I have the privilege of occasionally keeping my brother’s two dogs, George and Gracie. Nick really enjoys these visits. I got the clever idea that we should get a permanent playmate for Nick. I knew just where to go, Cheatham County Animal Control. We had such splendid luck the first time with our sweet Schnauzer, why not again. Tempting fate?
After two visits to the pound we found Buddy, a two years old Chihuahua – Cairn terrier mix. When the worker lifted him from the cage to the floor, he immediately relieved himself without one ounce of shame. I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy training right then. But did I listen to the warning bells going off in my head? NO! My heart took the lead. The staff explained his former owners, an older couple, called him Buddy.They had to bring him in because they couldn’t afford to feed him. He only weighs 15 pounds; how much can he eat?
The fun begins. We learned right away his Chihuahua side is dominant. Chihuahuas are possessive and stubborn. Buddy formed an attachment to me, making it difficult for Jerry or Nick to get close to me. Teaching him that it wasn’t acceptable behavior, along with the difficulty of training him to mark his territory outside, nearly cost him his life…with us that is. I never actually thought about killing him. That is until he started nipping, no, to be honest biting. Maybe this was the problem with his former owners, not the food cost.
Jerry suffers Buddy’s foul temper when he enters the room. Buddy jumps up on the back of the couch, teeth bared and growing like a pint size lion. What’s so odd is his tail is wagging a friendly signal. Most of the time Buddy rolls over and exposes his belly for a good scratch. But Jerry is cautious and has learned the hard way to keep on walking if there is no signal of playfulness.
Buddy doesn’t like to be disturbed when he is sleeping. We learned to never allow him to fall asleep on us. If he does, you quietly and carefully prepare him to wake and move, or suffer the consequences of a mad dog reaction. We understood his need a crate for night sleeping, and he shows his appreciation by cheerfully going to bed each night.
We celebrated our first year with Buddy and determined he is worth the trouble. His training is showing and makes life much happier for all concerned. I no longer threaten him with going back to the pound. He isn’t perfect, but we love him. Hmm, much like our relationship with God; we aren’t perfect but he still loves us.