i hold is paw while i drive or zen and the art of chocolate lab maintenence.

disclaimer: i love having a dog. sometimes i look at my dog and am so beside myself that i actually have him. i've always wanted my own dog. like something you dream about when you are a kid. "when i'm a grown up i'll get a dog." type thing. so this is an ongoing account of what its like to be around rowdy. i'll add to the list. feel free to skip over this. mainly its for my history, so i can look back, and remember rowdy. the best dog ever.

it was bath-time today. whenever i walk upstairs, he walks upstairs. this time however, he saw me go into the bathroom downstairs and grab the dog shampoo.
he looks up at me, and casually disappears as though nothing were wrong. and i walk upstairs.
what? not paws behind me? typically i trip over the large animal on my flight up the stairs.
'rowdy sweetheart.'
i hear a tail start wagging. but no paws hitting the stairs. he WANTS so desperately to walk upstairs and be with me, but he also wants so desperately to avoid the bath. the desperation for not wanting the bath wins.
i jangle keys (he likes that noise - it equals car ride!) i clap my hands (that means dancing, and he loves to wag his butt around while we all dance.) and i whistle. (who knows what that means.)
so i walk downstairs and get tough.
and he gets up and reluctantly stands outside while i hose him down, shampoo his fur, hose him down again, condition his top, hose him down. out to the porch he goes. standing there pissed for half an hour.
i go about my things. i need a dog break. i have some lunch, clean up our dog mess, send out some resumes. going about my thing. the whole time he stands at the window. nose pressed up against the glass - looking at me.
and then i let him in. he frolics. he jumps! he runs to my bed and flops on the clean covers. i yell.

today when i went to give him a bath, he caught on when i grabbed the shampoo and comb.
boom. darts downstairs.
i spend the next 10 minutes calling him. to no avail. telling him i have a ball for him, etc. nothing.
so i walk downstairs to drag him upstairs, and what do i see?
rowdy curled up on the couch, listening to joni mitchell.

the computer:
he doesn't like it. he will do anything to put his nose between my hands and the keyboard. when i clean my keyboard - its filled with one thing: dog hair.

if he is tired, he rests his head in my lap while i work. he's no lap dog - thats for sure, but he can definately find a way to get next to me, and rest his head on my lap.

i let rowdy's nails grow long. not out of fashions sake - but my own. we don't have hardwood floors (nails can be loud on hardwood) so what do i care? i was scared to cut them myself, because i don't want to hurt the poor guy. my aunt is a dog groomer, so while i was at her house, i made her make me cut his nails. with 4 adults supervising, and 20 nails to clip, by nail 7 i was in good form. oh wait - are they called claws? maybe thats only for birds? anyway. if you cut the nail too close, they start to bleed because you get something called a quick. the quick is the vein. of course through my nervousness, rowdy just lay there. he's a patient dog.

other dogs:
he doesn't care for them. doesn't really see teh point.
this weekend i was watching a friends pug. what an ugly dog? what a terrible situation for an animal? the tongue is longer than the mouth. the nose doesn't allow silent breathing. its just an unfortunate situation. the whole time this dog was chortling and licking and scoffing around, rowdy just sat by me silent.
if the dog approached us, he would growl. protecting me.
if we went into my room, he would jump on the bed saying "this is my house".
rowdy is not a growler, so the growling bit told me that he was really NOT HAPPY. the first night we all tried sleeping - the pug paced around the room, snorting and chorting. rowdy would raise his head every 5 minutes to stare me down. as though he were asking "what the hell. please remove that animal".
and then the pug was picked up, and we got on with our lives. rowdy approached me to say thank you, and nuzzled his nose against my knee. just like the fist time i met him.