I got a dog. A BIG dog from the pound a five days ago. I have a history with the pound. Last time I went with the desire for a mid sized, older dog to companion my aging lab. What I came home with was a bouncy one year old blue heeler who turned our lives upside down. As per her herding instincts DNA, she was very bossy…ordering my lab around, nipping heels, human or otherwise to keep them away whether I wanted it or not. The one time she shooed a bear easily ten times her size off the property she got a gold star and a bowl of tuna fish. That sweet doggie now lives on a ranch in Montana. Happy ending for all.
This time I was going for a smaller dog, female, say 5 years old. Predictably I came home with a 70 pound one year old, male shepherd. The first time he jumped up on me in glee I realized, as I was falling over, that he and I were almost the same height. Moral of the story..do not send me to the pound.
This four legged had been surrendered to the pound by a family who had lost their home. I wish I could get a message to them to let them know that for all their challenges, their doggie has a home. He came with the name Courage. I liked it. Appropriate for our moment in history but I wanted my son to have a say in this. We’re 1200 miles apart at the moment so we face timed as our newest family member zoomed around the yard in puppy frenzy, gazelle like taking flight over the occasional bush. My son, quick as a wink said “Rex..let’s call him Rex.” Great name but weird…had my son ever even heard the boyhood story of his Grandfather’s favorite dog, dramatically lost and then found, named Rex?
The first night Rex spent about half an hour barking at his own reflection in the window, demolished two shoes, pooped and peed on the white carpet three times and woke me up at 2am to play. We had work to do. Luckily he appears to be smart. Day one, he learned how to come and go through the doggie doors, happily chomped on a rawhide chew rather than more shoes and so far no more deposits in doors. Day two we went for a trial walk on a leash…clearly he had done this before. Next day I thought we’d try for something a bit more ambitious so we ventured up a small nearby mountain. The way up went well enough, the way down was a very different story. Parts of the trail on the north side had ice. Down I went, cuing apparently Rex’s inner sled dog and away we flew….only without the sled. As it turned out it was a very efficient way down the mountain. I don’t remember when I’ve laughed so hard. Good for the soul even if not so much for the derriere.
In isolation as we all are at the moment, having giant Rex bounce around the property I feel less marooned. He gets me outside first thing, we hit the trails, his joy is infectious. I think pound doggies know they’re lucky. Rex frequently comes to me unprompted and plops his head in my lap, goo goo eyed. Unconditional love at the ready. Dogs really are one of God’s better inventions.
Wish me luck on day six.