Tuesday, February 28, 2012

- A Brief Dog Story

I don’t know if there is a trend to it, but like Jonah Goldberg and Mark Levin, I’m a big ‘Dog Guy”. Our present dog (pictured above) is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that my wife talked me into getting. From the photo I'm sure you can imagine how the conversation went. But I'm not sorry about it. She's a fine, clever team mate and tougher than she looks. She's certainly no powder puff - all appearances to the contrary.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen these dogs, but they define adorable. They’re cuter even than a Cocker Spaniel, and even better with children. In fact, I can say without fear of contradiction that our dog is the single most affectionate creature that anyone who has ever seen her, has ever seen.

They’re a toy breed so they’re on the smallish side. But like most spaniels, our Maggie has no idea. She’ll charge (fully spaniel like - more courage than sense) at any creature that enters her path. But not to attack it, just to smell it from up close. She’s all about the love, not the fight. And using that spaniel’s nose for her is its own nirvana.

About half of our back yard is fenced. About a year ago, a fawn got inside the fence and wore itself out trying to get back out. Our 20lb dog pursued that thing as if she were the last lion in Africa and that deer the last gazelle. She ran at it full speed, without so much as a hair’s breath of hesitation. She’s totally and utterly fearless. Fear of running down an animal several times her size simply never occurred to her. But she never meant to harm the creature, only to get her nose close to it. She just wanted to get a really good whiff.

She’s awfully smart too – and not just trainable. I keep telling people that she would learn to do calculus if there were a piece of bacon in it for her. My wife has taught her to do several complicated tricks including jumping circus like through a pair of hula hoops. But more than that, she’s perceptive about people. She understands much of what we say as it pertains to her. “Stay”, “come here”, “lie down”, “rollover”, “hold still” these aren’t tricks that require formality; they’re words whose meaning she’s learned. And she can pick them out of regular conversation and respond to them. Nothing in the world makes her happier than "communicating" with us in that way – except maybe the aforementioned bacon.

This is an all but silent breed so they don’t make superlative guard dogs, but as a companion and friend I don’t think you could do better. Which is why I was so horrified yesterday to see this:

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: An adoptable dog in Old Bridge, NJ
Small • Young • Female

Donna Bella is a sweet 1 year old female king charles spaniel. She weighs 20 pounds. This poor girl was left tied to a fence with no food, shelter or water. A very kind police officer rescued her and surrendered her to our organization. She is a great dog that is very friendly and quite affectionate. Donna Bella has an issue with people trying to take something from her. She needs an experienced person that will take the time to train her and work with her on this issue. Donna Bella is current on her vaccines, is microchipped and hw negative. She has been spayed. If you are interested in adopting this gorgeous baby, please fill out an application on the following link: ADOPTION APPLICATION

That’s obviously a Cavalier mix with something else. But these dogs are the sweetest creatures god ever created. They have the most adorable disposition I’ve ever seen on any creature. And to treat one like that dog has been treated has just left my trembling with anger.

There is a special ring of hell for people who torture kids and dogs. I personally think a person that does that should be beaten in the street. Dogs end up in shelters and I can understand that. It’s not always out of malice. Owners die or circumstances occur that prevent people from keeping them. It's unfortunate, but it happens. To paraphrase a "Deadwood" quote: "Even in an eden like NJ, bad things do sometimes still occur." But only a truly evil creature could abuse a dog – particularly one with a disposition like a cavalier. To give one "an issue" at all must have involved unspeakable mindless cruelty.

Maybe you like bigger dogs, or maybe you're a cat person. But for being allergic to them, but I have no issue with cats like some dog people do. But if you can manage it, I'd highly recommend this breed for anyone with children. They are an "upside surprise". Follow the link for more info.

1 comment:

chess said...

well said. i was raised on a farm. always had a dog. i was a loner so my companion and protector was "sport". he was huge and i was rather small. he was part great dane and ?collie. he had been left on side of road at maybe 8 weeks. i was walkng home alone form cub scouts... and yes you could walk a mile alone at night in a small town 50 yrs ago.. no one was gonna grab you back then. sport grew up and when i went down into the hollow he went and just watched. i learned more from that dog in basic human skills than i did anywhere else,...my parents knew even when i was gone for hrs that no harm would come to me unless sport were to die protecting me.since then ive had labs for goin on 36 yrs.as i type this one is on her back asleep dreaming bout chasing something.the hell you want that person to be in would be on my acreage...and that person would see me riding up on a "pale horse". enuf