5 things that surprised me about my rescue dog
Pet rescue is never free of surprises. Some are good, like the fact that your new dog loves your cat/hamster/tortoise. Some are bad, like your new dog thinks your yoga mat is a pee pad. Here are ten things that surprised me about my adopted dog Ozzie.
- He wasn’t grateful. The nerve! I’d adopted a dozen dogs before him, and every one of them knew I’d saved its butt. Not Ozzie. When I brought him home, he walked straight to the dog bed, plopped down, and looked at me as if to say, “Okay, now what?” That was six years ago, and to this day he expects me to be at his service. Which I am. Happily.
- He was obsessed with orange balls. He could take or leave a tennis ball or a Kong. But bring out an orange rubber ball, and Ozzie would go bonkers. Even if it was another dog’s orange ball. He was so nuts over orange balls that it required a trainer’s intervention. Jennifer Gray promptly spilled two dozen orange balls onto the driveway. Ozzie looked like his head was going to explode. Once orange balls were “commoditized,” they didn’t seem as important.
- He stayed with the pack. Ozzie is a Coonhound. I’d had a Coonhound before him who wore a GPS on off-leash hikes so that I could locate her as a small dot on a handheld device. (Hounds are notorious for listening more to their noses than to their owners.) So after a few weeks of leash hikes, I let Ozzie off leash and was prepared for him to bolt, but… there he was, walking calmly with the rest of our crew. Even now, he’ll venture off for a minute if he picks up a scent, but will report back in short order.
- He doesn’t like German Shepherds. Corgis? Fine. German Shorthairs? Great hiking buddies! But shepherds? Wa-OOOOOOOO! It’s much easier to introduce Ozzie to a dozen orange balls than to a single German Shepherd. So if we’re hiking, I keep a leash with me in case of a GSD-sighting.
- He cuddles on his terms. Ozzie is not the kind of dog who loves it when you join him on the dog bed or scratch his belly when he’s lounging on his back. He just sits there and endures it. But when I plop down on the couch to watch Silicon Valley, he’ll he’ll jump up to join me (it’s the “dog couch”). In a single movement, he’ll curl into a ball and put his head in my lap, letting out the low groan of Coonhound contentment. I stroke the little bump on the top of his head and tell him I love him. And he looks at me as if to say, “Okay, now what?”
Love you, Oz-Man!