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COLUMN: Canine kids are doggone special

By Tammy Malgesini

Staff Writer

Published on August 29, 2017 7:55PM


We sang a rousing round of “Happy Birthday” Monday morning in celebration of Lucifer’s eighth birthday.

While we didn’t throw a big party and invite all the neighborhood dogs, we did give Lucifer and the General some canned dog food. They get the good stuff on special occasions. The following morning, I swear the General looked at me like, “What gives!?” when I placed a bowl of regular food at his feet.

While both of our dogs are part of the Malgesini pack, Lucifer, a black German shepherd, is John’s dog and the General, a 5-year-old tan/black German shepherd, is mine.

After having Jeter, my 13-year-old German shepherd, put down in April 2012, I was initially hesitant to get another dog. I didn’t think I wanted to go through the difficulty of losing another canine kid. Lucifer helped me through the grief process and I’m grateful the General joined our pack. I can’t imagine life without my sweet boy.

The General is definitely the most intelligent dog I’ve ever had.

However, he has issues.

I used to think it was pretty amazing that he never had an accident in the house. Seriously, house training was a breeze. But later, it became apparent he had some quirks when it came to going to the bathroom, which I shared about in a past column.

The goofy guy also has tactile issues. I think he exhibits symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder or maybe even autism. My friends laugh when I say that, but think about it, dogs get other “human” diseases.

The General will only drink out of certain dishes. When he was about 9 months old, a paper towel fell into his water bowl by the daybed. He jumped down and stared at it.

“Take care of that,” he seemed to be saying. So, I squeezed the water out of the paper towel and threw it away.

He had a look on his face like, “That’s it, that’s all you’re going to do.” Honesty, I don’t know what more I could do. But he never drank out of that bowl again. He would jump over it, run downstairs and get a drink and then come back upstairs. After several more weeks, I finally removed the bowl.

And, playing hide-and-seek is hilarious. When I peer out and see him running frantically looking for me, I want to yell out, “Dude, use your sense of smell!”

What’s even more entertaining is when Lucifer hides with John. Seriously, this 95-pound dog will stand perfectly still in the shadows. I swear sometimes Lucifer even flashes an eye-roll while watching his brother searching for them.

John and I readily admit our canine kids have us wrapped around their dew claws. It’s all good — the boys always happily greet us when we come home, they rarely talk back and as long as they have food, water and the occasional belly rub, they’re happy.

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Tammy Malgesini is the community editor. Her column, Inside my Shoes, includes general musings about life. Contact her at tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4539.



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