My Life With Dogs #6

Friends: I have decided to share with you My Life With Dogs. These Blogs taken from my book, 14000 Dogs Later, may be one page at a time, or more. I don’t want to dump too much on you at a time. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to make comments here, or on my Face Book or Twitter account. Best, John
Face Book: Twitter: @PrestonBook


“My little old dog: A heart-beat at my feet.” Edith Wharton

During high school, the military, and college, my dog was Harold Chadwich. He was average size, of mixed ancestry, and of chocolate descent, I say this because his was a tint of brown I have never seen since. I define his color as a mixture of brown found in the eyes of an Indian maiden, an acorn freshly fallen, and the inner coat of a Grizzly cub.
Chad was named after my Boy Scout Master of the same moniker, who, learning at scout camp that I did not know how to swim, and reasoning that I might be the only member of BSA that did not know how, rectified that by throwing me in the deep end of the pool at Camp Arrowhead. Interestingly, no one came to my rescue but Chad…and not my scout master, Chad…my dog, who I had received permission to bring along since Camp Arrowhead is only a few miles away from my home.

What I’ve learned: Will someone please explain this to me? My dog, untrained in the art of protecting the life of his master, even at the risk of death, belly busted into the pool fully intent on keeping me afloat. I’ve read all about wolves, from whence dogs descend. I know what the pack is willing to do for its leader. I know that my family became his pack the day we picked him up at the pound and I became the leader. But, how did he transpose all that over to me to the extent of: knowing I was in peril, and figuring he needed to do something about it. Is there any other animal in the world wired like a dog?

Now, if you agree with what I just said, then can you explain the following to me? That same summer I loaded that same dog into the car to take her to the vet. I then returned to the house for her collar and lead. When I came back to the car, just as I reached to open the door, she jumped on the automatic door lock. We just looked at each other. I swear she knew where we were going and locked me out of the car on purpose. Here’s the thing: if he belly-flopped into the deep end of a swimming pool to save my life…could he not have figured out the vet trip?

There are several aspects, senses, or instincts of dogs that allow
them to be perfect companions for you and me:
Ø The pack instinct. They crave companionship, leadership, and family.
Ø They are social. Whether it’s just you or a large family; they can be perfectly content.
Ø The territorial instinct. Yes, this can be problematic. It’s why they chase cars, the mailman, all delivery men…and it’s why there’s a dirt path worn along the front fence. But, in their minds, they are protecting our property and our lives. It’s a pretty good tradeoff if you ask me.
Ø They have the uncanny capacity to adjust to our needs, wants, desires, and wishes.
Ø There is a dog or breed that can fit perfectly into your life style, whether you are a hunter or fisher. Whether you live in the country or an apartment. Whether you travel, are solitary, or sedentary. Whether you need a protection, alarm, or guard dog.
Ø They come in any color, size, or disposition.

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