Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The New Dog

My sister has always loved dogs, and her husband (surprise!) also loves dogs, so they've never had less than 2 dogs, usually 3, and I think once they had 4. Patton the boxer died recently, much to everyone's dismay, (a great way to go; he went for a walk with my brother-in-law, chased some critter away from the neighbor's chickens, turned and looked at my brother-in-law and keeled over), so they were in the market. Since they're both suckers for a stray who needs help, the new dog (like all their dogs) is a rescue dog; what's unusual is that the new dog is a Doberman puppy, about a year old. They've never had a Doberman before.

So, here's Duke:

Duke's previous owner lost his job, and stopped buying dog food so as to feed his 3 kids; the scraps left over for the dog weren't enough. Also, he left the dog tied alone in the yard all day, which attracted the attention of Animal Control.

The rescue people called my sister, and they've had Duke about a month now. They're stuffing him madly, but you can still count most of his ribs and all of his vertebrae.

He's a nice puppy, if understandably a little nervous about being left alone. He also thinks he's a lap dog, which can be trying when the dog stands over 3 feet high and weighs around 65 pounds. Wait until he fills back out; his projected adult weight is 80-90 lb. That's a lot of lap dog! Due to a total lack of training, he was a little pushy when they got him, but even in the few days we were there he was getting much calmer and responding much better to commands.

But the funniest thing about Duke is the way he looks when he curls up to sleep; he looks like a Swiss army knife:

Officially they're "fostering" him, but I think he's going to stay.


  1. We're cat people, but lately I've become fond of dogs too.

    A really fun thing is to go to one of these boutique dog shows. They hold them sometimes at the old Cow Palace in San Francisco. Each breed is judged separately, and the tension and effort evident in the competitions is palpable.

    But the best part is touring the holding areas, where the breeds are kept together is common aisles. The range of body types and eccentric hybrids is astonishing. I've become fond of Corgis and Wire-haired terriers. But they're all lovable. These days I like to sit out in open cafes and watch people parade their pets on the sidewalk.

    We have three Siamese. Our little boy kitty, Mocha, we purchased from a breeder in Stockton. The breeder had been dishonest about the transaction, saying that we'd get "the pick of the litter" but when we arrived, were told that this one male was all we'd be able to buy. I was skeptical: He looked scrawnier than his siblings, and his tail slanted weirdly over his back, like a scorpion! He was feisty, and appeared to be spurned by the other members of his family. But his mom, Sadie, was sweet, and he'd been sired by a big alpha male named Big Kahuna. (Big Kahuna & Sadie, it kind of has a ring, doesn't it?) It turned out that Mocha had been the runt of his litter, had been underweight and often was pushed away from his tit. I was worried about him, but my wife prevailed upon me, and we took him home two weeks later, after the breeder had had time to supplement his weight with baby-bottles etc. Mocha turned out to be a wonderful cat. His tail turned dark brown, and thickened. His fur softened and thickened. Today he's a trim, sleek specimen with big paws, and a noticeable "ruff" around his neck.
    When he was three, he began to have trouble passing water, and it was discovered that his equipment was malformed, necessitating a complete removal of all his equipment; oddly this had no ill affects on him. Indeed, even after the operation, he has continued (futilely) to mount our little potent female Lottie, despite being unable to perform.

  2. OMG, Duke is so cute. I certainly wouldn't be able to un-foster him.