ball on the floor was not enough. The power of the ball then compels me to toss it into the air and he catches it or I make him go out for a short screen pass and we pretend he just scored the winning touchdown in an Atlanta Falcon Super Bowl victory, at that point I give him his treat. What he does next is fascinating.
He takes the treat, without chewing or swallowing it, picks up his ball walks into the dinning room where he lays completely flat on the area rug. He places the ball between his front paws and begins rolling it around in a circle at the same time he chews the treat coating the ball with slobber and treat. He will do this repeatedly until the ball is covered in a wonderful thick layer of both slobber and treats. He accomplishes this in about 3 or 4 days. After the ball has reached a point of complete grossness, I’ll take it away from him so I can wash it and I retrieve a clean ball, and the process starts all over again. I have no idea why he does it, it’s just one of those things he enjoys doing.
So why have I shared all of this with you? No reason, I just felt like sharing some random things about my dog with you. Dogs are wonderful animals. I have enjoyed the company of a dog for practically my entire life. There was my dad’s dog that I was around from the time I was born till I was 6 years old. When I turned 10 I had my own dog and he was with me for 15 years. Two years after I married we brought home a beagle and she was with us for 14 years. While she was with us we adopted my little buddy and I’ve been enjoying him for 7 years. One thing I know without a doubt as long as I live I will always have a dog. One afternoon after our beagle passed I let my little buddy out into the back yard. As I watched him run chasing after some crazy squirrel I began to cry. I wondered what it would feel like to not have a dog and the thought left me feeling lonely and very sad. I knew at that point I would not be without a canine companion. I miss every single one of them that has passed. I have yet to write about the stories of my beagle, but I am very excited and look forward to sharing them at some point in the future. The time I have spent with each of my dogs has always been very special, dogs are very special. The amount I have spent on them with regard to vet bills and food is nothing in comparison to what they gave back to me, unconditional love. There are some things in life that are completely priceless and my dog and the time with him is just that, priceless. I just felt like sharing that with you. OK, I need to let you go now; it seems I am being summoned.