Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Canine Companions

Back in June I was debating whether or not to get a new dog. After a few weeks of searching, I ended up finding the puppy that I wanted - well puppies. I ended up adopting a brother and sister Boston Terrier/Pug cross - Bugs.  I wish I knew what I was getting into the day I brought them home.
It took a couple weeks before I finally settled on names for them. I wanted to find the right brother and sister from literature or history. It just seemed right because they were by far the smartest dogs I had ever had. They quickly learned to be mostly housebroken and actually made an effort to do the right thing and either ran to the training pad or outside when the time came. They learned to fetch and play various games as well as to sit and cooperate on a leash rather quickly.


But their brains worked against me too. When bored, they quickly turned destructive and managed to get into things I never imagined. As a result my decision to wait a bit on names paid off. I went with Bart and Lisa - both smart in their own way, but also always into something well beyond what they should be.
The most amazing thing is how much they like digging into my walls. Yes - digging into the sheetrock of my walls.

And digging up everything in my garden. Their favorite bed outside is inside one of my large pots - from which they have dug out most of the dirt. They dug out the plants from every pot, but in that one, they sleep.
Still, I have no regrets about them. They are still the smartest dogs I've ever had and have amazing personalities. To some degree they mirror their namesakes. Bart is a big tough (well as much as 15 pound dogs are big and tough) dog who bulldozes his way though every situation. Lisa is much more clever; she pays attention to her surroundings and usually sees how much attention I am paying before she does something really bad.
When I am giving them a snack, it is so much fun to see their bodies nearly exploding with anticipation as I hold out on the goodie until they sit still for me to bring it all the way to their mouths. One of these days I expect their shaking to set of the local fault line. If my house was not on a solid concrete foundation, one would feel the house shaking as they charge through it (sometimes chasing me, sometimes with me chasing them.
I still have not replaced the dog door from when I had chihuahuas, Bart and Lisa now have to slow down to crawl through, so I have an advantage when chasing them. I can usually catch whichever one is waiting their turn to escape outside. In our games of chase, after escaping outside, Lisa has learned how to push open the door with her nose just enough to see where I am before she fully commits to coming in.

Someday soon, the two-year-old me is going to find a good hiding space just out of her sight so I can pounce as soon as she comes through the door. In these instances though, Bart may actually be the smarter one. He waits until she is fully inside to see what kind of reaction happens before he begins to venture in.
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