Saturday, December 14, 2019

Life with Dog

     I once saw a cartoon wherein a man had arrived in front of the throne in heaven, and there was a dog sitting on it. The caption was Dog speaking, "And why does this surprise you?"
     We have had Barney Clark in our home now all of five days. Of course, because he is ours and we love him, he is the smartest dog alive. It is truly amazing how he has adapted and changed over the short time he has lived with us. We kept him in a small area at first so he wasn't overwhelmed with the whole house, giving him space and time to explore (i.e., sniff) his new home. The first challenge he overcame was going up and down the deck stairs at the back of our house. He didn't eat much at first, but now he's in the clean-bowl-club. The goofiest thing is that, so far, he won't poop or pee if he's on the leash. He must have been about to explode till we finally figured that out. I've heard him bark only twice since we've had him. Once was expressing distress at being in his crate at bedtime, and the other was when a salesman rang the doorbell. He is not a "talker." The other big hurdle he has overcome is our inside stairs. He flies up and down them now with speed and grace.
     I believe the powers-that-be of the Universe recently got together and said, "Leta and Dennis really do want a dog. Let's find the perfect dog for them and get them all together." Those powers did a spectacular job. We have all the joys of a young dog, approximately seven months old, with so few of the headaches. He is already house-broken, crate-trained, and astounding chill for his age. He rarely barks. He's also the perfect size for us, basically a smaller version of a Golden Retriever (with a bit of German Shepherd mixed in, we believe). And did I mention adorable?!??!
      Nevertheless, we are still adapting. Walks are a challenge, because Barney can be quite timid and frightened, especially when he sees another human, even at a distance. He sits on his tale and won't budge. With a calming break and some gentle reassurance, we can usually get him going again. Other than taking care of our grand-dog, this is the first pet we have had in our home of 34 years, so it's a total change in routine for my husband and me. Who is going where and when now matters more with a little life added to our house. Barney has not yet warmed up to getting into a vehicle, though he seems to enjoy the ride once we lift him in and go. He is learning to be a sports fan, currently watching basketball with me, to be followed by baseball season come springtime.
     I am grateful for this pup to continue to keep my husband and me moving. Though I'm not a couch potato, I've walked more in the last five days than I had in the last five weeks. We are smiling and laughing a lot more now. I can physically feel the energy of extra love flow through my heart ("woo-woo," yes, but true). It's like having a new human baby--we talk about him all the time. We are goofy in love, and clearly proud of it.
     In our troubled world, we are blessed to expand the love that is so desperately needed by raising this little fur nugget.
     It's almost sunrise, time for a walk!

Snoozing adorably on the woman-cave bed

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