Thursday, May 21, 2015

Spotless Insanity

Such exuberance; unbridled is the best way to qualify it!

After losing our wonderful Westie, Moose, August 22nd of last year, two months later, my wife bravely insisted on getting another dog and - hark - that is when Bear entered our lives. Now, patrolling our unsuspecting household, we have our faithful Westie, Spike, and a wacky Australian Labradoodle puppy named Bear.

He is supremely exuberant.
Everything he does, he does exuberantly, whether it is permitted or not.

Our house and back deck are eerily spotless these days and we have Bear to thank for that.

He rather starkly taught us anything that fits down his throat will end up there. Good to know. We leave nothing small lying around anywhere, anymore.

In earlier weeks, my son and I watched him casually swallow a sock as he flopped beside us on the couch. We brought him to the vet, where they induced vomiting and recovered the sock.

A mere few days later, he exuberantly swallowed a used fabric softener sheet like it was cotton candy! This time, after consulting the vet, we induced the vomiting ourselves, following the recipe provided to us by the vet. Strangely and somewhat disconcertingly, we have yet to hear from that dryer sheet. The vet told us it’s all good as long as stuff goes in one end and comes out the other.

If this dog appears trustworthy to you, have your eyes checked immediately.

None of it was fun for Bear or for us, which is why we choose to, as conscientiously as possible, pick up after ourselves. No more small articles of clothing lying about, no more small objects on floor surfaces and, on the back deck, no more leaf buds or branch bits.

This week, I’ve been following Bear out onto the back deck with a broom in hand, in order to sweep leaves and things away before he exuberantly ingests them! We’ve discovered that, at this time of year, he eats those brown propeller things that fall from the trees, only to unhappily regurgitate them a few hours later in the middle of our kitchen or living room.

The person loading the dryer counts out the dryer sheets placed into the machine and once the load of clothing is dried, it is now the responsibility of said person to make certain all dryer sheets are accounted for.

Bear tends to idle at “just under frantic” when travelling in a vehicle but, conveniently, that’s nothing sitting conspicuously in the lap of a suddenly squished and wheezing passenger can’t solve!

Entirely delightful.

He was supposed to be a 25 pound dog but he’s at 40 pounds and counting, which, by our standards, having become accustomed to dogs of a more sensible Westie stature, makes Bear a veritable horse! The Australian Labradoodle breeder can think of no explanation for his being twice the size of either of his parents, but I’m wisely chalking it up to pure exuberance.

His Instagram account - @thedoodlebear - is far more popular than mine, although his identifying hashtag should be #burlyandcurly.

My exuberantly re-designed duck boots
I’m not sure where he got his training, but he is a keen specialist in the indiscriminate destruction of footwear. My wife has lost at least two pairs of designer shoes and high quality winter boots. My son has lost shoes and I’ve spent the latter part of winter and early parts of spring sauntering off to the grocery store hoping no one looks down at my exuberantly redesigned LL Bean duck boots.

It sounds like insanity, I know and admit, but dogs add so much to our lives, none of which we can do without.

A lot of people who are not dog people claim to be dog people. Dog lovers know these people are not dog people and dogs know it, too. Dog people will tell you, exuberantly, how their quality of life has been lifted to new heights simply by having one of these darling animals in their lives.

One 2009 New Zealand study grimly suggests dogs have twice the carbon footprint of an SUV, suggesting they are "quite an extravagance".

Dogs ease life’s rough patches and offer infinite levels of love, loyalty and laughter.

Bear is the king of slowly stretching out a long front paw with one eye on the prize and another wary eye on Spike, who is in the process of coveting the much desired prize. It's hilarious and should be featured on comedy festival stages.

It was sad to lose Moose, but to avoid getting another dog would be to deny and ignore the difference she made in our lives and the value of the enrichment she joyfully poured over our family and household.

Moose was my stress sponge; the mere act of holding her in my arms would inevitably and involuntarily induce a giant sigh on my part. She is with us forever.

Bear is hardly sponge-like, but he is equipped with a slinky neck that can twist, bend, lean and stretch in odd and unnatural directions as he keeps an eye trained on all manner of prospective mischief.

He cannot for the life of him contain his giddy joy and boundless energy when he steps out the door for a walk.

If ALD's, as a breed, have hip displacement issues, which I don’t believe they do, it’s surely the result of excessive and uncontrolled wagging. We’re wagging right along with him.