Monday, January 31, 2011

Good Dog

Rose has never revealed herself as an incorrigible "bad dog". She is a submissive, very intelligent, quite trainable, and obedient canine. It makes me wonder if the German Shepherd/Italian Greyhound within her must make ideal "family pets", thus these twain breeds contribute to Rose's positive temperaments. Yes, sometimes my mongrel does not mind so well, occasionally Attention Deficit Disorder stands between us and obedience, sometimes she is stubborn, strong-willed, and naughty. Excuses set aside, these negative behaviors are a firm part of her "Beagle" nature!! For those medium-sized canines possess quite the "bad dog" reputation!! Although, as pack-oriented hounds, Beagles are more likely than not to have personable, docile temperaments, they can reveal aggression toward men, strangers, or worse, their owners.... And bite people. Thankfully, Rose doesn't have a mean bone within her!! Due to this instinctive nature of alerting their masters while hunting game, Beagles can be excessive barkers. Fortunately, Rose merely does that whenever she spies neighbors' felines pass through our backyard, and if someone rings the doorbell!! Beagles are sometimes destructive chewers, gnawing to shreds their owners' furniture--especially during puppyhood--because they're bored, anxious, or enjoy being naughty. The only material item Rose has ever destroyed was her brown dog pillow!! Due to hunting instincts, Beagles dig holes in their masters' beauteous backyard. Their impressive noses may detect curious scents beneath flat dirt, like bugs, underground rodents, or simply an intriguing odor. Also, during scorching Summer weather, these hounds seek shelter where our dirt's temperatures are low, thus constructing themselves countless large holes. Rose does not dig anything other than the blankets upon my bed.... And once there's warm sunshine, she bathes in it!! Beagles suffer from separation anxiety, dogging their masters everywhere, then panic, when "Mom" appears absent. If this is the situation, they will typically become destructive, howl and/or bark, have "accidents".... Rose did suffer from separation anxiety immediately following her adoption, but has since learned to trust our return!! Although Beagles are naturally happy-go-lucky creatures, some can exhibit shyness. Those who have endured the cruelty of abuse and neglect may act nervous, or fearful toward unidentified noises, items and people. Rose is 100% social!! Beagles can partake in submissive urination which occurs when they are excitable, and feel threatened or dominated. The hound will roll upon her back while exposing his abdomen, with ears positioned downward. Frequently, submissive urination is resulted during discipline or greeting time. Personally, I will take Rose's high-pitch baying over that!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

"Ew! You Stink!!"

Boys will be boys. Or so they say. In other words, no matter how hard a mother dreams of introverted, deep thinking, book reading sons, the chances are vast that her male offspring's beloved activities may very well include running through muddy puddles and playing war while using sticks for guns!! Shall I alter this phrase some? Because based upon Rose's obvious countless examples, they should say: "Hounds will be hounds"!! A week prior to Christmas, the Chevy van was loaded with groceries. Before carrying everything inside, I coaxed Rose toward our backyard. This way, she does not escape through the front door; My mongrel is safe out there. What could possibly happen? Immediately following the task, I opened our sliding glass door to let my excitable canine back in. I knelt beside her and stroked that velvet-soft fur.... Then, I smelled it!! This stench!! Smeared all over her left cheek!! This black-colored unidentifiable smudge--which smelled like sewage, despite that not being a possibility--was resulted from Rose rolling in something disgusting!! I sat back. "Ew! Rose, you stink!! I exclaimed. "You're getting a bath!!" So into our tub she was carried!! As I hosed my canine down and applied that fresh-scented kiwi/berry dog shampoo upon her skin, murky waters trickled down the drain!! Now she was clean.... Ready for Christmas!! Hounds will be hounds all right!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Earliest Memory

In my experience, most characteristics of canines reveal themselves immediately, whether they show off certain behavioral issues or bring about sweet, heartwarming stories. These amazing creatures seldom wait to be sincere!! Sometimes, even one insignificant act can serve as a revelation of the future. That afternoon when we adopted Rose, their shelter volunteer accepted our dog collar, unlocked her kennel, and, with great expertise, snapped it around my mongrel's neck.... But, she was oblivious to the fact that I had not attached Rose's leash!! Oops. Once their shelter worker set this Beagle mix free, she fled!! Next thing we all knew, Rose ran with "Jacoby Ellsbury" velocity, circling the facility, resembling a racing Greyhound.... As if thinking: I'm breaking out of here!! Leaving this poor, bewildered volunteer chasing after my little fugitive, helplessly crying: "Rose!! Come back, Rose!!". Around and around their secure shelter the two circled.... Meanwhile, I am laughing, albeit nervously. What have we just agreed to? I would quickly learn that this was merely a sample of our promising future together. Whenever Rose shows Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder "symptoms", which appear rare, she will "race" around our great room table!! Should we unfasten my mongrel's collar she'll take great pleasure in her liberation, and excitably run from me!! Sometimes, if Rose bays uncontrollably, always when I step foot through the white magnetic front door, we head outside to our backyard.... And she literally flies!! The hurried shelter worker did, obviously catch Rose, but I should have seen this characteristic coming....

Friday, January 21, 2011

Welcome, Neighbor!!

Rose was the new dog in town. A stranger. An outsider. And as naturally with canines that don't take kindly to change, she was not welcome here. Everywhere I walked her, we were barked, yapped or howled at!! By neighborhood dogs!! So much for fitting in.... There is one "blond" furred purebred named Venus who resides next door. She seems territorial, aggressive toward canines, dominant. Allowing dogs to enter her world has never been a priority with Venus!! Fortunately for Rose, this wooden fence divides our backyards. When facing canines, Venus will growl, bark and lunge at that fence!! Yet Venus shares her world with this sweetheart of a St. Bernard/Border Collie mix called Zeke. Rose cares little about Venus' behavior!! She will inch forward and nearly touch noses with Venus.... Until the fluffy yellow purebred demands: Back off!! Then Rose playfully runs away.... Only to teasingly inch forward again!! What a comical game Rose plays!! Meanwhile, Zeke desired more than anything to meet this newcomer. Yet each opportunity he had was thwarted by Venus!! One afternoon, Venus appeared absent. Rose was exploring her backyard, sniffing scents behind our shed, when bounding toward us came the large-sized black and white haired Zeke!! Part of that wooden fence which divides our backyards is slightly broken down, so both mixed breeds were allowed to balance upon their hind legs!! Then Zeke did something special: His lengthy, saliva-drenched tongue kissed Rose's face--cheeks, ears, nose--and my mongrel willingly accepted, her eyes closed in blissful contentment. What a fine welcome!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Kind Of Dog

Canines enter and leave our existences so swiftly it seems that even ten years can soar past us in an incredible blur of memories. Dogs reveal everyone as vapors, plus teach their owners daily about never taking life for granted. On January 15th, 2011, a dear friend passed away. He was this medium-sized, sandy colored, curly haired Cocker Spaniel/Poodle cross named Andy. He belonged to our former neighbors. Several years ago, my sister and I would walk down the street, find their house, unlock the door, then play with him, walk him, plus give him, as well as Tejas, their aging coyote mix, treats. Andy proved himself quite a character from day one!! Seconds after meeting the guy, he lifted his leg and "marked" my sister's foot!! Andy was eventually somehow successfully taught to urinate in a squatting position, so he will not spray, yet still showed off this masculine behavior when no one watched!! Andy was piggish. Leave the lid off a jar containing his multi-flavored Milkbones and he would help himself until literally becoming ill, vomiting and/or experiencing diarrhea, which I cleaned!! Rose is actually quite similar in personality to Andy; She reminds me of him constantly!! When abandoned, he howled. If something "yummy" lie upon the city sidewalks, Andy ate it. He ingested everything!! Plus, Andy was a "cuddle bug". This morning, I recalled memories while stroking Rose's velvet-soft fur. And although her preference at that moment would have easily been in our backyard chasing squirrels, the sweet-natured mongrel lie down alongside me, occasionally gazing up at my face with soulful eyes. I believe she was listening.... To stories about this crossbreed she never knew. About Shadow's first "boyfriend". Listening.... And understanding every word. Andy did appear rather incorrigible sometimes.... They trained him, but he seemed stubborn!! My kind of dog.... Far from flawless, yet perfectly lovable!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Another Exciting Adventure

Well-mannered dogs are a pleasure to own!! They should be worry-free, stress reducing companions!! And with consistency, even an incorrigible dog can earn his "Canine Good Citizen" award!! So oft declare dog experts!! But it's my opinion that flawed canines arouse exciting adventures to our otherwise mundane existences!! One afternoon, Dad had constructed a sandwich. Miracle Whip, mustard, onions, ham and/or bacon, white bread, the works. Tempting ingredients for any Beagle mix!! He became slightly distracted, momentarily abandoning his creation atop our green kitchen counter. Bad idea.... He should have pushed his food further back against the wall.... For Rose possesses a cunning ability of balancing upon her hind legs, while stealing food off this location!! Suddenly, I noticed that sly mongrel. Furtively running away. From our kitchen. Her destination? My bedroom!! She seized this opportunity and was hoping for nobody to witness her!! Caught, "red pawed"!! Only I did not know what trouble she had encountered. Yet. The second I witnessed her chewing something, it was secret no more!! Oh, dear, Dad will be angry!! "No, Rose. Drop it...." I swiftly knelt down and gently pried her mouth open.... But every muscle within her must have grown tense, because she was not about to sacrifice this stolen treasure!! "No, Rose, No. Bad dog...." I battled her strong-willed jaws, while she fought back. My initial motive was worry. What unforeseen health problems can arise by Rose ingesting sodium-filled ham or greasy fried bacon? Next I silently hoped that Dad wouldn't notice. How impossible!! His sandwich was missing!! Keeping up the battle with Rose, I finally said: "You are not gonna win this!!" And she surrendered, releasing those stiff jaws!! I removed saliva soaked bread from her mouth--turned out that she only snatched the top half of Dad's lunch-- and yes, he discovered his partially disfigured sandwich!! Another exciting adventure....

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Bed

Ah, such is the life of dogs!! There are "people" foods which they cannot ingest for health and behavioral reasons alone. Furniture that's "off-limits". Plus rules, rules, rules!! Rose is gradually learning our boundaries, although she does tend to forget herself sometimes!! The leather love seat located near our living room window has suffered from scratches by my canine's sharp claws. Nonetheless, there is one sole piece of furniture that she can climb onto anytime.... Which in the beginning, this was "off-limits" as well. My bed. It has a nice, light tan wooden frame and is low to our carpeted floor. Immediately following Rose's adoption, I established the rule that she repel herself from the bed. Because I suffer from asthma, pet dander spread across where I sleep does not meet common sense. But pet dander has never triggered an attack!! Keeping Rose off my bed proved to be quite challenging!! After all I lie in those blankets every night.... They smell like me!! Excuses set aside, dogs adore their owner's odor!! But I remained consistent with her training. While she remained constant in disobedience!! Eventually, a certain circumstance accidentally changed this rule. But permitting Rose access to this bed, this haven, has eradicated her taking up residence upon every "off-limits" piece of furniture we own!! My bed allows her one place within our home where naughtiness is never tempted!! It's one place that she and I spend numerous hours together, producing memories. Plus, Rose is the perfect writer's dog.... Each time I type, she "digs" at the unmake blankets, until a "nest" is created. Then my faithful mongrel positions herself upon them, and falls asleep.... While also watching me work!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hunting Dog

Canines can certainly possess numerous temperament issues!! Yet many dogs have what we humans deem as "behavioral problems", which truthfully are instinctive, ingrained, inbred, inherited habits!! These cannot be trained out of entirely!! Like Rose's "Beagle" bay!! That high-pitched, eardrum-piercing, unmistakable, "siren-like howl" which Rose bellows as though she's being stabbed each time family enters our front door!! I've attempted every notion to zero avail in correcting this--gently "muzzling" her mouth with my hand, commanding "Quiet"--neither idea took flight.... Until I began stroking that velvet-soft fur with a soothing, maternal verbal "Calm...."!! Nonetheless, my effort has merely worked by means of taming it.... For "Beagle" originates from the French gueule, which means "a clamorous, baying creature"!! This medium-sized hound opens his vocal chords with that "electrifying bawl" when hunting, when her nostrils detect the scent of rabbits, or other game. If memory serves me well, his "melodious baying" sends signals to her master, once some wild critter has been discovered!! Rose proved these very facts several weeks ago.... There was a beauteous hawk perched upon our neighbor's fence in the backyard. As resulted every minuscule, vulnerable bird fled toward safety. Except one poor small male. He crashed landed into our sliding glass door then lie on the patio, motionless. Rose grew excitable and bellowed this bay like I have never heard.... Meanwhile, I was enjoying a moment which God had bestowed upon me.... Or at least trying to!! Rose howled, bayed, howled, bayed some more. I watched the hawk. Facing our neighbor's yard, "She" spread "her" tail feathers. What is wrong with Rose? "Calm...." I repeatedly soothed. Bay, howl, bay, howl!! "Calm...". (Repeatedly). The hawk swooped through our neighbor's bushes.... Then returned!! Howl, bay, howl, bay!! Eventually, Rose pushed my buttons. "I am getting impatient!!" I said, smiling, still eying that hawk. Finally, "she" extended "her" lengthy wings.... And soared away!! Bay, howl, bay, howl.... I let Rose outside.... Forgetting about the poor minuscule male bird, who remained immobile. Rose stepped onto our cemented patio.... And snatched him!! She held the bird between her teeth!! "Rose, Rose, no, no!!" I screamed. "Drop it!!" Drop him she did.... Then, my canine literally hovered over his location!! Afterward, I was slightly shaken.... Until realization hit me that Rose had been misjudged!! She was not behaving poorly. But rather, listening to her instinctive nature!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Escape Artists

Events, misadventures, plus unforeseen tragedies.... Life can have a way of heaving them toward you!! Sometimes, unexpected happenings remain with a person forever.... And since history far too frequently repeats itself, these so-called "hardballs" inevitably strongly impact the way one overreacts toward future potential reruns. Nearly twelve years ago, in 1999, personal tragedy occurred, which caused my first heartbreak and plunged me into an slight depression. I was 15. Young. Ambitious. Head-over-heels in love with a mixed-breed tomcat named Yoda. This feline meant everything to me!! We had made an irresponsible mistake by procrastinating having him neutered. So, as resulted, Yoda possessed a wanderlust and would oft roam neighborhoods. I am certain that numerous females were impregnated because of him!! Yoda ran off on adventures frequently.... But always returned home!! Then one day, he disappeared.... Without a trace. We printed flyers, stapled them upon city telephone poles and waited.... I never saw Yoda again. My heart shattered.... The world as I knew it ended.... Slight depression commanded me and every memory, what few photographs I'd snapped were hidden away. Today, I'm vehemently in favor of the spay/neuter movement. My animals now all undergo this minor procedure!! Plus, I still think about him.... Over ten years later I feel robbed, because his second birthday was never celebrated. One soggy wet afternoon, history attempted to repeat itself. It happened so fast!! We were carrying in groceries. Suddenly, I heard a scream, then: "The dog's out!!" Rose had escaped through our open front door, after some cat!! I panicked. Overreacted. And ran.... What a poor choice that is: Chasing canines. They think we are playing!! When humans run after them, dogs always flee!! Plus, the odds stand against us.... Canines have four legs, we've merely two!! No matter how fast our feet hit the cemented pavement, dogs will win. But I chased Rose anyway. Initially, she stood motionless, snooping around our neighbor's front lawns. I should have crept silently up to her. Instead, I ran. Rose fled, further and further away, swiftly turning the corner.... My heart raced, adrenaline rushing through me, oxygen scarce, as I chased her, repeatedly screaming: "Rose, come!! COME!!" My worst fears regarding this situation surfaced within me. What if she disappears forever? I just lost a dog.... I don't wanna do it again!! Then, watching consistent flow of vehicles pass our busy street, another worry: If she steps into traffic, I'll helplessly watch her be killed.... Panicked and fretting, I only ran faster, screaming more energetically. Finally, my two legs caught up with Rose's four. I successfully took her collar.... Then stood frozen, trying to breathe, before walking her home. Now, whenever anyone enters or exits our house, I assure her safety!! This was a close call. Too close. Afterward, the love I had for Rose deepened.... I am eternally grateful. For she is still here, still alive, still mine!!