Monday, July 29, 2013

Catching Up with the Canines

Gads - another that never published!

There's just something about dogs.  They're entertaining, love unconditionally, and can drive one nuts, all in the same two minutes.

When Nana arrived at the end of July, Sir Reginald, our 9 year old Beagle, took it upon himself to be her Royal Body Guard.  Having come from a home where Mom had previously been in a hospital bed for quite a while, it was simply a natural draw for him.

Unfortunately, he had always been a bit obnoxious about food, and in September it intensified.  We tried working around a few nips, but once you sink your canines into my child's leg, it's over.  We kept him happy and loved on while making contact with his previous owner (simply out of respect), researched any options, and made the appointment to have him put down.

The day that he was put down, we took in Wallow, a regular visitor.  However, upon his arrival home, this normally very well behaved bud took off and headed for the desert and mountain area just north of our house.  For the next 36 hours, 11 of us (including his dad, who postponed his vacation) searched and searched.  We had a visual on him a few times, but he was thoroughly freaked out and wouldn't come.

Thankfully, we received a phone call directing us to a specific spot.  He was there, and ran again.  That night we left a blanket that smelled like home along with food and water.  The next morning his dad was a few hundred feet away from the spot and waited until the sun was up enough to verify.  There was Wallow.  Rick called him, he started freaking out again, so Rick layed down and called him as he does when they're playing.

Wallow finally came.

I can't tell you how wonderful it was to get that text.  Instead of heading out to search at 6am, we were getting ready for his arrival, upon which we spent a nice chunk of time pulling cactus spikes out of various areas of his body and rubbing a collection of oils on his feet.

By 8am his dad was on his way home to get his family and head off to their vacation.  For whatever reason, Wallow glued himself to my side.  I couldn't take 2 steps without him at my heels.

While falling over him was a bit of a pain, I must admit that his presence was a nice transition after having to put Reggie down. Once Wallow was back home, it was very weird around here.  This household needs a dog!

Fast forward about a week.  A death in the family required Wallow to come back, and while I'm sorry for their loss, I couldn't help but be happy that Wallow was on his way back.

There are a few things about this particular Lab mix that I've never been able to figure out.  He uses his front feet a lot, especially when playing.  He's also really protective of me, and it's sometimes embarrassing.  For instance, we encountered another Lab on a walk one morning and Wallow goes all Cujo, hackles up, barking and pulling at the leash like a junk-yard dog, practically frothing at the mouth.  And the other Lab was twice a big!

This is a nicely trained dog, which makes this so surprising.  Seriously, he's been off leash for the last several months with zero problems until he bolted from our garage.

Anyway, his dad and I were talking about the oddities and he laughed and shared his recent birthday gift.  Apparently there's a service that lets you send a swab of the dog's mouth.  They'll run DNA tests on it and tell you what breeds your mix contains.

25% Siberian Husky.  25% Boxer.  50% Chihuahua!

Now I understand the use of his feet, the the Cujo-ness of his attitude with bigger dogs.

He's still glued to my hip, almost more so than before.  I mean, in a 2300 square foot house a girl should be able to lay out some fabric to cut and not have the dog on top of it, right?

Or perhaps it's just that Wallow is a master quilter and wanted to assist me?


  1. That is a VERY unique dog! Is he staying permanently?


  2. Wallow? No. He's just a regular visitor. We get him when his family travels, and we see him almost every Saturday morning when his girl comes for violin lessons.


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