After six weeks housed in shelters, she fell in love with our back yard, promptly scaring off all the lizards who'd moved in after our last dog passed away.
A week after Toto arrived someone from Helen Woodard called to ask if we'd lost Toto. "No, she's right upstairs or in the back yard," we replied. Not so! She'd run away when I went out the front door and some teens three blocks away had befriended her and called the Center!
I don't think she'd do that now. I drug my feet about getting another dog, but with my husband facing a round of radiation he insisted we adopt. I gave in, thinking he'd be the one to walk the dog. Not so! She races me upstairs so she can crawl into the corner beside my computer desk before I'm seated, and there she stays as long as I do. But let me turn in my chair and she's out of there. She quickly learned I'm prone to knock things off my cluttered desk and runs. At night, if I get up out of my recliner, she's awake and ready to follow me.
Toto doesn't sit like a normal dog. Someone spent a lot of time training her to beg, sitting on her haunches, and she does this frequently at night. Our task is to figure out what she wants when she does it. I've learned when she sits up and desperately waves her paws in front of her eyes like a cat washing its face, she needs to go out. We're yet to figure out the beady-eyes stare she turns on first one of us, then the other, while she begs.
I've learned to say, "Stay," when the front screen is open and she no longer runs away. And she stands patiently for us to slip the choke collar over her head so she can go for a walk. Daytime, she behaves more like a cat than a dog, slipping off upstairs to sleep all day on a bathroom on a thick bathmat.
And like a cat, she's a finicky eater. Most meals we have to tempt her with unhealthy gravies and sauces to get her to eat. She tears up new toys with her sharp little teeth in less than a minute, takes the skin right off a new tennis ball, but loves to play ball.
Our lives were dull before we adopted Toto, and we didn't even know it. She has made our life much more interesting, and if she would only stop getting sprayed by skunks and we learned to interpret all her signals, we'd be a prefect match.
Have you considered adopting a pet? Or do you have a dog story you'd like to tell here?