Monday, April 23, 2012

Dogs on my mind

Sophie, my Bordoodle pup now almost a year old, has been a morning brat lately. She greets the day, full of energy, with lots of barking, and unfortunately she has the small-dog yippy bark. Mostly she barks at Scooby, to get him to play with her--and he barks back, the hoarse bark of an aging dog. But squirrels, a car in the driveway, the neighbors' dogs--anything can excite her. I'm grateful for tolerant neighbors. By mid-morning, she's calmed down, and we don't hear much out of her the rest of the day. Sometimes I want to say to her, "Look how lucky you are to have a good, loving home. Why can't  you act like you appreciate it?"
Those of you who know me know I'm a dog person. Oh, I had cats for the kids when they were growing up. Jamie in particular was a cat lover--he claims their last cat has cured him of that. But almost twenty years ago he brought home a gray kitten, part Maine Coon, one of the world's loveliest and sweetest cats. When Jamie left home, I insisted on keeping Wywy (don't ask), but we lost him to old age last fall.
Still its dogs that capture my heart.There's a difference between liking dogs and being a dog person, though the former don't always underestand that. I'll tread lightly here, so as not to step on toes, for I've had this discussion with one of my sons-in-law who indignantly protests that he likes dogs. A true dog person can't imagine living without a dog, regardless that, if well cared for, they're expensive and take a lot of time--probably more time than I give mine. I've had dogs, big dogs, all my life, except for a spell when I had Cairn terriers. I'm finding again with Sophie what I found with the Cairns--little dogs are stubborn. I'm sorry in some ways I let my brother convince me I don't need a big dog at my age. I admit, however, I don't walk either of mine for fear of being pulled down--Sophie has too much wild enthusiasm for the outside world, and Scooby never got over his instinct to herd buses, strollers, trucks, whatever moves. Both my sons are dog people; my daughters not so much, though Jordan and Sophie are crazy about each other. If I get hit by a truck tomorrow, Jordan will take her.
Don't get me wrong about Sophie: I love her. She is like the little girl with the curl--and when she's good and sweet, she's irresistible. And she's reliably housebroken--something I haven't always accomplished with dogs. She's probably got another year of growing up to do.
If you follow me on Facebook you may have noticed that I repost a lot of pictures of abandoned, endangered dogs, some on the EU list at varioius shelters. Breaks my heart, and I want to go rescue each of them--but I have my hands more than full, thank you. Confession: I'm sort of selective. I repost the collie, lab, shepherd, border collie mixes that appeal to me, some of them, like Sophie, the ragamuffins of the dog world. Not so much the pit bulls and similar breeds.
But I've noticed a high number of pit bull mixes on Facebook lately. I'm wondering if that's because people are breeding them for fighting or just why so many need loving homes. I know pit bull fanciers will jump all over this, but there are some breeds I'm leery of--pit bulls, Rottweilers (Colin had to give up one he could neither trust nor control) and, to a lesser extent, Dobermans.
Idle thoughts, but now that my mind is on dogs, watch for another post about some dogs I've known and loved. I think just as we're all meant to have one or two real loves in our lives, the same is true of dogs. We have one or two that are soulmates. I've been lucky with both kinds of loves, and I count my blessings. Sophie? She's an adorable, irresistible brat-child.

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