She’s Not a Good Watchdog…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Menagerie.”

I love big dogs.  Not the Marmaduke variety, something that could have a saddle placed on it and rented out for children’s parties.  Just larger than average dogs.  My current housemate is a 13 year old Husky/ Border Collie mix named Wooglin.  Strange enough name, well it goes back to the frat boy days where we learned some “lore” about a mythical dragon.  Woogie is be no means scary, she sniffs every person who comes on the property and treats them like family.  She is the worst kind of guard animal you could ever have.  The UPS driver doesn’t even get a second glance from her, if she even raises her head at all!

About a week after driving her home I had to get an electric fence.  She liked to run from one end of the neighborhood to the other, to her it was a game.  This wasn’t such a big deal to anyone, they were accustomed to my previous dog, who was going blind, just wandering around, looking for love.  Wooglin was all about bursting through the fence, she took the hit from the collar and just kept on going.  That was until she hit another yard with an electric fence, one more shock.  Let’s get out of this yard and move on to the next.  Another shock and by that time we had finally caught up to her, she was just a whimpering mess.  For the next couple of days all she would do was walk off of the deck to do her “business” and scurry right back into the house.

They talk about how animals know when something is wrong.  For a long time after my relationship ended, Wooglin would sit at the edge of the driveway waiting for mommy to come home.  Every night there she sat until it was long past dark and sadness set in.  Wooglin’s way too old now to jump up on the couch, so I sat on the floor with her for days.  It’s hard to break that habit for humans, let alone a dog that just wants love, a rub on the head [much like humans!].

The other part of my dog that I love was re-enforced over the weekend.  I’ve talked about the cancer and the chemo, but one of the lovely side-effects in my case are these blinding headaches.  I had to pack my head in ice most of the weekend and just lay there like a lump of coal.  My mother was taking care of the odds and ends things, but she tried with all of her might to get Wooglin to go outside yesterday morning.  Poor girl hadn’t been out for almost 14 hours at this point.  {sidenote – she has only ever had one accident in the entire 10 years I have had her.  And that was the first week when I didn’t realize what her “signs” were.  I learned quickly!]  Wooglin wouldn’t come out from next to the bed for any reason.  No treat, no gentle coaxing, nothing could get her to budge.  Eventually I had to just get my own butt out of bed for her to move along.

It’s amazing to me how she “knows” when things are just off.  Laying on my feet when I need her to, sensing those times when Daddy just can’t play but loves to have her around.  It’s hard during those times when I’m not home, wondering if she realizes I am thinking about her while she mopes around the house.  So much like a human it’s scary.  She just sat there with her head in my lap the day my daughter died.  She didn’t leave my side for days afterwards.

She doesn’t run the lengths of the neighborhood anymore, she fights taking walks longer than the length of the street.  Her back legs have a little arthritis in them and Wooglin has a nasty habit of scratching her ears until they are red and raw.  If she hears a loud noise, she’s outta here.  And for some reason she will bark at the trees every night around 8:30?  But I love her like a child.  She’s great with kids, never pawed any baby who has ever crossed the thresh-hold, just stands guard.  As amazed as the human adults, eyes filled with wonder.

There’s going to come a time when she just doesn’t get around anymore.  The stairs to the bedroom will be too much for her, maybe even the three steps off the deck.  And that’s scary to me.  I know we’re closer to those days.  13 years for a dog like her is a good run, 15 would be even better!  I know somewhere there is a little girl waiting for her to play catch, run like the puppy she once was.  Someone who will look after her.  I’m just not ready for that day.

2 thoughts on “She’s Not a Good Watchdog…

  1. Pingback: Oh, my dog. | The Hempstead Man

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