Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lorna Doom, age 19 weeks and 5 days

When I agreed to adopt a 'potcake' puppy in April, honestly I had totally forgotten what it was like to have a really young dog. Our other dog, Crowley, is just over 4 years. For the most part the aggravation is over, it's just a pleasure to have her.

My partner and I had talIked in the abstract about getting another dog, the operative word being DOG. I don't think either of us thought of a puppy. We were really lucky to get Crowley from the Toronto Humane Society but I think both of us had a notion that puppies are a lot of work.

My boss was getting a 'potcake' dog from a rescue society in the Bahamas. There is a diaspora of mutts who live on the beach in the Bahamas and Turks + Caicos. Evidently they need to be culled periodically and hence these rescue societies (the one that brought ours over was 'Baark Bahamas'). I would never have adopted a mutt from the Bahamas (knowing there are lots right here in Ontario that need homes), but my boss was adopting one through a contact at Baark. Turned out the dog she adopted had a sister who would be able to come as well, which is how we got Lorna Doom.

Toronto is a really dog friendly (crazy?) city. When you have a dog, especially a puppy, people love to talk to you and ask about her. People love to tell you their dogs are 'rescues' and that any behavioural issues are because of that. It alwyays makes me want to tell them I got my dogs through a puppy mill for some reason. I find it a little odd. I know dogs aren't kids but I can't imagine a parent announcing to anyone who'd listen taht their kid was adopted, or preferably 'rescued'. I'm not someone who could ever imagine going to a breeder for a dog, I just would never care about that. Knowing that mutts are usually healthier and better tempered it seems crazy to me, not even considering the likeliehood of mistreatment or other ethical concerns relating to dog breeding.

Anyway, April 24, of this year, we were out at Pearson airport to pick up our new puppy. She was fucking cute. She has an incredibly endearing way of completely relaxing into the arms of whomever is holding her. It can take you by surprise if you're expecting her to support anypart of her own weight. She loves being picked up and cuddled, she loves curling up with you on the sofa or bed. She likes to wedge herself between you and the sofa cushion. I imagine she would be fond of Temple Grandin's hug machine.

This puppy is incredibly cute and smart. She even helps keep her older sister in line.

She's 95% housetrained, accidents are now ascribed to our lack of discipline in taking her out, it's a work in progress. She still gets us up every night between 3-5am. Usually if your alarm is set for 6:30a; she'll choose 5am. I would never claim she's as much work as a human baby, however friends with kids have said it sounds way worse. Which is funny, I would never think I could manage a newborn. Then again they don't move around and they shit in a diaper. Unlike Doom who is content to shit under a coffee table if the fancy strikes.

She also has those 'sundowning' moments where she's just a blur of teeth, fur and flashing eyes. Kind of annoying.

We have to start going to the dog parks again. Both myself and my partner aren't that fond of going. The other owners, for the most part, are annoying. They either ignore their dogs completely, leaving you the awkward task of notifying them when their beast turds. Or they're wanting to talk to you. Among the memorable inanities are 'Don't you love dog park culture?', asked with no irony at all; or another woman asked my partner 'Have you read all the Harry Potter books?'--mysteriously assuming he'd read any. Pretty much torture. My other pet peeve is the wrong headed misinterpretation of dog behaviour--'Oh look, she's so proud of her new haircut!', 'He's trying to protect the little dog from all the others', or 'She's getting jealous!'--so irritating. They're fucking dogs people, if you could read their thoughts you wouldn't understand them anyway. They're operating on a series of evolutionary cues and sensory stimuli that you and I couldn't begin to understand or interpret.

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