Thursday, January 12, 2012

Our loyal and loving (but intellectually challenged) little mutt

Here are a couple of photos my wife took early this summer of our daughter with our mutt, a Shih-tzu and Maltese mix.   He's truly not the sharpest tool in the shed - it took him literally a month of training sessions to learn how to shake hands, when other dogs I have owned picked up this trick in about 5 minutes of training.  Often he'll come bounding upstairs into our bedroom searching absent-mindedly for my wife when in fact he just passed her in our kitchen downstairs.  Let me be frank - he is very often dumb as a rock!   

However, he is a very sweet and loving dog, and is really good with children, even if neighbor kids come to our house and pick him up like a rag doll, smothering him with affection.   He truly craves getting attention and affection and being held on the lap, especially when it comes to my wife, and he is a true "Mama's Boy".  He shadows my wife constantly around the house, watching her every move and guarding her.   He seems to have an innate sense of when one of us in "the pack" are not feeling well, and in particular he was on a heightened sense of awareness, empathy, and affection when my wife was recovering from her mastectomy surgery earlier this year.  

As a typical 8-year-old, our daughter is into fantasy play, and she has no other brothers and sisters, so you can just imagine the rigors of play and make-believe our little mutt has to go through with her and her friends.  He has of course been dressed up numerous times, plays the role of co-pilot on different ride-on jeep-type toys in the backyard, and gets hugged, squeezed, and carried about by her and all of her friends (we of course monitor to make sure he's being handled gently). 

So, while he's by no means a genius, we're pretty happy with him in the three years we've owned him (we got him as a pup of about 7 months old) and he has been a good and loyal companion for us.  At times he can be frustrating, but in the end he loves unconditionally and really just wants to be loved in return. 



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