Our dog is a senior now I guess. Fourteen years converted makes him 98 in human years.
We were sitting on the front deck watching him lie there in the driveway, prone with his back two legs crisscrossed over each other. We were talking about what an amazing animal he is and how much happiness he has brought into our lives. “Fluffy” really is our lucky charm.

Our high maintenance doggie “aka” zoo creature has kept us on total high alert for a decade now. The last three years he has slowed down a little and just when we think he has slowed down for good, a squirrel crosses his path and the roaring creature comes forth and shows us he has still got it in him.

It was year five that we actually found out what his mutt pedigree really was. Of course it was a totally surreal moment. We had him with us to go to my Mothers funeral and it was a day’s drive, and by the time we got there, he starting having these really weird dry heaves. So, we called a local vet in the yellow pages and the Vet that showed up was in a portable “Vet Mobile” is the only way I can describe it.

We were on the West Coast of Canada and our Vet was from Santa Barbara. He had moved up North with this high tech decked out animal hospital on wheels. So when he looked at our snarling, heaving animal, he asked, “What kind of dog is that”? Husky/Collie cross we replied.

Big pause….

“No he’s not.” “Your dog may have husky in him, but your dog is part wolf.”
The Veterinarian went on to say that he worked with Minnesota timber wolves as a study group and that he knew our dog had wolf in him. “He is neutered I piped up.” There will not be any more like him. He was a really cute puppy and he was free. “I always thought that the collie in him made him so high strung”? Are you sure? My boyfriend rolled his eyes staring at me, as we have argued for years over Dakota’s genealogical make up and I have always maintained that he was a Collie/shepherd/husky mix. My boyfriend~God bless him after all these years – looked at me, and said the inevitable: “told you so”, “told you he was not a normal dog”.

The Santa Barbara Vet went on to say that our dog gets stress colitis very easily when he is not happy and that we need to remain calm around him, and to introduce yogurt and cottage cheese into his diet as a staple and that will help with the dry heaves.

He gave him a shot to get through the funeral, and so that all three of us could make it through the day really.

That was eight years ago now. Shortly after getting home we bought a pair of shears and a muzzle and starting giving him hair cuts to tone down his wild side. I tried to make him into a poodle kind of or “schmoodle” as we affectionately called him and that is also where his other nickname “Fluffy” came from. We bribe him with a hot dog that we feed him through the muzzle while I am giving him his haircut. Sometimes the end result looks like mange. Other times one side of the haircut is shorter than the other side because by the time we get to that point we are both so exhausted by the sheer energy of trying to outsmart that dog. There have been a lot of haircuts as his hair grows unreasonably fast.

As we continued our conversation on the deck staring at him lying there soaking up the sun, we discussed the fact that it is harder for him to walk and we have to lift him into the truck now. The reality that maybe we should consider leaving him home the next camping trip, is on the table.

“Schmoodle” sits up and blinks that slow lazy blink that he does with such attitude, gets up and slowly walks over and down into our “virtual” gravel pond and takes a big poop. I look over at my significant other and say “that’s new” he has never done that before. “That’s not cool Dakota, I bark, “I don’t want you doing your business in there”.

“Schmoodle” turns around and blinks at us again. Then he walks over to the walkway that straddles the pond and with cat like agility jumps up onto the bridge. On the bridge he shakes his fur so that he is as big and fluffy as he can possibly be, blinks at us again as he walks past us on the way back to the driveway, lies back down and closes his eyes.

Who says dogs can’t talk…..

Have a beautiful day,

Photo: PKM




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