Thursday, October 21, 2010
Weapons Grade Cute
We're suckers for cuteness in this house, always have been, always will be. Heck, the way I got my dog was because my husband, while allegedly searching for a picture of an English Bull Terrier managed to come up with three Scotties, a Blue Heeler and a nervous looking mixed-breed named Puddles. In the pictures the rescue society had posted on Petfinder, my dog looked decidedly apprehensive. A series of photos that eventually showed her trying to submissively show her belly. She was just so cute, I was a total goner.
As to how my husband managed to turn up all sorts of breeds other than an actual Bull Terrier, I mostly leave that to your imagination. He's a poor typist and all, but let's be real here; I was set up. He'll never cop to it, but even if he had a massive seizure mid-typing, I still can't see how English Bull Terriers somehow managed to produce three adoptable Scotties, the breed we'd always had in the past.
Somewhere in Puddles ancestry is an alleged Scottie but I'm positive that there's actually an Air Raid Siren somewhere in her lineage. She looks like a terrier, but that dog's bark would not be out of place in the midst of a hunt for some overly harassed fox.
Wooo! AWooooooo! ArWooWooWooWoo!, Puddles proclaimed the entire time the pool guy was fiddling with the gauges out back.
I ineffectually bayed in my own turn, "Puddles, shut up! Stop it! Cease! Cut it out!" and variations thereof for a half an hour. It was a landmark day.
I've had a rescue dog prior to this and at the time I remember reading that a rescue dog can take up to six months to adjust to their new environment. It took Angus, our other rescue dog, three days to figure out we were suckers. Throw a snuggle, a wag, a delighted dog-dance our way and we're putty in their paws. It took Puddles five months to ascertain that we might bluster, and yelp, but no one here believes in striking animals.
For the first few months I had an almost entirely silent dog but the Day of the Pool Gauge was the day that Puddles discovered that whereas we don't like her barking in the house, the worst that happens in retaliation is some frenzied shaking of a coke can, half full of pennies and taped shut. This gets her to stop giving cry for upwards of ten seconds, but thankfully this only applies to actual people, not any of the other things she wants to give a good talking-to.
Whoever had Puddles prior to us hit her. We knew that fairly quickly. We'd rap out a brisk, "No!" and she'd practically hit the deck, while scuttling sideways. The day she knocked over the garbage, I let out a house echoing, "No! Bad dog!" and then nearly perished in a cuteness assault as I wiped Puddles face, her tail thumped the floor desperately, and she cringed away from the towel in my hand.
"I'm not going to hit you, you daft dog," I said with affection, wiped her face clean, and tried to keep my voice disapproving. It's all supposed to be in the tone, you know.
Which makes it a pity that Puddles neither sees, nor hears well. She's all nose.
"GaWoooooo! BaaaaaWoooooo!" Puddles proclaimed when my husband lingered in a cracked door too long, trying to see if I was awake before busting through to the closet on his way to get ready for work.
Well, I was awake after that.
"Say something!" I barked, in my own turn, "She has no idea who you are!"
Puddles does better with sound than she does with sight, so we now enter rooms talking our heads off if we think we're about to take the dog unaware.
It's truly not all that bad, this barking in the house. It happens maybe once a week, but fall has brought blowing leaves and her poor vision has Puddles leaping to high alert whenever a particularly large one goes scurrying by outside. She must think it's the world's tiniest home invader. Only when there is an actual person attached to the movement is there absolutely no chance to get her to stop giving cry.
"Puddles, no!" Whatever biped happens to be at hand will add as a rejoinder.
"Oh for god's sakes."
It only takes a few strenuously bellowed reminders and peace is restored.
This morning there was a suspicious leaf spotted at ten minutes past six, when the sun had yet to actually shine much light on the proceedings.
"Gaaaaah!" Rob hollered, as the cat shot him a look that would have laid waste to entire villages, I'm positive the cat blames Rob for the dog's appearance in his life, "Stop it! No! No!"
Puddles stopped baying and looked at Rob questioningly. Someone had to protect us from the rustling things of the world, surely.
"I hope she doesn't decide to bark at every falling flake," I commented, clutching my only lifeline to lucidity, my coffee cup, "or else we're going to have a very loud winter."
"Oh what are we going to do with you?" Rob addressed the Wagging Leaf Siren.
"We could change her name to Free To a Good Home, I guess," I suggested, "but other than that, I'm out of ideas."
Puddles craned her neck over the back of the sofa and let out a miniature, "Woo?" as she mercilessly thumped the couch pillows with her tail.
Rob, stunned by a Jim Henson Creature Shop level of adorable, immediately hugged Puddles, and she stopped barking. We're strict disciplinarians around here, you know, get out of line and suffer the snuggles.
Rob left for work, and my dog put her head on my shoulder for a moment. I'm surprised I survived. It was a full blown cuteness assault.
"You're a good girl," I said, and the couch pillows took their seventeenth beating this morning alone.
A Blue Heeler. I pondered and sipped. Now when searching for an English Terrier, it is indeed possible that a Scottish Terrier would come up on the search. It even makes sense that Puddles, a dog listed as a Scottish Terrier mix might even get caught up in the displayed results. If you're searching only pets close to your geographical location, that is because we all know when only looking for information that its geographical location has an impact on its validity.
The funny thing about "I was just looking, you're the one that picked her out" search is the Blue Heeler. I don't know if Rob really believes that he was just looking, or not. I will say that looking for dog breeds on a site called PetFinder pretty much says all that needs to be said. Having that random Heeler in there might actually add credence to "I was just looking" claim.
At dogs within driving range, of course.
But I haven't ever really called Rob on it too much.
"She's your dog, you picked her out!" Rob will say as Puddles dances around with a pink Croc in her mouth. "How'd you pick out such a bad one?"
"I must just have a gift," I'll generally say, letting him get away with blaming me for an animal he clearly adores.
After all, I think he's cute.