Amazing things have been going on in the dog world. There is nary a hound to be had. Some rescue organizations have announced that for the first time in their history demand has out run supply. The Greyhound Rescue Society announced this week that people are on waiting lists for dogs they don’t have yet. This is wonderful but the dog owner in me whispers in six months to a year a lot of these dogs will be back in shelters. Let’s hope not and move on.
Along with this news has come a spate of articles about caring for one’s dog during the pandemic. I’ve never heard of a healthy dog over six months old that has trouble because they are getting too much attention from their owners. Yet so they say. Some dogs show nervous disorders because they have no private time and solitary space.Who gets a dog to give it private time and solitary space?
I’ve had many dogs in my life, some purebred, some muts, some rescues. Not only have I never had a dog that was frantic for finding space I wasn’t in, I’ve had dogs that get depressed and distructive when left behind or left out of things. My current pup, about which you’ll read actually wakes me up from a nap if he thinks I’ve had too much me time and should now be giving him him time. And I don’t mean a whine, or sitting and staring at me. He pokes me with his nose, pushes his front paws onto my chest, or walks around the semi-circular recliner couch and stands on my body. As soon as I open my eyes, he leaps off in whatever direction he thinks I should be going–toy land, outside for a walk, the kitchen because it’s time to eat. Fortunately, he’s a Cocker Spaniel not a Great Dane.
To give you further example of why I think dog psychologists are the ones who are nuts, lets take a scene that played out about two week from where I’m writing this. My wife was doing some bookkeeping for which I was needed. I sat on the couch. There were a few piles of things on the couch so I planted myself up against the last bolster at the end. There was a small vacant space between my leg and the arm of the couch. The dog surveyed it. Walked back and forth a bit. Finally he figured out the geometry and sprang up right into it. Now he didn’t really fit but he was determined. He pushed his rear into the couch’s arm, forced his body into the space, stretched his paws across my legs, and then lay his head on his paws. He was perfectly comfortable. Me? Not so much, but it was cozy and produced sort of a zen spell in my body. But we were not done.
Every so often he’d raise his head, turn it, and look at me with those weepy, deep, brown eyes. He was checking me out. “Everything ok?” I in turn scratched the back of his head. If he was reassured, back to his paws went his head. If he was not, he’d knock is head back a little into my hand. That mean, “more.” My wife does the same thing.
As I thought through the questions posed from the computer, I absent-mindedly took his long, furry ear, slipped it on top of his head, and began to scratch its inside. This takes him to doggy nirvana. Also mindlessly, I stroked him head to tail, over and over again.
At the moment his alone on the couch, but he’s watching me closely. It’s time for his four o’clock walk. As soon as I move a muscle he will leap into action. ‘run right to the door where the leash is. In fact, no matter where in the house we are, he has his eye on me. If I get up, he gets up. If I move, he follows. ‘could be two or three feet. Being out of his eyesight–not permissible.
I understand why the shelters are empty. This loyal, uncomplaining, unconditional love is nothing to be sneezed at. Next to my wife and an aged shot of good scotch, ‘ain’t nothing better than a dog–at least from my perspective.
The streets are ablaze. What can I say that isn’t being said? This should lighten the mood at least for a moment as will, “The War of the Itchy Balls and Other Tales From Brooklyn” (amazom.com,barnesandnoble.com, ebook or paperback). It tells amongst others how boys can go to war with the only damage being more wash for mom to do.