There is something comfortable about old dogs. They are friendly and predictable. Sam and Diane had their former dog for 15 years. He was an outside dog trapped in an inside body. He was lovable but aggressive in that he moved with powerful strides and at every opportunity he would burst outside and gambol about refusing to come back inside until Sam and Diane lassoed him like Roy Rogers or John Wayne would rope a mustang. He would also sidle over and sit on or lie down on your foot. As time passed the man who cleaned their pool unfortunately left the gate open and the dog escaped and lost a battle with an 18-wheeler.
Enter the new dog, nay a rambunctious puppy, known as Muttley McBarker. Muttley is a Labrador retriever and to say he is rambunctious is perhaps an understatement. Sam and Diane had forgotten how much energy puppies have. They had forgotten how much time and attention a puppy demands. The truth is you do not have a puppy the puppy has you. It is almost like a child in that every decision is predicated upon how the puppy will be affected.
Muttley does not walk he charges to his next destination. He is a large dog for his age, and he knocks over lamps, does floor beautification projects with magazines thrown indiscriminately from the rack, and rummages through trash cans as if he were on American Pickers searching for a treasure. Mutttley rumbles through the house like a 1957 Dodge Ram Pickup truck, leaps like Superman going out the window and then plops onto your lap similar to a 350 pound lineman doing the cannon ball in the pool. Needless to say Muttley is not demur, shy or retiring. If he were human he would be known far and wide as hyperactive. He would be given the label of ADD or ADHD and be medicated with Ritalin or other drugs to control his disruptive behavior.
Diane had knee surgery recently so Kathy took some brownies to the house. Muttley found them and ate them. this necessitated a late night run to the vet who pumped the chocolate out of his stomach and in the process found some Easter grass that could have been a major problem. It does not digest.
Al and Susan tried a new strategy. They bought a shock pad and collar to curtail Muttley. Not to be denied, Muttley learned if he stepped on the pad a shock would ensue. After a few times he learned that if he jumped over the mat he would be free. Muttley is slow but he is not stopped so now he jumps over the mat and with a minor jolt or none at all he escapes the surly bounds of his space. Al, on the other hand sometimes forgets and steps on the mat and gets a jolt. Unlike Muttley, he has learned to stay in his room.
Go to my website Larryvandeventer.com. Larry Vandeventer grew up North of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State U. -- four times. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656.