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.


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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