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Animal HousePosted Wednesday, September 22, 2010, at 8:17 AM
At what point do you cross the line between being a dog lover and a slack jawed yokel? I don't know where the line is, but I feel that I have come perilously close.
For those of you who have been taking notes, you know I have two beagles (Maggy and Sherman) and my wife has a yellow Labrador (Rocky). Yvette and I are thus slightly outnumbered, but we know how to effectively use a newspaper. (Apologies to The Times.)
A friend of ours is in what appears to be a SLOW process of moving and needs someone to watch their dog. Being a dog lover, I volunteered. Thus our household has been enriched by one dachshund named Roscoe.
Inviting Roscoe into our home originally seemed like a win-win. The friend could endure the travails of moving without having a squirmy little wiener dog pup darting around under foot. Sherman, who just had his one-year birthday, is still in his puppy stage. He and Roscoe can play, wrestle, and tumble to exhaustion and nothing gets chewed.
If you are a beagle lover, it is hard not to like other little hounds. They all seem to have sad little eyes that tell you that no one has loved them today yet at the same time having the joy of life plastered on their faces.
Roscoe has the normal canine attitudinal paradox: the smaller the dog, the bigger the attitude. Every time I pick him up, he seems to say "Dash-Hounds Rule!" (Yes, in my mind, he pronounces it, dash-hounds.) Perhaps the "Napoleon Complex" first originated in dogs.
I understand that groups of Canines form packs. But in my household, this motley crew has become a herd. A pack implies organization and cunning. No such luck in this group. They are definitely a heard.
When Sherman was new to our household, my beloved Yvette wanted him to sleep in bed with us to help prevent him from going potty in the house at night. When that problem was resolved, it was time for him to sleep on the floor. Our bed has a dresser under it and is quite high. However, Sherman, we discovered, was able to jump high enough to get up there. Maggy would have no part of being a second-class beagle and insisted on sleeping in bed with us. Roscoe, seeing that the other two hounds were in bed with "mom and dad" would not stop crying until he also was in bed with us. Three Dog Night may be good for Motown artists, but for regular working people, not so much.
Roscoe is definitely a loveable little pup. He is cute, squirmy, and everything a small hound lover could want. I enjoy the affection Roscoe gives. I also enjoy watching Sherman and him chase and tumble and roll over each other. It fills a sometimes-calloused heart with soft, warm, love.
That said, I wouldn't be unhappy when we are back down to three. Ben Franklin observed that guests, like fish, after three days begin to smell. In this case, it smells like a dog.
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