An Introduction to Shadow The Wonder Dog.

25 Aug

I’m dog-sitting my friend Betsy’s dog, Shadow, this week. Whoa. I know – everyone is thinking back to every post I’ve ever written that includes the letters “OCD” and wondering how I’m functioning with a dog in my residence.

Well, it’s easy, actually. Because Shadow is ALSO OCD. At least, she’s willing to indulge humans’ OCD tendencies. She’s incredibly well-trained. Don’t believe me? Check out this (poorly filmed) video of her eating breakfast:

Have you ever seen a dog that can sit in front of a bowl of food and NOT eat it until given a command? Actually, the incredible thing is that you can leave the room or make her wait an hour and she won’t cheat. I don’t know many humans with that kind of willpower. (And for the record, PETA, I don’t marinate cats OR make her wait an hour – so just simmer down with your claims of cruelty.)

Among Shadow’s other amazing feats: presenting every paw for inspection and cleaning upon entering a home and asking permission before getting up on furniture… IF someone is around to grant it. If you’re gone for the day, she gives herself permission – as I discovered today when I came home to walk her a lunch and found her lazily stretching and yawning her way out of my bedroom – where there was a tell-tale circle of warmth in the middle of my sheets.

About the only challenges with taking care of Shadow manifest when I’m walking her.

For one thing, she’s a short dog and the approximate color of pavement camouflage. Which means that when we walk, I’m like a a left tackle trying to protect her blind side from cars that might not see her in crosswalks. (Thank you Sandra Bullock for giving me an official title.)

And then there’s her propensity to seek out liriope plants to poop on.

If you’re not sure why that’s a problem, then look at the picture to the left to understand the game of reverse JENGA that ensues when I try to bag her turds for take out.

And finally, her flight/fight reflex is alive and well. This sweet, submissive little dog turns into a regular pit bull if she encounters another dog in her path. She’s really not ferocious, but you wouldn’t believe that to hear her – she bares her teeth, raises her fur, and lets loose with a terrifyingly harsh bark.

In a neighborhood where people routinely use their dogs to forge conversations and flirt, it’s pretty sweet to have a dog that everyone wants to approach, but then threatens to tear the face off their dog when they try. I think I just need one more week with her before I train all the residents to cross the street when they see me coming.

Apparently Shadow learned early that the best defense is a good offense. Maybe she actually has my blind side covered.

3 Responses to “An Introduction to Shadow The Wonder Dog.”

  1. Paul August 26, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    You realize, I trust, that you’re talking yourself into getting a critter of your own?

    • pithypants August 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

      No way. I love animals and it is great to have Shadow temporarily, but my dustbuster is getting a workout that is unsustainable! I’m thinking a goldfish might be about my speed. 🙂

  2. Alicia September 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    yeah, sounds to me as if you’d like a dog. Or a cat — less hassle…?

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