Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’

The Art of Finding Friends

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

I’m not alpha dog, my nearly two-year-old miniature dachshund taught me. She rules the roost, is queen of the castle and has me wrapped around her paw. I’ve read dog training books, books about dog behavior and even one about “How Dogs Think.”

At the pet store, she seemed shy, just like me, as she shook and cuddled against my chest. I took her home and at bedtime put her in her kennel, but she made this pitiful crying, abused sound. I turned on the light and warned her that this was the only night we would share a bed. Her sad sounds got to me the next night and the third night, and that was that, I became her sleep buddy.

During the daytime, our relationship wasn’t so easy.

My first dog wasn’t a Marley, but Zoey liked being naughty and disliked the word “no.” She chewed on furniture, barked like a 100-pound dog and wanted to go in and out, in and out all day long, as if the grass were greener on whichever side of the fence she did not dominate.

When she was naughty, Zoey would not stop if I told her “no” and was even more determined to continue. If I ignored her or she wanted my attention, she would become even more mischievous. She was stubborn, manipulative and wanted her own way.

I considered throwing in the towel, selling her, returning her, taking her to the pound. I tried ignoring her, squirting her with a water gun, lightly spanking her behind and putting her in time-outs. Nothing seemed to work, except time and waiting for her to learn and to grow up. And I, too, had to learn how to not give up.

I was rewarded walking in the door after each day at work.

Zoey greeted me with wiggles starting with her tail that moved her whole body into alarcity. She leaped off the chair and ran circles around the coffee table, stopping for a pet before running more circles.

From Zoey, I learned what friendship means in simple language and how to give my heart to a dog. Usually, I am guarded when it comes to making friends. I was teased as a child for being shy and did not learn essential social skills, such as reading facial expressions and gestures. I carried this insecurity into my adulthood.

I lose my inhibitions with Zoey. She kisses me, lets me hug her for 30 seconds and invites me to play, play, play. At night, she snuggles smack against me leaning into my stomach, giving me a nightlong cuddle. I tell her that I love her and I know in her dog language, she says I love you back. I found the cliché to be true – my best friend is a dog.

Dog-gone it, it's my turn!

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

I am racing in the heat, and then I stop for a break and hang out my tongue. I get back up and sniff the grass, but I prefer it when I get a ride and can encounter the whole world, smells and all. I ride in a white bag sitting atop rolled-up towels.

My name is Zoey, and I am a very cute, very smart miniature dachshund. Hereís my stats: weight, 8.6 pounds; height, 2 hands; length, very, very long; age, 1 Ω years; cuteness factor, 10.

Shelley, the keeper of this blog, is letting me write this month. She and I blog on Shelleyís website, whatever it is all that tech stuff does. I just type.

I bet you donít believe that Iím typing, but Shelleyís brother rigged up a special dog-friendly keyboard with 1-inch keys that are in alphabetical order. Donít give me any of that QWERTY stuff. It was hard enough learning the ABCs and how to spell.

Shelley and I blog once a week. Weíre telling our story of how we met and bark about important subjects, like chasing birds, befriending feral cats and calling out to possible friends, human and dog alike.

Oh, the white bag, you ask. Shelley carries me in it when we go on walks and I donít feel like being on a leash. I let her know by taking a seat and looking around at beautiful nature. I like the bag for making me taller, plus itís nice to take a breather once in awhile. I am kind of squat and though the smells may be better at ground level, I like seeing†what's beyond the blades of grass or Shelleyís high heels. It is so busy with all the changes in smells and motions and noise; it reminds me of squirming all over my siblings before we parted ways.

(P.S. Shelley told me about her friend Heather's daughter Samantha, who has left us for greener pastures. Dog-gone it, I wanted her to play with me. I heard she is beautiful and kind and lovely and anyone like that is a friend of mine. I am sorry, Samantha,†your Mommy had to say goodbye to you before you got to experience all the world's smells and she got to see you become who you would become when you're very being was what made her want to sniff up so much love, she couldn't even keep†you in her heart, she had to let all that love flow into words and hugs and kisses, oh and so much, I can't even describe it. I'm just a dog, you know, and I don't understand love that big, but can anyone?)