Monday, February 6, 2017

Family Dogs - Remy

This is the second installment about dogs in my family. Hopefully, many of the readers of this blog love dogs. Dog lovers are a special group of people who appreciate all the positive attributes of dog ownership. Pets are loyal, color-blind and can sense our emotional state. They can be a source of comfort at just the right time.

Our youngest daughter’s family dog is named Remy. He is a pit bull. The first time I heard they had purchased a pit bull, I figured I would never again enter their home unless the dog was on a chain or crated. The words “pit bull” have a way of feeding into our deepest fears about dogs.

Remy was purchased from an individual, who likely thought of himself as a “breeder”. The man had three dogs for sale, two females and one male. The three were living outside in a cardboard box and had never spent any time indoors. Remy was covered with mange and fleas, looking like he had flunked out of aggression class 101. The two females were selected by one buyer while the tan-colored male was bought by my son-in-law. When showed some kindness, Remy responded positively to the gesture. He was taken home to join a household with an existing German Shorthair named Eddie.

(Now Eddie is a whole other story! He has eaten stuffed cloth animals, frozen hotdogs still encased in plastic wrap, and an entire pot of tomato sauce and meatballs pulled off the stove-top. This dog clearly had food issues and would bark incessantly until you respond with attention and food.)

It took some time for Remy and Eddie to co-exist peacefully. The German Shorthair looked for food continuously, but quickly learned that Remy’s food was off limits. Yet Remy is not without his share of idiosyncrasies.

He is placid, most times. He wags his tail when he sees me, but gets wary when I wear a baseball cap or dark clothing. It takes him a few moments to adjust to the “new” me. The funniest attribute of Remy is that he eats paper. You have heard the excuse, “The dog ate my homework!” No teacher ever believed it was true.

Well, Remy has eaten homework and more! He will eat mail, cardboard, newspaper. If you leave any paper where it could be retrieved, it will likely become a snack.

Once Remy got a taste of indoor living, his lifestyle changed. He never seems to enjoy being outdoors for any length of time. If he went outside to do his business, he would quickly return indoors, preferring the security of close quarters, especially his crate or favorite armchair.

The best part of knowing Remy is his calm demeanor and his “smiley face” If you ask him for a smiley face, he actually mimics a grin, flashing his teeth. It’s like he is telling us he’s glad to be part of his adopted family. I sense what else is going through his thoughts with that smile …

Indoor living sure beats living outdoors!

Robert Parlante
February 2017

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