Okay, I know many of you are thinking that by “good dog” I’m talking about a well trained, well behaved dog who does everything they are told and never chews on anything, barks, or digs. Well, I’m not. At least not completely anyway. I’m talking about the dog that is truly your best friend. The good ol’ dog that rides around with you wherever you go and always seems to know just how you feel. Have you ever had a dog with so much personality you wondered if they might be part human? My dad had a dog like this. I have a couple of them too. Let me tell you about them and you will know just how much you can love a “good dog”.
When I was in high school, my dad went to our local Humane Society and adopted a puppy. She was the cutest thig you ever saw. I know, ALL puppies are cute, but she was a different kind of cute. She was a white labrador mix with a big smile and a tail that curved up just a little and was very good at sweeping everything off the shelves in his parts store. We named her Dusty. Now, it would take several pages to tell you everything about her so I will do my best to shorten it and just hit the highlights. Dusty became my dad’s best friend in a hurry. He would take her anywhere he went and even though she never had a formal training, she was loved by everyone and was perfectly content to just sit by the door of any business and wait for him to come back out. She wouldn’t leave that door until he came out and headed for his truck. She wore sunglasses like they were made for her and enjoyed being dressed up for halloween or just because. She rode on my dad’s quadrunner with him. She would sit right in front of him wearing his jacket and a pair of dark sunglasses. She knew that if the quad strated to roll she needed to jump clear of it so she wouldn’t get hurt. She loved the snow. Dad would make boots for her out of medical tape, then she would scope out a good snow covered hill, walk back aways, then run full out towards the hill. When she would get to a certain point, she would flip over on her back and slide down the hill. i remember one time she had her front feet up on the couch, Dad told her to sit. She kind of wiggled her butt one way, then wiggled it the other way, then tried to sit without taking her front feet off the couch. This resulted in her rolling completely over onto her back! The funniest part of the whole thing was the look on her face. She was surprided that she couldn’t sit that way. Dad always said that she was a typical woman, she always had to have the last word. She had a way of grumbling back at him when he would say something to her. Even if he yelled at her for something she would grumble back at him. He would say something and she would grumble again. This could go on for hours if you let and every time she would get in the last word. Dad lost Dusty a few years ago and was heartbroken. She was pretty old for a dog her size when she passed away but to him it felt like losing a close family member.
I had a mini Dachshund named Little Guy for eleven years. He was a lot of fun. Like Dusty, Little Guy went with is everywhere. He learned at a young age how to open presents. At Christmas we had to keep all the presents out of his reach. He always got something from us though. The fun thing about it is, he only wanted what was in the paper. He would tear the paper to the point that he could get the toy or treat out then he was done. Once we had kids, he would help them unwrap their gifts when he was done with his. The kids were delighted to watch him tear at the paper and help take out the toy. He helped me raise three orphan kittens and was always a good companion. He was about five when we had our first son. He was a little grumpy at irst but then he would never leave their sides. He was one of our kids before we even thought about having kids. We lost him a few years ago to pneumonia at the ripe old age of eleven.
We now have two mini doxies and a black Lab. They all have their own personalities, and each one is totally different from the other. Lou likes to climb up on playsets with the kids or by himself and go down the slides. No, we don’t make him go down that way, he just has fun on the slides. Lou is our oldest mimi doxie and is now four. Copper is our other mini doxie. he is one and a half and smiles a lot. he uses his front feet like hands and if you tell him ” I’m gonna kick your butt!” he rolls over smiles and puts his “hands” in the air next to his head as if to say, “I give up!” He loves to cuddle but is afraid of Nerf dart guns, any piece of paper, and several other things. This has us a bit confused because we’ve had him since a puppy and he has not been beaten or anything. He is like one of the kids to us. Our newest member of the Family is Jack, he is a one and a half year old black lab. Jack is very well behaved for his age. He slept in a crate in the garage at his previous home so you can imagine his delight at having a big cozy dog bed in the master bedroom at our house. He gets so excited when we say it’s bedtime that he darn near takes out everything in his path on the way to the stairs. In the morning you can just forget about getting him out of bed before he is ready. He’s not moving. Jack loves to swim more than any dog I’ve ever met. Our pool is gated but when we open the gate he runs right in and straight into the pool. He loves fetching toys from the pool and is the most fun to watch when he is jumping in.
So you see, None of these dogs have had any real formal training yet they bring happiness and a large dose of personality to out lives. They make us smile, laugh, and when we sit and just pet them, they help us to relax. I suppose this is why so many dogs get to go visit people in hospitals and recovery and retirement homes. If you are trying to decide on a dog, be patient, and don’t be picky on the breed. One day you will look at a dog, he will look at you, and he will decide that he’s going home with you.