The Life of Shakespeare

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.

ourshakespeare

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 up to something

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,
Baer Necessities

8 thoughts on “The Life of Shakespeare

  1. Shakespeare’s such a cutie. I have two little dogs with a lot of personality, too. It’s definitely tough to get them to “change.” My wife and I took them to training at the local pet store and we worked on getting them to listen to us so we could try to get them to stop the behaviors that we thought were dangerous to them — running out into the street and going after other dogs. It works for as long as we keep on doing the drills. If we get lazy, even for a day or two, they just go back to it. I think that’s just who they are.

    1. Frank, I agree. Dogs have their own personality like humans, and some breeds are better behaved than others. I think it’s the little ones who think they have something to prove. LOL! I guess I need to find the drills that will stop him from acting out.

  2. Shakespeare is such a cutie 😉 It’s too bad he’s started to chase cars. My rescue dog Zoey hates anything on wheels, but teenagers on skateboards seem to be the worse. I’ve probably seen too many episodes of The Dog Whisperer, but when a dog gets out of line, their human master needs to make them submit. It’s easier said than done though, but does help get their brain in the so-called more calm and submissive state.

    1. Jeri, I’m curious, when you get a rescue dog, do they give you the background about the dog and how he ended up there? We went to a few Tierheims (dog shelters), and majority of the dogs were big. We don’t have a big flat so we felt it wouldn’t be fair to the dog.

      I think I need to watch a few Dog Whisperer shows. Shakespeare needs to learn to submit for these kinds of things. When I reprimand him, he barks back at me. When he starts going after cars and dogs, he’s all over the place, and I can’t get him to stop. I’m going to search youtube for “how to get your dog to submit.” It’s worth a try.

  3. Unfortunately I don’t have an answer for you, but Shakespeare is adorable. I have my own little dog farm, and it more than makes up for kids (blegh) which the wife and I have happily agreed not to have. We baby ours a little too, but they’re very well behaved. And my Italian Greyhound loves jumping on my leg. He’s the most shy, bashful, respectful dog ever, so I really don’t believe that’s a sign of ‘disrespect.’ He just wants me to love on him.

    1. Dogs are so awesome. I read that Italian Greyhounds are great companions. I agree about the disrespect part. When dogs jump up, they want attention just like a little child does. I don’t think our dog watcher could handle a sleepover with Shakespeare. LOL!

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