And so we challenged each other to write about our dogs. Danelle's Miki, a miniature American Eskimo, and Shep are friends as you'll see in a picture down the page.
What makes Shep so awesome? What is it about him that makes me disinterested in activities that don't include him? Why do I feel awful when I leave him home for long periods of time unattended?
Shep and I celebrated our sixth anniversary together on May long weekend. I remember well our first weekend. We were both a little nervous, trying to establish our roles with each other.
In fact, he barfed on the floor next to the bed. Thank goodness I was spending the night at a friend's place in Carstairs, where our time together began.
We struggled with each other over the next year, trying to earn a place in each other's hearts and still not truly trusting each other. Was I only going to give him up like his last two families? Why the fuck won't he eat what's put in front of him?
We turned a corner in 2006, a story not meant for these spaces and one better kept between Shep, me and a few close friends in the know.
For you, here is why Shep rocks:
- When I come home from being anywhere, he doesn't leave my side for at least 10 minutes.
- He knows how to be Srs Dog.
- He belches like a human ... even comes over and sits beside me so he can share it with me.
- When I've been spending too much time on my laptop, he lets me know by putting his head right on the keyboard. Or by using his snout to lift my hands off the keyboard.
- He loves going to the vet. It's true. His Auntie Dana works there. He knows he'll see her and his best friend Tundra there.
- We have hugs. He's tall enough to stand on his hinds and put his forepaws on my shoulders.
- I snap him off for putting his nose on the kitchen counter. He wags his tail anyway and it goes in this big circle that always makes me smile.
- He is always surprised by his own farts. And he comes over to sit beside me so he can share them with me.
- When he talks to me, it's usually because there's another dog in the near vicinity, like the toy dog upstairs or the chihuahua next door. And it's half bark, half howl, kinda whiny, not at all fierce. For a big dog, he's a wuss.
- And he becomes a total baby during thunderstorms. I saw him try to hide under the bed once but there isn't enough room. So, he cowers in the bathroom and whimpers. Big dog, my ass.
- Chase is the most fun game. Ever. He doesn't play fetch. It's almost undignified for him. You threw the ball, you go get it. For chase, he assumes position and then runs speed laps around me. Then he gets bored and moves on.
- His attention span makes me laugh. He seems to get bored easily. So do I. We're perfect for each other.
- He knows how to be Goofy Dog.
- He wants to be the That Guy at the dog park, running up to every dog and trying to make friends.
- Patience is his biggest virtue. When the weather is crappy or I just don't feel like going for a walk, he's happy enough to just hang out.
- He knows exactly what my ball bag means. He puts his face on his paws and gives me a look that says, 'you're going to be away all day and I'm going to miss you.' At least, that's what I think it means.
- He knows exactly what filling my day pack means. And he gets so excited because he knows he'll be spending the day in the mountains.
- He's the best inside spoon for cuddling. Ever.
- He is simply the most beautiful dog I've ever seen. People have stopped traffic to tell me as much. I kid you not.
- He has made me a better judge of character. If you don't love my dog and show him affection, I'm going to have trouble loving you.
- He is happiest when we are together. And so am I.