I wish I could begin with some eloquent quote about Dogs being man’s best friend or narrate a heart-warming tale of the magic a dog’s love can weave. Well. I cannot. I have a rambunctious puppy at home that has all but managed to send me to a mental asylum. He’s fun to play with, don’t get me wrong but he’s also managed to make my husband and me question our sanity and certain life decisions (such as adopting said puppy) at 4 a.m.
Let me introduce Champion Suresh Vance to you. He’s a frisky young 11 month old (the size of a calf) that thinks he’s as light as a feather when he goes and plonks on my husband’s lap. At such times, only the guttural sounds being emitted from somewhere beneath the mound of black fur indicate my husband’s continued, but laboured worldly presence. Champ is the sort of dog that takes pleasure in life’s little things. Like chasing after scurrying bunnies, (and now that autumn’s set in) he even runs after dry leaves that swirl in the wind. All this would seem adorable if he didn’t have a full fledged adult attached to him by a leash. I have to narrate one particular incident here, to demonstrate his behaviour that leaves one exasperated, and him well deserving of a thwack.
One chilly morning, when I took him for his usual early morning walk, I didn’t realise how cold it was, and that there were layers of thin ice formed on the pavement. After Champ finished his business and we were on our way back to the apartment, he spotted a couple of bunnies on the front lawn. Now, under normal circumstances, I’m fairly prepared for his manoeuvre of a lunge-tug-and-drag-startled-owner move. But not today and not on thin ice (!) To make matters worse, he jumped over a small fence to get to the bunnies faster. For anyone who’s lived in places where it drops below freezing temperatures, you probably know that water freezes easily on sodden wet wood. I didn’t. I smartly did the only thing I thought would make me rein him in- Stand with one foot on my sturdy fence and pull on his leash. Except that my sturdy fence wasn’t so much sturdy as slippery, because it had a layer of ice! And what would be my next course of action do you think? Instead of putting both feet on the ground, I went ahead and actually stood on the fence. All for a glorious 2 seconds before Champ gave one last happy leap. Needless to say I landed face first into the nearest bush and ended up with more than just injured pride.
Champ for some reason, also has this ritual of running in circles as fast as he can, around our coffee table. He derives great joy in doing this but it results in shoes, magazines and unidentified objects flying pell-mell in the room. At such times it’s amusing to watch my otherwise reserved and sombre husband exclaim:
“Champ! Sit!” Only to have him continue to run wildly.
“Champ! Stop!” To have him to run wildly, with his tongue out gleefully.
“Champ! Heel!” To have him run wildly, with his tongue out and go skidding on our hardwood floor.
Champ’s foster mother has assured me that our dog WILL grow out of this lunatic-puppy phase and he’ll eventually stop doing things like diving for people’s crotches as soon as he meets them (much to our collective embarrassment), that he’ll stop giving unsolicited bear hugs to victims lying on the couch, and will actually listen, when we give him a command. Until then we have to put up with him being our designated alarm clock (that goes off at freaking 4 am!) our paper shredder and yet, our lovable warm ball of fur that lets us cuddle him.