Monday, September 26, 2011

This Dog Story May Not End Well

A few weeks ago, I put up a couple of posts about our good old dog, Tracy, who disappeared and then mysteriously reappeared. At the end of the post telling about her return, I noted that there seemed to be a new dog hanging around that someone must have dumped on us. Well, it was true. We've become the owners of a big, active puppy - willing or not.

Obviously, this dog had been abused, because any time we raised our hand or our voice, he would cower. He also had a really strange mark on his side; it looked like someone had cut or branded an "X" about the size of a dime into his hide. He was so pitiful, he made me think of Dobby the house-elf from Harry Potter, in his dirty pillowcase, so that's what we named him - Dobby.

Dobby quickly got over his fear of abuse. Like his namesake, he has become almost obnoxious in his friendliness (remember, Dobby the house-elf nearly killed Harry several times before actually saving him!). When we get home, Dobby is there waiting, ready to flail us with his bullwhip of a tail. It's gratifying, in a way, to see what a difference a tiny bit of positive attention has made in him.

However....Dobby likes to chew. In the picture above, Dobby is posing with some of his early handiwork - a chair cushion he got from the tree house and absolutely shredded.  Since that time, he has gone on to loftier missions.....

like chewing up one of our daughter's barn boots....

frequently scattering the trash...

and worst of all, TOTALLY annihilating a cardboard box and its contents that had been sitting in the garage for YEARS.

What gets me about Dobby's destruction is that it is so complete. He's like the atomic bomb of dogs. All that's left of the box is small bits approximately 2x3 inches (he did more damage after this picture was taken because we simply didn't have time to clean it up that week; it IS football season, after all). 

I try to remind myself he's a puppy and puppies chew. Tracy was a chewer. She once tore a hole in a quilt hanging on the clothesline, and so far Dobby hasn't touched any of the laundry. (So far.....) But we're older people now, and we were used to a nice, calm, old dog....AARRRGGGGHHHH!

It brings to mind the beginning of Old Yeller, when the dog first shows up and gets in the smokehouse and goes swimming in the drinking water with Little Arliss. Old Yeller turned out to be worth the trouble; I can only hope the same will be true of Dobby -- and that we have the patience to wait for it to happen!

(By the way, PLEASE spay or neuter your pet!!!! This makes the fifth dog we've had dumped on us over the 14 years we've lived in this house. If a person isn't going to be responsible enough to take care of the offspring, he/she ought to be responsible enough to prevent any offspring. It's not fair to stick other people with a responsibility they didn't choose.....)


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