Dog LIfe

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I think I am spoiling the dogs. We adopted Simon (an oversized American Labrador) at the age of 15 months. We were living in Peru at the time and an engineer who worked for my father brought him back from Bolivia and could not keep him. After seeing his picture for the first time, I fell in love with him immediately. His face was so childlike and innocent when he grinned at the camera. When he arrived he was all doped up from the flight (a practice I do not endorse) and slept for a day and a half. My maternal instincts kicked in and I stayed by his side and comforted him until he recovered. By the time he had adjusted he knew he had me in his back pocket.

I say this because he immediately began doing all the things that dogs are supposed to be trained not to do; he barked endlessly, ate some of our favorite shoes, aggressively introduced himself to the neighbors and their dogs – so much so that the local dog park had to change some of the rules. The final straw was the day I noticed my missing alpaca sock emerging from a steaming pile in the front yard.

We immediately sought help and found it in Cesar, a fat man with one eye who puttered his puke green 70’s VW beetle over to our park twice a week. Cesar operates on a different level and was worth every penny. Some kind of a spell was cast over Simon, at least for the hour that Cesar was there. We began to see improvement in his behavior both in public and at home. His commands are all in Spanish (which does get some looks) but he responds about 80% of the time to his commands all except for ven (or come). He has a spirit for exploring that cannot be tamed.

Enter “Mosita” a 2 month old toy poodle. My mother named her after a childhood pet, a pig she shared with her sister while my grandpa was stationed in the jungle building roads. The pig not surprisingly went missing and my mom believes it became dinner for some of the workers, but ask my aunt and she tells of a python that was lurking around the property. Anyway, the name fits because Mosita is a little piggy. Simon was angry when she arrived which transitioned into annoyance as she crawls on him all day. We try and keep their food separate as each prefers the others’ food. Mosita has put on too much weight, mostly because Simon lets her share his bowl as he eats. Simon, last time we flew, was right at 100 lbs and of course does not have to share his food with any dog but does so because he has a kind nature about him.

Weeks ago we went to visit some friends in the country and we brought both Simon and Mosita with us. To our surprise we found that another couple had brought their Dalmatian. Things were fine at first; the big dogs kept to them selves and Mosita played with both individually. Just before dinner we fed the dogs. Mosita made the mistake of wandering over to the Dalmatian’s food and tried to eat with him as she is accustomed to doing with Simon. Brandy (the Dalmatian) growled viciously and did everything but bite her. Simon rose up from his dinner and confronted the other dog.

What ensued was indescribable, the sights and sounds of a dog fight made my heart sink and I was in shock trying to scream at them to stop. I tried to separate them but my hands were shaking too much. My husband was able to separate the two dogs but not before the damage was done. There was blood all over both animals. The Dalmatian had a gash on her neck and face while Simon was bleeding from the mouth. We took Simon straight to the 24 hour vet. He looked him over and pointed out that the whites of his eyes were now a burgundy red. We were advised later by our regular veterinarian that this was a serious issue and that Simon could not go outside or bark for a few weeks.

Simon has fully recovered, but I can’t stop worrying about him. I am definitely spoiling he and Mosita with attention and treats but I think that’s what makes me feel good returning the love they gives us. They are our watchdog, co-pilots, bodyguards, and our best friends, I’m unlikely to stop spoiling them anytime soon.

 

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