Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Dog Stevie

This is my dog Stevie.  We got him almost seven years ago.  Our old dog, Phil had died at the beginning of the summer at the ripe old age of 13. 

As a little puppy
Phil was not a good dog.  He could do some cool things.  He could give high fives.  But he was also an escape artist.  He was a terrier/border collie mix.  This is a bad mix.  It creates a very intelligent dog who, when bored, has bad ideas. 

Phil would go in the back yard and immediately check that the gate was locked.  If it wasn't he opened it and went on a walkabout.  If it was locked he worked Andy Dufresne style on his tunnel to freedom. 

He would wait until we were out of sight, slip behind his poster of Lassie and work away.  He did this so many times we had to bury chicken wire along the fence line to keep him in.  We also had to set up a prison style lockdown on the front porch.  The front door and the porch door could not be open at the same time.  All it took was one slip and Phil was out the door and gone.

The most frustrating part of his escapes was that Phil thought it was a game.  He would stay where we could see him.  He would let us get close enough to almost touch him and then would run.  You could almost hear him laughing.  If a stranger happened into the zone, he would walk right up to them and they could capture him.  But only once.  He had a long memory. 

When he died in the spring of 2005 he was missed.  If for no other reason than the insanity and fun he brought to our lives.   

After a few months we realized how much we missed having a dog in the house.   Mostly because we got tired of sweeping the kitchen floor.  One of the habits you get into when you have a dog is if you drop food it magically disappears.  We looked at the random chips or shreds of cheese on the floor and knew it was time.

About this time I went to Wisconsin for my sister's 40th birthday.  It was a surprise party and was a smashing success.  I had a great time.  The next day, before I went home I was invited to a brunch at her friend's house.  The friend had a Corgi mix named Sasha who was the coolest dog I had ever met. 

When I got home I told my husband that I'd found our dog.  We started watching the ads. 

Now in my world, and don't ask me why, dogs are boys and cats are girls.  I finally found a pair of male Corgi puppies in a town nearby.  I took a half day off of work and drove up.

The entire drive I was worried.  How would I pick between the puppies?

I walked in the door and there was a large cardboard box. 

This sweet face popped up.  His brother was sleeping and Stevie looked at me as if to say "Mom! I'm ready to go home!"

Stevie has been a really good dog.  But he has some small issues.  He is scared of a lot of things.

Here are just a few.

  • Pop cans
  • Plastic bags
  • Thunderstorms
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Getting his picture taken

This morning I let him out to do his business.  Trapped on the fence at the back of the yard was a piece of plastic flapping in the wind.  You'd think it was a serial killer the way Stevie was growling and barking.  I tried every trick to get him in the house.  I called sweetly.  I lowered my voice and called gruffly.  I shook the treat box. 

After all it was 7AM on a Sunday.  People sleep. 

Finally I put on my shoes and went to the fence.  Stevie, still in protection mode dodged in front of me, trying to keep the evil plastic from eating me.  I got to it and had to crumple it completely in my hand and get it out of sight. 

With that Stevie was able to follow me into the house.  I gave him a treat for protecting us from that bad, bad plastic.  It was exhausting for the little guy.  Once I was settled in my chair and safe, he went back to join Dad in bed.

It is tough being such a good dog.

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