September 4, 2016 at 9:04 am (Sweet sticky things)

Sandy SmilingThey say there’s nothing like the unconditional love of a dog.

Man, you don’t know the half of it.

Luna is the newest addition to the family. She came from a home in the country, a crow’s flight from where Sister and I grew up. Luna had several puppy-brothers and sisters, and a Mama dog, so her move to the big city was probably a scary thing. (“All of a sudden, there I was, surrounded by colorful humans, a grouchy Mama-dog, and a bunch of cats that hate me!”) Luna won the humans over immediately. Sandy the Auntie-dog is adapting well. Django? Well, he’s working on it…

My sister was spot-on when she said we needed some new life in the house. She was almost regretful the first week. (“Christ, it’s like having a toddler again!”) But Luna is getting better about waiting until outside, and if she can’t? She goes by the catbox, or the front door. It’s her way of saying, “I tried.”

Luna ThumbnailI’ve grown quite addicted to the puppy greeting. She’s so happy to see The Alpha Male. She defers to Bro-In-Law as well, but I don’t mind… Arriving home from work, I can count being almost-tripped three times on my way through the house. I may take up Irish dancing. I’ve got the foot-moves these days.

My favorite hello came the other day. It was the first trip out of my room for the day, the one where I get the liquid-meth and say good morning, etc… Upon opening my door, I see what looks like a bowling ball at the end of the hallway. Then I hear clicking-and-tapping that gave me flashbacks of Arthur Duncan on Lawrence Welk. Soon the little bowling ball was at full gallop, eyes glowing as she leaped over Sandy, completes a somersault, and scrapes to a halt at my feet. “Hey boss, Hi! How ya doin’? Hi!!!”

She’s a biter, a phrase I haven’t heard since Weird Steven quoted a guy getting a BJ in the alley by the Nightclub Store. She’s a gentle biter, (no alley-girl updates there, sorry) playing. Her tiny teeth are like Piranhas’. When I change tone and say, “No, no biting” and ignore her? Oh, the hurt look. When I learned a Labrador’s genes are geared to please, I began using guilt as a tool. She’s more like a teenager than a toddler, or maybe she’s just growing that fast. At any rate, the most effective tool in raising a puppy, which I never believed, is to pretend their actions don’t exist, after a brief note of disapproval. (I wish tweakers were like that.) She stops biting when I say no, and after a brief pause I give her an “affection reward.” It’s the only kind she gets; I’m not bribing her with liver snaps.

Dog Daze

Dog Daze

Her favorite toys, besides my pantleg, are a knotted rope and and old root-ball from the back yard. It looks like a dirt-covered human heart sitting in the middle of the living room floor. (If I ever make a horror film, I’m claiming that effect!) She loves the smell of dirt, and she likes to dig. We’ve had to redirect her attention more than once from the Pet Sematary. Apologies, Neptune.

When she’s not materializing as a demon-bat-dog-from-hell in the hallway, she sleeps atop the laundry on the bathroom floor. I will go in to do my business, and she’ll either say hello briefly, or just roll over and give me privacy. I’ll try to give you the same respect in the back yard, pup.

She’s been playing soccer with an empty gallon milk jug in the hallway for over an hour, then it got quiet. Following the toddler protocol, where if it sounds too quiet, I investigate. She’s curled up on the bathroom floor, resting up for when the Colorful Humans come home in the middle of the night.

She’s starting to realize the house is hers while we are gone. She’s getting better about confronting the front door when strangers approach. I wish she had Sandy’s aggro persona. Sandy is like Luna’s drunken Auntie: “I’ll show you a few tricks and you can hang out with me, but if you ain’t cool you gots ta go!” Sandy is a lovable German Shepherd, who sounds like she would bite your ass off because feeding time is taking too long. German girls just sound that way, I guess. Luna might bite you to death, but it would be due to bleeding from a million tiny pinpricks. If Sandy goes off, she would hurt you.

But our dogs are chill, as long as you are. With Luna, she might love me to death, but what a way to go.

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