Our puppy, Tommy Lee is a mix Lab and African mutt. He has white legs and a white collar on a mostly golden coat, and his nose is white all the way to his eyes, the white fur making a thin trail of white across his small little head. The top of his head and ears are also golden, as is his tail, the tip of it being white. His nose is at least three different colors, and his eyes are disturbingly chestnut, not dog-brown like all the other dogs we’ve owned, and are lined with black. He cocks his head and looks at us long and hard, trying to figure out how he’s going to get food out of us next.
He is absolutely hilarious and knows it, I’m sure. He eats vegetables and fruit, last night I fed him papaya for dinner, which he devoured with as much delight as he did his meat and spinach for lunch. I’m housebreaking him right now, with “human-grade” dog treats I got at Petco. Human-grade! These duck and potato treats were actually some of the cheaper options, believe it or not. I break off a speck of a treat everytime he does “something” outside, and he has started dividing his buisness into thirds and fourths so that I give him more treats. Not stupid.
When he’s done with his stuff, I’ll stay outside with him, writing in my notebook, reading or listening to my This American Life podcasts (I brought 130 of them with me) and I’ll watch him entertain himself outside, which is always very funny. This dog does not know how to run. He’ll run a sort of crab-duck waddle, with his behind lowered to the ground, and his tail wagging so hard, it yanks his back legs back and forth as he somehow propels himself forward. He waddles at an angle, and I swear, Tommy and crabs are the only two creatures that naturally run at a diagonal angle.
When he’s done chasing his tail, which he is always surprised to find appeneded to his backside, he’ll move into puppy-attention deficit mode, which is one of the most entertaining things I’ve ever seen. He’ll run around the sandy courtyard, and pick up stones while he trots, sideways, with his tail swinging, and chew on them until he decides to drop them, and pick another one up. Then, he’ll lunge forward and splatter himself, hind legs splayed, his belly flush against the soft sand, and will burry his multi-colored nose int he sand in front of him, and let out a huge sigh, then sneeze from the sand.
After closing his eyes for about 2 seconds, he’ll yank his head up and realize, wow! I can dig!! So, still lying down, he’ll dig with his front paws, and every few seconds he’ll jam his nose in the humid hole in front of his paws, and pick up a stone he’s uncovered, chew it for a couple seconds and burry his nose in the ground for a micro-nap.
None of this makes any sense. He’s completely crazy. There’s this one fern he loves in teh garden, and make sweet love to every time he walks by it, nuzzling it, with his eyes closed, and rubbing his neck against it. Another fern, on the other side of the garden, must have broken his heart something fierce because every time he walks by it, he nips at it, and rips another stem from it in anger.
This dog is good for hours of entertainment. Once in a while, he’ll have had enough of his own antics, and decides to taunt me so I run after him. What is it with toddlers and puppies, why do they loved to be chased so much? Maybe it’s the anticipation of cuddles when they get caught. Anyway, it’s so fun to have a dog. I don’t know how I’ve managed to live without one for so long…