Lulu is my new dog. Her predecessor was Rasmus a black male standard poodle of incredible intelligence and agility. He really was a person in a dog suit disguise. I found out about poodles because of asthma. My granddaughter's were 3 and 4 years old and were getting sick frequently. We had 2 cats and an Australian Shepherd named Buddy. Buddy was a dark brown and gray brindle and he was the most OBEDIENT dog on our planet. Buddy walked next to me without a leash and he stopped in mid air from chasing a cat because I said so. That was one of those moments that surprised even me. You can imagine how sick I was when the doctor said, "OK look, let's start at the beginning, do you have any pets"? and then "they have to go". The tears and upset were awful. Both cats went to an elderly gentleman who had lost 2 cats to old age. When he called he said he wasn't going to have more pets because he was so heart broken, but when he saw my ad for a pair of beautiful brothers that intrigued him. When I told him why I had to find homes for them that cinched it, he came the same day. I gave Buddy to a nice family, they called me and told me what a jewel he was to them. I knew that Buddy was a perfect dog, and a sensitive companion. I really missed him. My husband would say, "you'd be perfect too if you were that ugly". He didn't appreciate his brindled coat. I thought he was beautiful.
After some time my desire for another dog was foremost in my mind and I began to do some research. There had to be some kind of pet we could have besides a fish. Birds were the worst choice for airway problems. I didn't want a snake. We had our experience with a rat, Liza Jane Ratigan, who begged for bananas and pancakes. When Liza died the girls asked Papa to say something at her little grave in our yard. Pa looked into their little teary eyes and said, " Here lies Liza Jane in life you were a good rat, and now that your dead your better". The girls said,"that was nice Papa". The innocence of the young.
A friend told me about hairless cats, they looked like something from a science fiction movie. Nope definitely not feeling it for a hairless cat. A pastor told us that chiwuawa's cured asthma. I don't like little yappers, their shrill bark goes right up my back like fingernails on a chalkboard. Then I stumbled upon standard poodles. They are a big dog. With a lamb haircut they really had appeal, and everything I read about them sounded like they were a perfect match for us. I don't even mind grooming but I confess that I would rather pay for that, it's a lot of work. A home school mom we knew had a friend with a litter of puppies and so it was that Rasmus entered our lives. I named him that because I wanted his name to have a bit of down home humor in it. I really didn't want a pansy dog with foo foo hair or some weird name like Pepe.
No offense intended if you know a pansy named Pepe. As it was we had plenty of teasing and fun about our big poo bear. From the very beginning Rasmus was special. I was sick when we first brought him home and he would lay beside me quietly. He didn't really run and play until I recovered. Those first days were an incredible time of bonding. I think he learned English then as he had an enormous vocabulary. We really didn't command this dog we just talked to him. Like the time he was looking for his ball and my husband told him it was under the van without any hand gestures; and he went and looked under the van and got his ball. We looked at each other wide eyed, "did you see that"? We were impressed, we knew he was smart, but that smart?
Rasmus was stuck to my hip for the first 6 years of his life and then an amazing thing happened. My husband stole him. The first time I woke up and he wasn't next to my side of the bed I thought he died. There he was next to J, looking sheepish like the traitor he was. I couldn't believe it. J hadn't wanted a dog, he was very aloof with him for a long time, and now they were bosom buddies? It wasn't fair. He was my dog. Come to find out my husband was spending a large amount of time petting him and talking to him every day. They were developing rituals and games while I was at work. Rasmus still loved me but he was becoming man's best friend.
to be continued.....