Before I get to the purpose of my blog post, I’d like to congratulate the Chicago Blackhawks for winning the Stanley Cup! Even though I didn’t get to watch the game, I’m sure the fans exploded with a win at home. It was the first time they won on home ice since 1938. Here’s a video I found when the buzzer went off and they were crowned the champions.
Back when I was single living in Chicago, my family would tell me that I should get a dog. They thought that a thirty-something year old single woman without children could use the company. Since my teens, I chose not to have children and it stuck with me throughout my life. As for getting married, well, I didn’t think it would happen. I had nothing in common with anyone, I mean ANYONE, in the Greater Chicagoland area, so I grew comfortable with the single life. And a dog? There was no way I was going to pick up dog crap. Or worry about who’d take care of it when I traveled. I didn’t want to be bothered. I grew accustomed to my freedom.
“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” William Shakespeare
Then I hit my forties. I found the man I secretly waited for my whole life. While living in another country was exciting, it could also get lonely, especially when my husband went to the States or Spain and I stayed behind. I finally came out with it and told my husband I wanted a dog. He sighed and asked, “Are you ready to pick up poop?” My shoulders lifted and fell back down. “I guess so.” Then he said, “We’re on the second floor, so we can’t just open a door and let him out. We actually have to go downstairs, outside and walk him.” I agreed. He needed more reassurance, so he asked, “Are you really ready to take care of a dog? Feed it. Play with it. Take it out.” I assured him I was ready.
Four and a half months later, five days after we got married, we picked up our little dog, Shakespeare (Jack Russell and Maltese mix). I sat in the backseat holding him against my leg, so he wouldn’t fall. As we drove home, I said to my husband, “What if he doesn’t like me?” My sweet husband told me there’s no way he wouldn’t like me.
As soon as we got home, I put him down, and he started exploring the place. He didn’t whimper or shake, he wasn’t scared at all. Shakespeare went into the living room, where we had a bed for him, and he went right into it and laid down.
I never thought I’d fall in love again and marry, so you can imagine my surprise to have fallen in love a second time with this furry one. This video is from the first week we had him home.
Shakespeare knew his name since day one. Early on, he was up to no good, thinking he owned the place and talking back.
He’s like the child I never had. He’s my little buddy. Aside from my husband, Shakespeare’s the only one I talk to in English on a day-to-day basis. He hates being alone, so he’s usually following me around or laying right next to me on the couch. When we go on our walks, people stop and take notice of him. The old ladies walking their own dogs say he’s süß (sweet). At times he is sweet, but sometimes he’s trouble, like the below picture shows.
Shakespeare and I spent last summer in Spain with my in-laws. They have a pool and Shakespeare couldn’t get enough of swimming. He loved jumping in. After some time, I thought it was time to take a break, but he didn’t feel the same way.
One of the many funny things about Shakespeare is his singing. The only time he sings is when I put on a recording of my grandmother singing opera. As soon as he hears it, his tail wags, his head twists, and he sings along.
Lately, Shakespeare started chasing after cars while on his leash, and letting out a screeching bark at some big dogs as if he’s going to tear them apart. I read online that I should break him of the habit of chasing cars as soon as possible. They gave some recommendations, but suggested a dog therapist who specializes in these things.
We have a new dog watcher, and she likes Shakespeare. She calls him her shadow, because he follows her around once we leave. Little does she know that Shakespeare is a needy dog, probably because I baby him. She has her own dog, and a business as a dog healer. We told her about his issues, and she gave us a few possibilities as to what could be wrong. I explained to her about a time when a big dog came charging at us, and I picked him up. She said that was wrong of me to do because I elevated him. It made Shakespeare think he’s superior to the bigger dog, and could be the reason why he goes after the dogs. We left her place, and I felt bad that I might have been the cause.
In the car, my husband said he disagrees with her. I did the right thing by picking up Shakespeare. It’s a natural reaction, and I protected him from getting injured because the dog came at us in attack mode. We do know we need to do something to stop him from going after cars and big dogs, but we also don’t want to change his personality. Our dog watcher says that when he jumps up on our leg, it’s showing disrespect. But I believe it’s part of his personality. When my husband leaves for work, Shakespeare walks into the hallway with him, and then jumps up on my leg for me to pick him up. My husband kisses me goodbye and that’s exactly what Shakespeare wants. Then we stand by the window to watch my husband leave. It’s a ritual. So we need to find a way to teach him to stop chasing cars and big dogs without changing his personality.
Any ideas as to what we should do? What do you love about your animal(s)?
Pets and Love,