Make a Wish

When I was searching for a dog seven years ago, I hoped that I would get a cool dog. One that wouldn’t hate the car, one that wouldn’t be afraid of thunder, one that would catch a Frisbee, one that wasn’t afraid to swim. My wish list was based on my experiences with other pets that I had.

My childhood dog, Drummer, was a Keeshond who was terrified of thunder. If a storm rolled in, he would shake and shiver and quiver while trying to dig his way under a bed for safety. I was grateful that Chase wasn’t afraid of storms or any loud noises. As a puppy, he would hop on the back of the vacuum cleaner for a ride while I attempted to clean the floors of debris created by him. He tried to catch the fireworks that lit the night sky on New Year’s Eve.

My cat Madison, as established in a previous post, hated the car. I believe his extreme dislike for water came from the bath that was waiting him after each car ride. He also didn’t appreciate boat rides. I’m not sure why I thought he would. My reasoning was that cats like fish; I was fishing so maybe he would like to be with me in the boat. It made perfect sense at the time until five minutes into the excursion he peed in my lap causing me to let go of my grip on his neck. In those few seconds Madison leaped from the boat into the pond and disappeared beneath the murky surface. Shocked and dripping with cat urine, I leaned over the side of the boat searching for my cat. No air bubbles. No cat. As I considered whether I should jump in and save him, which would take care of the cat pee situation, I saw a dark and wet scraggly thing pull itself out of the muddy water on the far side of the shore. It sort of looked like Gollum from Lord of the Rings as it struggled through the undergrowth. Madison turned and stared at me with hot angry eyes filled with hatred. My cat could not swim but apparently was fat enough to sink to the bottom of the pond and walk all the way to the surface!

My dogs love to swim. They enjoy the pool at my parent’s house after a long adventure in the woods. They enjoy the pond here in Georgia and all four track wet sloppy paw prints throughout the house before I can catch them with my dishpan of soapy water. They enjoy splashing in puddles on rainy days. They also enjoy playing with their yard toys, too. Chase had an interest in Frisbees until Mom kept trying to train him to catch one. He gained a fear of Frisbees slamming into his head and refused to catch them. If there is a Frisbee game similar to dodge ball, then that is what happens when a bright red disc is flung at my dog. He dodges it. George, Molly and Charlie would play with tennis balls. George used to try to catch them until I threw one directly into his head. Then he would only chase the balls if I kicked them…until I kicked one directly into his head. George refuses to play with me anymore.

I think that I wouldn’t make any changes to my wish list; however I would make a few additions to it. I would want a dog that was obedient and wouldn’t ignore me when I called because all four dogs currently have selective hearing. I would want a dog that picked up his toys, especially when he snuck them out in the yard. George has a habit of bringing every toy into the back yard. He also brings socks and shoes back there, too. Chase used to bring all of my clothes into the backyard of my old house and fling them around in full view of the neighbors. He even brought a trash can out through his dog door. I would want a dog that didn’t wipe his mouth on the carpet or couch after he was done eating as George and Chase do every single time.

Although it would be nice to have everything on the wish list, I wouldn’t want a “Stepford” dog either. I feel that it is the times that they are being “bad” that it makes them so cute. It’s the times that make me smile and the times that make the memories.

The great pleasure of a dog is that you make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, he will make a fool of himself too.   ~ Samuel Butler