Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tucker and the Febreze

What would a ranch be without a proper working cow dog? And what would a family be without a faithful companion always pleased to see you who is constantly ready for adventure? For us, anyway, we would be a lost family. Our dogs keep us grounded. They remind us that sometimes the most important and exciting things in life are our daily activities. Tucker is the quintessential farm dog. He loves to feed the cows, is always present when visitors arrive, accompanies the Danish Cowboy on the most mundane activities like fixing fence, and loves every minute of it. Every time. He doesn't complain that he's bored. He just goes out and finds something interesting from dog perspective.

(And sometimes he finds things with a less than pleasant odor. Rather than wrestle with him for a bath, we have been known to take Febreze to him. Wait. My husband has been known to do this. I can't seem to find anywhere on the can that this is an approved use. And just for reference: it doesn't work. And it will traumatize your dog. You will never be able to use spray paint, air freshener, Lysol, hairspray, cooking spray, perfume EVER AGAIN because you will feel bad when your dog gives you that look.)

We got this critter about a year and a half ago from http://www.bigskybreeders.com after our last dog passed away. He is 100 percent Australian Kelpie and full of so much energy and life - he comes complete with a sense of humor, evident from his early puppyhood days.

He was a cute little thing as a seven-week-old puppy when we got him. Tuck would play for a few minutes and then fall asleep on our laps. We never knew raising a pup could be sooo easy. And then something happened. He became spastic, chasing birds around the field and barking hysterically until dark fell. We wondered if he had a brain. He was evil, biting at us in jest whenever possible. I wondered if we could keep him. I cried over the fear that he might never turn out normal. That this little bundle of fur that I had fallen head over heels for just wasn't going to be here that long.

And then my husband broke his leg and puppy care fell in my hands. I began taking a broom with me on my evening walks to keep his little puppy teeth away from my ankles. Evil dog. Klutzy husband.
And did I mention that I was pregnant when we got him? With twins? Who ended up weighing a total of 12 pounds at their 36 week delivery? It was a long summer. My stomach suffered severe burns from my terrible depth of perception and my obscenely large womb.
But everything turned out well. Danish cowboy healed, Tucker grew up into a noble and devoted creature that we get great joy out of, and my twins were born happy and healthy...although one of them occasionally bites us on our ankles. Do you suppose this behavior was learned from within the womb as he listened to Tucker and I struggling over the ageless question: to bite or not to bite?

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