Brody is the first dog I’ve owned that “rings a bell” when he wants to go outside. He doesn’t actually ring a bell. Attached to our back door is a set of horizontal blinds extending to within a foot of the floor. Brody rattles them when wants to go outside. If my wife and I are watching TV and fail to heed the sound of the rattling blinds, he will jump up on the couch, climb in my lap and start licking my hands or face. If that doesn’t attract the necessary attention he gets back off the couch and moves to a spot on the living room floor halfway halfway between the couch and the back door and starts barking.
“He’s a smart dog,” you might be inclined to say. But when Brody is bored he does this five or six times in the span of half an hour and it becomes like a game.
Once outside it’s our hope Brody will do his business. The matter gets complicated if it’s raining. I’ve never seen a dog so inhibited to walk on wet grass in the rain. He will walk the full length of our garden retaining wall, touching down on the wet grass only after I exhort him continually. Yes, I have to don rain gear and stand out there with him to keep him from sneaking up onto the back porch before the job is done.
Snow is a different matter, Brody loves it. During the winter months he signals us more than ever, anxious to go outside and frolic in the white stuff.
Taking a walk with Brody is a unique and sometimes embarrassing experience. There is a prelude that occurs when I start putting on my shoes and coat. Brody thinks I’m taking him for a walk regardless of what Im actually planning to do. He whines and howls quite flamboyantly. If I happen to grab his leash, he begins barking loudly, right in my ear as I’m bending down to clip it on his collar. Getting Jake ready to accompany us on our outing is no easy task. Brody bounces up and down, barks, howls and interferes with my effort to leash Jake. I have tangled leashes before I even get the door open.
Brody greats the outside world with incessant barking as we set off. While Jake trots faithfully at my side, Brody darts back and forth yanking on the leash. Just about everything we encounter Brody deems worthy of a bark; holiday decorations-bark; garbage cans at the curb-bark, bark; a pedestrian out for a stroll-bark, bark, bark! If that pedestrian happens to have a dog in tow, Brody launches into a barking frenzy.
The embarrassing part of the walk occurs when I attempt to reign him in to stop him from barking. As I bend down and pull him close, he yipes like he’s been hit by a car. Oh, well. We do love you Brody! It’s a good thing you’re so cute!
It’s been a while since I shared a Brody update. I can assure you that he is alive, well and full of himself. I refer to Jake and Brody as “brothers” though the only thing they have in common is that they are both long-hair mini dachshunds. Jake is 10 years older than Brody but you wouldn’t know it when they are rough-housing around the house. They do tend to look out for one another, whether they’re penned up, relaxing on the sofa or out for a walk. They also eat and drink from the same bowls without fighting.
Their camaraderie gets cloudy, however, when treats or toys are introduced into the equation. I’m careful to give each dog the same item but within minutes each creature immediately wants the other’s prize without letting go of the one they already possess. It’s a funny thing to watch two dogs vie for the other’s prize but not quite so funny when we look at our own lives and see something similar happening.
I need to be reminded once in a while to be content with what I have already.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6
Our English cream dachshund is fast approaching his first birthday. He has eclipsed his big brother, Jake, in size and weight but is respectful of him when they play together.
We look at Brody and marvel how much he resembles a Golden Retriever were it not for his short little legs. My wife and I laughed when an internet search suggested that the gene responsible for his appearance is called the Chinchilla gene. Could this be true?
Brody now has a new nickname, “the supervisor.” He is always looking on and observing whenever my wife or I is involved with a project around the house. Assuredly, he is making sure whatever the task is it’s being done right. If by chance a piece of whatever it is being worked on falls to the floor, Brody is quick to scoop it up and make tracks for the rug in the kitchen to study it further.
Well, our little English Creme hot dog turns out to be quite a shredder. It doesn’t matter whether its a credit card receipt, an empty toilet paper roll, a newspaper, a computer power cord or my slippers. If he can get his teeth on it he will chew or shred it.
This fall, when Jake, Brody and I were able to take walks, I talked to them as we walked. Jake(r) was the baker and Brody was a toady. I guess you could say I liked to make rhymes while we ambled along.
Brody was a toad because he hopped along yanking the leash. He couldn’t stay on the sidewalk or walk in a straight line, hence the nickname. This spring he’ll need a new nickname once he becomes a good walker.
A Brody update is long overdue. Let me begin by stating the obvious, he is a beautiful creature, there is no doubting that fact. Today I weighed Brody and Jake (his older brother) and for the first time they shared the identical weight. Brody, however, is getting bigger everyday and Jake has been shedding ounces chasing Brody around the house.
I had forgotten how much life changes when there is a puppy in the house. Here is a partial list of things I took for granted.
Sleep (Brody wakes up every time one of us turns over in the night)
Snacking peacefully on the sofa (I have to shield my food from him)
Relaxing in the evening before bed (puppy crazies start around 7 pm each night)
Watching a television show without interruption (see previous comment)
Leaving my shoes by the front door with the expectation of finding them there the next morning (use your imagination)
An orderly morning routine before work (how many times do I have to let him out before I go to work to make sure he’s finished his business)
Being able to sit down and put my feet up after working all day (Brody expects me to play with him after being penned up)
We are making it work and loving on Brody. God made puppies cute for a reason!