The greatest pleasure of a dog

"Poodle Duet," by Bruce Weber.
“Poodle Duet,” by Bruce Weber.

“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too.”

— Samuel Butler

I like this quote; so sweet, and it mirrors the inherent playfulness and camaraderie of dogs with their people.

Thanks to you all for your characteristically great advice about Pyrrha’s recent licking fixation. DAP has worked for so many people, so we’re definitely going to have to try that. For now, she actually seems to be leaving it alone because of the Bitter Apple, possibly more because she hates having me come at her with the spray. But we’re monitoring the area closely.

It’s hard to believe, but this is our LAST weekend in this house! We’re going to spend it doing lots of packing and cleaning. And maybe have one of P’s dog friends over to wear her out while we work. We have lots of memories here; it’s the only house Pyrrha has ever known. (She spent her first year of life in a tiny cage in the breeder’s backyard.) I hope she will adapt to our new house with ease.

Wishing you all great Fridays and restful weekends.

The dog is suspicious (of our news)

You can't tell, but she's listening to Mozart right now. #classydog #gsd
She’s listening to Mozart while I finish a calligraphy job. She’s a very classy shepherd.

Pyrrha seems to think something is up, and she watches our movements very closely these days. Her crate is another room; we’re living amid towers of cardboard boxes; furniture is slowly being removed; Guion was gone for a week on a business trip; and I have been giving her a regrettably paltry number of walks lately.

She’d be correct in her suspicions, because something IS up: We’re moving!

And to our very first owned home, no less. We close the first week of December, and everything has gone so smoothly so far that it seems safe to announce this now. We can’t wait to be in our new house; it’s so unbelievably good and perfect for us. Pyrrha, naturally, has no idea what’s going on, but I think she is really going to love this giant new yard:

New backyard!
New backyard!

More to come soon, but this is just further explanation of my frequent absence on the blog. Can’t wait for Pyrrha to see the house for the first time and get settled. Although all I can think about is my favorite post from Hyperbole and a Half: Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving. Allie Brosh is a comic genius. (And Pyrrha reminds me of her neurotic shepherd mix. Ha!)

Have you moved with your dog(s)? How did they handle it?

A long walk with Bo

Bo
Bo.

Yesterday afternoon, I took Bo for a peaceful hour-and-a-half walk. We strolled around our future street/neighborhood, which was absolutely beautiful; everything is in bloom right now. All the trees are pink and white and green; everyone seems to have tulips or wild violets or little pansies springing up in their yards. (I didn’t get any pictures, unfortunately, because it looked like it was about to pour the whole time and I didn’t want to jeopardize my camera…)

The walk made me even more excited to move to our future house and to get to live in this part of town. It’s such a pretty and pleasant network of streets and houses. We walked down to a tiny park (under 5 acres), about two blocks from our future house, and I envisioned taking our dog down there for our morning walks. The park isn’t exactly spectacular (just a basketball court, a playground, and a smattering of picnic tables), but it is a bit of grassy space to provide at least a small reprieve from the sidewalks.

Bo is delightful company. After about half an hour, he stops tugging and heels quite nicely. He’s a very attentive boy and likes to pause every so often to look up at your face, as if he was checking in on you, just to see how you were feeling; it always warms my heart. Bo also thinks all people are out just to strike up a friendship with him. Par example: A runner passed us on the road and glanced our way. When Bo caught his eye, he broke into what can only be called a smile and sprung up happily, almost skipping with joy after the runner. He’s adorable.

I am really looking forward to getting to do this kind of thing with our future dog, of course, but for now, Bo is the perfect substitute.

Why I shouldn’t read Craigslist posts

Source: Google Images

I shouldn’t read the “Pets” postings on Craigslist because I always get really angry or upset. I wander to our local Craigslist from time to time, just to see what kind of animals people are re-homing or have lost or found in the neighborhood. I often come away very distressed.

These are the common posts I see on Craigslist (punctuated and spelled in standard English, for my readers’ sake). And yes, I have seen all of these posts, often multiple times.

“I need to find a new home for my dog because I’m allergic/I don’t have time for him/he’s too big for our apartment now.”

AGGGH. You people are the worst. Do NOT get a dog if you are, a.) allergic or someone in your family is allergic; b.) unable to properly care for him or give him the time he needs; or c.) living in a space that is not accommodating to an animal. Everyone is susceptible to a dewy-eyed puppy, but so few people really think through the consequences and responsibilities of caring for a dog. I just saw a post from a college student who was giving away her dog–whom she had adopted just three months ago from the SPCA–because she “realized [she] didn’t have time for him.” People, think about these things! SPCA, you probably shouldn’t let college students adopt dogs! It never fails to amaze me, but there you have it. I find that this is the most common post in the pets section of Craigslist. It’s also the one that gets me the most riled up.

“I’m giving away my dog because we’re moving.”

I understand that in this economy, there may be mitigating circumstances and you really can’t afford to bring your dog along. Sometimes, though, I feel like this statement may be a cover for the truth that you either can’t afford to keep your dog anymore or you are looking for an excuse to get rid of her. If so, fine, but I wish people were more up front about this. These posts are often peppered with comments about how much they love their dog, etc. Barring any dire financial circumstances, a committed dog parent would find a place to live that accommodated their dog. Simple as that.

“I want a dog who looks exactly like my old dog.”

Um, OK. Good luck with that.

“I’m looking for a purebred [insert breed here] but I want to pay less than $100 for it!”

You will be buying from a backyard breeder at best and a puppy mill at worst. I don’t know why people think they can get high-quality and humanely bred pets for such a small amount of money.

“I want a pit bull/rottweiler/German shepherd puppy! I also want it to be free or have a very small adoption fee!”

This makes me extremely nervous and angry–especially because those are the breeds that are most commonly mentioned in these types of posts. Just a few days ago, I saw this exact post from someone who wanted a “free” pit bull puppy. I was so distressed about it that I actually sent the person an e-mail, telling them to go visit our local shelter, which currently has a few pit bulls right now. I gave them a link to the shelter website and even recommended a particular pit bull (Pooch) that I had worked with. I also couldn’t help myself from throwing in a gentle statement that said, more or less, you get what you pay for, so don’t go looking for a free puppy. After all, the adoption fee at a shelter is a negligible amount compared to what you’ll be paying for the lifetime of that dog. If you can’t afford that adoption fee, then you definitely can’t afford to keep a dog.

Am I the only one who needs to stop reading Craigslist? Is there anything that can be done?