Thursday, November 10, 2005

Doggy Bloggin'

I've always been a cat person. Five year old cocka-poo, Shadow, doesn't really count because she loves cats and thinks she is a cat. She's a great inside watchdog but doesn't really count as a dog at all, other than the whole barking at noises thing. Until moving about a year and a half ago I'd always lived in apartments or tiny houses on top of other tiny houses so never had the urge to own a "real" dog. The only reason I drove many miles under a tornado watch to become the proud owner of a cocka-poo was because I'd received a call about a fisherman who fished a tiny little cocka-poo from a sack in the lake which had been tossed over a bridge by a passing car. The man called the local vet who then called me because that's what people do when a cute little animal needs a home and lots of expensive care. Call the local sap!

After moving to the country I needed an outside watchdog for various reasons. I'd heard about a farmer who had a litter of Australian/German Shep mixed pups so off I went to purchase my very first "real" dog. I was a little nervous when warned to not get out of my vehicle until the owner gave the ok, due to the protective parents of potential puppy, but it all turned out fine. After washing their rabid drool from the windows, of course.

The puppy I chose looked very different than the rest and had a pink nose. The cute pink nose was the deciding factor so I brought him home and gave him a bath. He smelled so pretty. I worried a little about his eyes crossing every now and then and the stupid look he always seemed to have but chalked it up to his being only six weeks old. When I held him up for my mother to examine for the first time, she said "My God that's one stupid looking dog! What's wrong with its eyes?!" Like any proud mother I shrieked, "Shut up! There's nothing wrong with his eyes! He's just little and perfect and mine!" I named him Zeke because I wasn't very confident that he'd ever be able to recognize his own name without two very distinct consonants. He really did seem pretty stupid. But he was my dog and anyone who mentioned his stupidity could expect a verbal beating.

Somewhere along the way Zeke became the most intelligent animal I've ever encountered. When I ask him where any other person or pet was by name, he'd get up and go straight to them. That's just one example, I won't go on and on but let's just say that he turned out to be a very smart dog. More than that, he took his status of watchdog very seriously and grew on me in a way that no other pet ever has. I'm now a believer that dogs really are man's best friend.

Maybe he didn't turn out to be a very pretty smelling pet because I couldn't catch him to give him a bath very often at all, and when I did I couldn't hold him down long enough to do more than dump an entire bottle of doggy shampoo on myself. I never had to put him on a leash or a chain and he stayed right by my side through every walk, run, and bike ride I've taken in the past year. He was rabidly protective of me, but only if someone was in my personal space. He never left me to chase other dogs or people. Ok, so there was that one man on a crutch that he chased, we all make a mistake every now and then. The point is that it is rare to see a person, much less an animal, as loyal, smart and dedicated as Zeke.

He passed away this afternoon at only one year and three months old under mysterious circumstances. Last night there was a commotion in the woods surrounding my property and it took quite awhile to get him to come away from whatever that was. Even then, he refused to come into the house but sat on the porch, just doing what he did best....guarding. While Zeke was an extremely healthy dog and the cause of death is not immediately apparent, I've no idea what all the commotion was about or if that even led to his death, it is apparent that he will be missed for many years to come. :(

Cute photos-

First day home.

Growing up, eating the decorative bark there. *g*

Zeke's first snow, his reaction was comical.

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