Posts Tagged 'dogs'

Who Says Dogs Aren’t Human?

I read the newspaper column “Dog Talk” every Sunday.  The guy trains and understands our canine friends very well.  However, he believes dogs behave only as dogs and that we falsely attribute human emotion to them.  Perhaps my dogs, being of the utterly superior boxer breed, are more advanced than your average canine.  They seem quite human to me.  Some examples:

The other night we were watching TV.  Sky, as usual, had staked out the best spot on the carpet to sprawl out.  All of a sudden, a doorbell rang–on the TV show.  Sky jumped up ready to run to the door–then suddenly stopped, realizing the doorbell sound did not actually come from our doorbell.  I’m not kidding–she looked thoroughly embarrassed.  She tried saving face by cooly walking over to Big Daddy, like that was her real intention all along, and laid her little boxer head on his lap to be petted.  I laughed ’til I cried.

Some days, Sky follows me around like a two-year-old.  I’ve read that dogs have an intelligence level equivalent to a toddler.  Like toddlers, I’ve found my dogs to be dumb enough to be cute and smart enough to be interesting.  But dogs stay this way.  Especially when we’ve been gone a lot, Sky won’t let me out of her sight until it becomes annoying.  Last week, she actually stood up on her hind legs and wrapped her front paws around my waist.  She was hugging me!  She’s sooo my baby.

Our first dear departed boxer, Prudence, had a lot more rules to follow than Sky.  We didn’t allow her into the formal areas of the house (dining and living rooms) or upstairs into the bedrooms.  She was well aware of this and never disobeyed–while we were home.  However, more than once, we almost caught her lounging on the living room couch.  She would jump off and pretend she’d never been on it when she heard the car pull up.  Unfortunately, she was not quite bright enough to brush off the telltale dog hair on the couch cushions or to pick up the pillows she had knocked to the floor in her haste to escape.  Sometimes when I came home from work at lunchtime, I would see an old chewed up tissue that she dug out of one of the upstairs wastebaskets.  Of course, she’d be sitting in the family room like a saintly pup by the time I got in the door.

Sky loves her toys.  She plays with every toy she has.  When I first brought home a new pair of jeweled flip-flops, she sniffed around them, not sure if they were for her.  I told her “No, those are mommy’s” and she’s never touched them since.  She never messes with anything that’s not hers, except to roll around in our dirty wet towels when I’m sorting the laundry.  She does love to mess with fluffy little animals, however.  She hasn’t physically hurt any of them so far; she’s just scared the crap out of them and their owners.  J sent some pictures of the cutest little kitten to our computer.  Sky would love this critter, too.

chew toy

chew toy

If You Need A Laugh–Get A Boxer

When the world gets a bit nasty (like politicians) or scary (predictions of alien landings), you need to take your mind to a happy place.  This is when the benefit of having a dog outweighs the cost.  I get at least one good belly-laugh a day from her antics, and she’s not even trying!  To me, there is nothing cuter or funnier than a boxer dog.  Their posture is regal.  Their facial expressions are hilarious.  They’re playful and energetic.  I’ve had two boxers, and neither one has ever tried to chew anything that didn’t belong to them even though they constantly play with their own toys.  I am now hooked on the show, Greatest American Dog, which is on TV Thursday night at 8pm EDT mainly because of the gorgeous young boxer dog Presley.

Seriously, to have a boxer is to love a boxer.  One caution though–if you plan to get one, make sure you have the time and space to exercise them and let them run.  I can’t really walk mine because she’s so strong, she’s pulled me down onto my belly and dragged me (more than once) when she’s taken off to greet another dog.  But we have a nice-sized yard and she runs until she tires herself out.

Youngest Son’s Weird Experiences

In addition to his Steelers training camp duties, Youngest Son is in charge of caring for some dogs this week for two different friends.  He has done this for one of the families before, but in the past it was always just the one dog.  The other dog is mean, and they used to take it to a relative’s house.  This year, however, the relative said that “Cujo” was too much for her to handle, so Youngest Son is watching both dogs. The dog growls at him when he goes down to take them out, and won’t go out unless it’s ready to soil the carpet.  Youngest Son’s friend’s mother did assure him, however, that the dogs’ shots were all up to date (in other words, he might get bit but at least he won’t get rabies!).

The other dog he’s watching is actually a litter mate of the mean dog he’s watching at the other house.  This dog is totally different.  It’s a sweetie and gets very excited when Youngest Son visits.  In fact, it gets so excited it shakes and wiggles and licks him.  And it makes this sound, that Youngest Son mimics, like an asthmatic pig!  That’s the best way I can describe the noise.  He sounds so funny that Middle Son J actually went down there one day with Youngest Son to hear it and they both came home cracking up.

But this morning when Youngest Son came home from the noisy dog’s house, he was a little concerned.  He said last night he was very careful to make sure the house was locked up, but when he got there this morning the garage door was open and the dog dishes were moved.  He went upstairs to the living area but saw nothing, and nothing seemed to be missing.  He didn’t go upstairs to the bedroom areas but then he worried that maybe someone was hiding up there.  He texted his friend to see if maybe they had asked someone else to also check on the dog, but she said they hadn’t.  I think it must be a friend or relative that knows how to get in that may have decided to check on things, because why would a crook stack the dog dishes?  And the house is in a nice upscale neighborhood, off the beaten path, but with plenty of neighbors nearby.  And it was broad daylight so if they hadn’t already taken off with the valuables, I don’t think they would be hiding upstairs to haul off the goods in the light of day.  But we’ll be glad when the mystery is solved.

Yesterday was Family Day at Steelers Camp.  The players’ families were there and the owners had food there catered by the best BBQ place around.  They invited the workers to eat also and Youngest Son made me hungry describing how the meat fell off the ribs.  He tells us funny stories every day about camp, but yesterday was really funny.  The security staff all have radios to keep in touch with each other, and in addition to official business, they often crack each other up with jokes or stories about what’s going on.  One story going around yesterday was how one lady got Youngest Son to autograph her shirt.  She knew he wasn’t a player, but she said, “Well, since I don’t think I’m gonna get a player to sign this, I might as well have you sign it”.  Knowing Youngest Son like I do, that autograph may be worth thousands of dollars someday!

Random News

Now that Soldier Son is settled into his new home and has internet, I’ll be more likely to just post some random news about home. After he kept ignoring my bombardment of questions via e-mail, he finally had pity on his poor nosy mom and told me to get on AIM so we could chat. I like to know what’s going on with my sons. I NEED to know. When they were in school, I couldn’t WAIT until they got home so I could find out what went on in their little lives that day. It’s not that I don’t have a life (it just sounds that way). I just wanted to experience their day with them, rejoice in their accomplishments, make them feel better about any rough spots.

The house once again has buzzed hair shavings in the bathroom sink, smells of food cooking at all hours of the day, and the sound of bad TV shows (namely Family Guy and Sponge Bob) emanating from the tube. Yes, our J came home yesterday. And I’m not going to complain one bit about his messes. He’ll be leaving for Europe in a couple of short weeks, and we won’t get to see him for a while. Poor thing came home with a bug though. He spent part of last night throwing up the steak dinner we had. He feels a little better today but still has a slight fever.

Pup fell in the pool yesterday. We used to be afraid to let her inside the fenced area where the pool is because we used to think she would jump in the pool and maybe scratch and ruin our vinyl liner. Not to worry. When we first let her in, she wouldn’t even get close to the pool. She would walk around it as close to the fence and as far from the pool as she could get. Eventually, she felt comfortable enough to run around the pool on the concrete area and just hang out with us, but we were convinced she would never actually willingly get into the water. She was happy just licking the chlorine water off our legs or from the pavement. She’s a boxer. Boxers are runners, not swimmers.

Anyway, Big Daddy and Youngest Son were tossing the cloth pool balls and pool frisbee around. I was on the chaise lounge, sunning and watching them because they throw those damn things pretty hard and even though they’re cloth, they’re full of water and sting when they hit you. Sky was all excited, thinking they were playing doggie in the middle, and was running from one end of the pool to the other. When the frisbee flew close to the side, pup jumped up to get it and…big brown dog was in the water! I didn’t see her head go under, but Big Daddy assured us that it did. I just saw her funny little face after she came back up, looking shocked and scared, and her little paws flailing furiously doing an instinctive doggie paddle. Big Daddy yelled, “Get her out,” and Youngest Son scooped her up in his arms and gingerly carried her to the edge so she wouldn’t scratch the liner, her paws still flailing.

Every time I think of her little boxer face in the pool, I can’t help but laugh. She was strangely well-behaved and extra affectionate all night after that episode.

Silly Boys and Playful Boxers

Back in the day, playing with the dog meant dressing her up in silly glasses and rolling around on the grass. Later, it was fun to play keep away with her, but a little scary when she’d jump up high and try to snag the ball right out of your hands. Now, the big tattooed boy, who has no fear and feels little pain, likes to “rassle” with the pup. The sound of this play pru-and-j.jpgfighting strikes terror into this mother’s heart. It sounds like I imagine a pit bull fight would sound. But take my word for it, no dog is getting hurt here. Our current boxer, Sky, is having the time of her life. And my crazy middle son, J, is half-laughing and half-rolling in pain. And he keeps asking for more. Sky’s tail is wagging like crazy, but she sounds like she’s fixing to rip J’s guts out. She nips at him, and swipes at him, leaving red scratch welts and even little bite marks. Even though I know she’s just playing with her pack brother, I worry she might forget she’s playing. So J tries to reassure me by acting like he’s hurt. Immediately, Sky stops growling and lunging, and starts licking J. She really doesn’t want to hurt him. She just wants to give him a good match.


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