Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Perfect Dog

Look at that cute, fuzzy face!
For over thirty years, we raised Old English Sheepdogs.
To us, they are amazing.
Friendly. Energetic. Smart. Teachable. Protective. Gentle. Loyal.
And really, really fuzzy cute!
Our last breeding pair passed away several years ago.
Now, the house that used to be overrun with large, hairy, four-legged beauties, is home to one.
Aldo.
The last puppy from our last litter.
Who just turned the grand old age of thirteen.
When Aldo was just starting to eat solids, we noticed that he wasn't developing like his brothers and sisters. Something was definitely wrong. Concerned, we took him to the vet, who promptly announced that he had Parvovirus and should be put down – along with the rest of the puppies in the litter.
But I’m a veterinarian’s daughter. And his symptom - diarrhea - just didn’t convince me that such was the case.
I put him in the bathroom in the care of my fifteen year old daughter.
For two days, she made sure the tiny puppy ate and drank – especially drank.
And then we discovered that he did just fine if he was fed adult dog food. That the puppy formula was simply too rich for those sensitive puppy innards.
Huh.
We changed his diet. He began to thrive.
But the time spent together in that small room created a bond that we simply didn’t have the heart to try to break.
So Aldo stayed.
He has been an amazing companion to all of us. And boasts a higher vocabulary than many people.
My daughter has him very, very well-trained.
We didn’t realize how well-trained until yesterday.
My daughter’s theatre job necessitates some late nights. Yesterday was one of them as, following her production, she and her husband and co-workers struck the set.
It was very late indeed before they opened the front door of home.
Aldo, who usually waits quietly on the front hall carpet until his mistress gets home, was nowhere to be seen.
Odd.
There was evidence that he had been there. A few crumbs from a Dentabone were visible.
My daughter called him.
I should mention here that Aldo is in perfect health. He just can’t hear any more.
Unsruprisingly, there was no answering scramble of dog feet.
She went to the back door – which had been left open into the sunroom.
There she noticed something else. The screen door of the sunroom was slightly open.
When Husby installed that door, he put brightly-coloured strips of hard plastic at intervals across the screen so Aldo wouldn’t run into it and harm himself – or anything else.
Ironically, Aldo figured out how to open the door – using those handy strips of plastic. And his all-purpose doggie nose.
There is only one drawback. He hasn’t yet figured out how to close the door afterward.
She went into the yard, still calling, and stopped at his doggie run. Aldo’s run is cleaned after each use, but she found evidence that someone had walked him.
She went back into the house and finally to her room and Aldo’s bed.
There he was, in blissful doggie-dreamland.
He noticed her, happily welcomed her, then flopped down and went immediately back to what he had been doing.
Snoring.
Obviously not needing a quick trip out back because someone’s mistress was doing who knows what instead of tending to him.
It took a moment, but she finally figured out what had happened.
When his mistress didn’t appear at the usual time, he got himself a treat. Walked himself. And put himself to bed.
The prefect dog.
His DNA is available on request . . . 
Yep. Tired of waiting.

21 comments:

  1. A dog on auto-pilot! I'll take one. No, two.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't know of any dog that would limit himself to one treat if he had access to the box. Aldo sounds like the perfect self-sufficient pet, no maintenance required.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow. The perfect dog, and a perfect gentleman with it. Only one treat? Unheard of.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ohhh ... what a sweet story, Diane. I'm so glad Aldo got the chance to live, and to stay with your daughter. This one pulls at the old heartstrings, all right ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's not a day goes by that we aren't grateful.

      Delete
  5. I love a good dog story! And a good dog story!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. that's just lovely - what a great dog : )

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is one very smart and VERY well trained dog..oh yes....and CUTE.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a sweet, independent dog. There were times when my kids weren't trained as well.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love tis story, it reiterates how wonderful sheepies are, they have an uncanny ability to instinctively know what needs to be done and can read our minds and feelings. Aldo is such a sweet boy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! I just wish he'd do the dishes. And the vacuuming...

      Delete
    2. Agreed, if only it were possible.

      Delete

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