I’m writing this standing up at the counter in the kitchen.
My new dog, Romeo, known mostly at Romy, is sitting on the rug behind me waiting for me to recognize what a good boy he’s being by not attacking the very senior dog, Minnie, that is his housemate or, as the Humane Society labeled her, the ‘resident dog.’
Over the past few days, the resident dog has been getting mighty irked. And because she is a torn ACL survivor and old as the hills, she can’t abide leaping and jumping from some shelter puppy, an Alabama cur, no less, that the people decided to bring home one day,
So far, ignoring Romy while he sits quietly behind me waiting for me to turn around to give him a piece of kibble is working. He’s gone from mad attacker to mellow fellow in about ten minutes. I just have to keep standing up and having kibble in my pocket – a lot like having a baby around holding life ransom for some Cheerios. I know the drill.
A few weeks ago, I met a woman with a beautiful German Shepherd, the one whose name in Lakota meant ‘Soup Dog’ and she mentioned that she intended to adopt more dogs – but only senior dogs – because, you know, we’re seniors. That seemed wise enough – old people, old dogs, everybody resting and reminiscing. And I liked the idea of it. Until we went to the Humane Society and Romeo sat there wagging his hacked off tail.
We could have shuffled with another old dog on long walks around the block, administered meds every morning and night, and been regulars at the vet. Hospice care, we would’ve been fabulous hospice care folks, kind of greasing the skids for our own inevitable slip and slide out the door. On the job training.
Having a very young dog is taxing.
This morning he chewed through his leash while he was tethered to a loop on my jeans while I cooked breakfast. Then he bit through the back-up leash after a stint at the dog park. He is very busy, galloping when a trot would do, being too much a lot of the time like people can be too much without having any self-awareness. He throws himself into his kibble, the car, other dogs, and people. Last week he took a running leap into the lap of a stranger at the dog park, a guy who just seconds before was drinking coffee and chatting with his friend on a park bench.
But he is sweet and loving in that way that rambunctious kids can be – taking a bite out of your shoulder because they love you so much and then being surprised because you find it distressing.
So I have cast my lot with this young crazy dog. I aim to make him mine or die trying.
Pray for me, though, because it can get wild around here.