Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Foster dog

Did I mention we've been fostering a dog for the last two weeks? There's a kennel outside of town that also takes in street animals. Over the Christmas holidays, the kennel part of the operation more than fills up, so they ask families to "foster" a rescued animal for three weeks to free up some space.

We took home Snowflake. That's what Miriam named her. Snowflake is half Saluki, half something else, like most street dogs around here. She is a very nice dog and we have loved having her in our home. And it made me realize something: the dog I had as a kid must have been the stupidest dog ever.



My childhood dog was named Roxy. She was a black lab, and we had her from the time I was in third grade until the summer before my freshman year of high school, when she ran into the street and was hit by a car. It was a fitting way for her to die, really. She was always running into the street. I can't believe it took six years for the consequences of her actions to catch up with her.

But that's not why I now think she was stupid, at least not entirely. At the time, I thought Roxy was a pretty typical dog. However, having Snowflake in our home has opened my eyes to how a "normal" dog acts. Here are some examples.

Situation: The dog encounters a person.
Snowflake: Sniffs around a little to see if she needs to get excited or protective but usually ends up leaving the person alone unless it's someone she really likes, in which case she rolls on her back so that person can pet her tummy.
Roxy: OH MY GOSH THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE IS HERE AND I SHALL JUMP AS HIGH AS I CAN ONTO THIS PERSON AND ALSO SNIFF THEIR CROTCH REPEATEDLY.

Situation: The front door or garden gate is opened in the dog's presence.
Snowflake: Every once in a while makes a break for it but ends up hanging out right there in front of our house and sheepishly returns soon after we call her.
Roxy: Immediately disappears out the open door and we don't see her again for three days. When she returns, she is completely covered in mud and has in her mouth half the neighborhood's shoes/mystery items/an almost-dead possum.

Situation: The dog does its business.
Snowflake: Does so in the sand and then buries it.
Roxy: EATS IT. I am not making this up.

Situation: The dog finds itself with a few hours of discretionary time.
Snowflake: Lazes around the house or outside, maybe chews on a chew toy.
Roxy: Tears around the backyard in a crazed manner, wearing down a path in the grass as she does so. Digs up the carcass of our dead pet bunny that we buried in the side yard years ago. Tries to find ways to escape. Comes to the patio door and jumps up against it. If the screen door is accessible, tries to rip it.

Situation: The family owns things they care about.
Snowflake: Every once in a while gets ahold of something she shouldn't, but at least she acts all guilty about it later. This is all we found of Cinderella.

Roxy: MUST. DESTROY. FAMILY POSSESSIONS. OBJECTS OF SENTIMENTAL VALUE WILL BE FIRST.

So yes, when a dog rescued from the streets or outer wilds of Dubai is a more reasonable being than the purpose-bought pet you had as a kid, that really tells you something. And that something is that Roxy was an exceptionally stupid dog, bless her heart. I did love her, at least as long as she wasn't destroying anything I cared about.

Which wasn't often.

11 comments:

Sherwood family said...

Your post reminded me of this one: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/11/dogs-dont-understand-basic-concepts.html.

And it reminded me why we're never getting one. Are you going to keep your foster dog?

Liz Johnson said...

Based on my experiences, I think Roxy is the normal American dog. My dogs were always morons with no common sense. And they also ate their poop.

Snowflake is purdy. :)

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Poor Roxy. She came from the wrong side of the tracks. We made efforts to train her and our dog-trainer friend worked with her for a while, but it made little difference. You forgot to mention how she never learned not to strain on the choke chain and practically strangled herself every time we took her for a walk.

Fromagette said...

Sorry to those who like black labs, but, ummm, black labs are stupid. Every black lab I have ever met in my life have been stupid. One was even named as such, though that was his nickname. I never plan to own a dog in my life, but I definitely will NEVER own a black lab.

Amanda said...

Roxy sounds like Daisy, hence why Daisy no longer lives with us.

Bridget said...

We're not going to keep Snowflake. She is too protective of us, meaning she barks and snaps at other kids or maintenance men at the park. That is a deal-breaker for me.

I can't believe other people's dogs ate their own poop. I thought that was only Roxy.

Ashley, that post was HILARIOUS.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Roxy would have done this if the opportunity had arisen.

http://www.kgw.com/news/112603369.html?gallery=y&img=0&c=y#gallery-image

Crys said...

So a lot of times it has to do with the bread of dog that you own. Some by no fault of their own...just over selective breading are crazy out of their minds :)

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Someone told us never buy a dog at a pet store, which is the mistake we made. We can laugh now about all the stupid things Roxy did. But we did grow attached to her and it was a sad day when we lost her.

Jupiter Family said...

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السنة الجديدة 2011 احتفالات الألعاب النارية في جميع انحاء العالم
http://fireworks2011.blogspot.com/
عرض على موقع يوتيوب
http://youtu.be/QlQ3b0TfiFM

Happy New Year!!
New Year's 2011 Fireworks Celebrations Around the World
http://fireworks2011.blogspot.com/
Demo on YouTube
http://youtu.be/QlQ3b0TfiFM

Tia said...

These are things I learned while working at PetSmart.
1. The dog eating its own poop means it has health issues & needs to go to the vet.
2. Most labs are like Roxy and need a lot of training to fix those behaviors.
3. Snowflake being too protective can be fixed through proper pet training.
Not to be taken the wrong way.
Good for you for fostering Snowflake.

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