Like so many of our friends, everyone in my family loves animals. These four-legged creatures have an almost magical way of capturing your heart, quickly inserting themselves as full-fledged members of the family. Which creatures am I referring to you ask? With no intention of disparaging other people’s pets, I’m talking about dogs. We are dog people, tried and true. Dogs are simply amazing!
It’s hard to describe to those who have never owned a dog the level of unconditional love they willingly give to us. I don’t care how bad of a day you’ve had, the comfort you get by just sitting down and petting them is most therapeutic. I once read that God put these wonderful creatures on the earth to help us along the way, to act as a constant reminder of His love, their very name being a reflection of His. I firmly believe this.
Last year we lost our beloved dog Bonnie. It was a terrible time for us and to this day I can tear up just thinking about her. She became very sick, and rather than watch her suffer, we chose to put her down. On that terrible day we were all with her and she passed without pain.
As we were preparing to leave, our vet pulled me aside and explained to me that dogs adopt us as members of their pack. I’d never thought of that, but it actually made me feel better. It gave me more of an understanding of how Bonnie had viewed us and how deeply she had felt about us. Knowing and loving dogs as I do, I found the concept to be quite flattering.
Time passed and we found the house to be a bit too quiet. There was something missing, and so we started looking into what kind of puppy we would get. After a fair amount of research on the part of my wife, we decided on a Corgi. Everything we read about them emphasized how smart they are, how well they respond to training, and, let’s face it, they easily rank in the top two of the cutest dogs in the world. No exaggeration, Corgis have a face that even teddy bears are jealous of.
We found a good breeder and the day soon arrived for him to be flown to Austin. We’d decided to call him Jasper. His plane arrived on time and we impatiently waited for the Delta employee to bring him to us. We were anxious to hold this quiet, definitely scared, innocent little puppy. We were prepared to comfort this helpless little dog who weighed in at just under eight pounds.
The girl working the desk finally came back and handed Jasper to us, secure in his crate. We immediately took him outside the freight office and freed him from his crate.
Now, we all know how first impressions stay with us. I’ll never forget my first encounter of Jasper.
We were agonizing over the fact that we’d be dealing with a frightened, possibly traumatized little dog, unsure of his surroundings. We could not have been more wrong.
Jasper emerged from his crate with a beer bottle in one paw and a cigarette in the other, giving us a challenging look as if to say, “Who’s in charge here?”
Since that fateful day, his personality has become even more pronounced. Although, in fairness, the training has gone well — we’re just not sure who is training who. He is scary smart. At just twelve weeks old, he figured out how to fake us out into taking him outside whenever he wants to go. Here’s how that happened.
We’d hung a bell on the door and touched his paw to it every time we took him out to go potty. After only the third or fourth time he not only had it down, but knew that if he rang it, we’d jump up and take him out, even if all he wants to do is play. I’ll swear he knows that for us to ignore his ringing the bell we risk his decorating the rug and he milks it. Believe it or not, I’m telling you, he smirks about it.
Don’t get me wrong. We love the little guy very much and wouldn’t trade him for anything. However, we are now tasked with figuring out a way to communicate to him who the master is, and who the pet is. Trust me, that has been completely lost on him. I’ll let you know how things goes.