We’ve owned dogs before. Two, in fact. Our first we got right after we bought our first house. We bought a female American Eskimo. Princess. She was adorable, and I loved her, but she was sooo much work! Snow dogs, we were told later, are extremely strong-willed, and she was the strongest of the strong.
She jumped over our couch, sat on top of our backyard picnic table, and chewed up our kitchen floor linoleum, the one we’d just installed. We took her to group dog training class, and she failed! The instructor set us up for private lessons, and Princess became manageable, but still independent. She wasn’t my dog. She wasn’t anybody’s, though she loved my babies after I had them.
Our next dog was Sparky, my first male dog, and first Sheltie. He was everything opposite of Princess. Well-behaved, loveable, sweet-tempered. But he was my oldest son’s dog. He tolerated me because I fed him, but he was definitely not my dog. I missed him terribly after he died, because he was so sweet.
And then we got Scooter, our second Sheltie, and I fell in love. We got him from a breeder at eight weeks, and he weighed three pounds. He fit in my hand, had little pink paws, was a bundle of fluff, and yapped so cutely I couldn’t help myself.
Scooter is also the smartest of our dogs, and that’s saying something, because Sparky was pretty darn smart. Scooter became potty-trained in less than two weeks, doing it by himself! We’d take him out of his crate and do the usual prompts, and one day while we were at dinner, he popped out the dog door and went without any prompting!
He has a huge vocabulary, and loves to do chores, whether they are inside or outside. He helps me water the garden, barking the whole time. I guess that’s his only fault. He has a really loud, sharp bark that can tweak your nerves.
He uses his front paws like hands. If you don’t open a door fast enough for him, he’ll put that little paw in the gap and try to pull it open. And when his groomer does his bath and blow-dry, he bats the blow dryer away with that same front paw.
When I go back to read in bed at night, Scooter will seek me out and lay in our bedroom, not in the front room where my husband is watching TV. Like I said before, Scooter is definitely my dog.
But right now, I don’t have to worry about that. All I have to do now is enjoy him, and love him. And I do, every day.