formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Boy...

It’s no secret that I love my dog… no, not in that weird (ooky) set-a-place-for-him-at-the-dinner-table way. I don’t let him kiss me on the lips (though he’s been known to peg me on the mouth when I haven’t been paying attention – blech) or buy him expensive toys or clothes (any clothes!). But I do love him a lot. Ryan sometimes gets in a huff and complains that I love him more than I love her, to which I reply, “Well, he never gives me lip or attitude and he usually does what I tell him.”

I think when you have a pet, it’s not only your responsibility to give it what it needs to be physically healthy, it’s also your responsibility to really love it. People who get dogs only to tie them up outside and virtually ignore them confound me (and make me pretty angry, truth be told). Why bother? My dogs have always been part of the family. I can’t imagine it any other way. I believe the love you give a dog comes back to you 1,000 times over… and I believe it shapes their personalities.

Always full of personality, Sundance came into my life when I really needed him most. I did a post a while ago about his entry into our family and another one about his chaotic puppyhood (with pictures).

This is what he looked like 4 ½ years ago, when he came home from the shelter.
Cute, huh?
This is what he looks like now.
Beautiful, isn’t he? I know I’m biased, but people always tell me how pretty he is and I always get questioned about his breed. He’s an odd mix – half-Boxer and half-Australian Shepherd. Weighing about 75lbs, he looks a bit like a white Golden Retriever. He’s got the long legs of the Boxer, which give him a perpetual puppy look (and earned him the nickname ‘Daddy Long-legs’), and he has the head of the Aussie. Though he’s nearly all white, except for a few ‘coffee drip stains’ on his ears, his skin is spotted black and when he’s wet, he looks oddly like a Dalmatian.

His looks suit his personality, which is stellar. There is little about him that doesn’t inspire affection or smiles or all-out adoration. Here are a few things I adore about my boy…

He has to be sure of me… when we’re at the park or hiking, I let him off-leash. He’ll run ahead but he stops every 20 yards or so to be sure I’m close behind. He doesn’t like for me to be out of his sight. Sometimes I’ll hide behind a tree just to see him come flying back, looking for me (I know that’s sort of mean but he is a dog and not a toddler, after all!). In fact, he’s never more than steps away from me. In the car, he sits in the backseat but he makes sure his front paws and head are on the console between the front seats. I use his head as an arm rest and he never seems to mind.

He pets me… he sleeps at the foot of my bed but on weekend mornings, when we sleep a bit later, he crawls up beside me and pets me with his paw. It’s really the sweetest thing (though sometimes it hurts a bit, as he has big feet).

He’s protective… though he’s a big teddy bear, he can sound ferocious if someone comes near us or our house. He doesn’t bother people walking or jogging past, but if anyone actually approaches us directly (especially a man), his hackles go up and he growls. People stay away. I never worry about being out alone when he's with me.

He loves Ryan… though he’s really my dog, he seems to understand that part of his job is to look after Ryan. When we play, I sometimes pretend to spank her. He gets so upset and gets between us, pawing at me and barking. You can see the conflict in his eyes… he knows I’m the boss, but he also knows he can’t let Ryan be harmed. Note that if she smacks me, he doesn’t bother!

He’s lazy… now, this isn’t normally an attribute, but it’s funny. When I get up in the morning, he doesn’t. He opens his eyes and watches me, but he refuses to leave the bed until he hears me in the kitchen, making Ryan’s lunch. Then he comes flying out of the bedroom, looking for a treat. He’s a bigger mooch than he is a sloth.

He has friends… he’s definitely an Alpha-male and he doesn’t take to all dogs, but he has a few friends at the park. Riley, a beautiful Golden Retriever, is his best bud. When we get to the park, Sundance looks for him and when he sees Riley, you can feel the joy just radiating off my boy. His other friends are Brady (a Chow mix), Norman (a yappy little Bichon), Abby (a Cocker Spaniel), and a dog whose name we don’t know (he lives at the edge of the park and Sundance visits him every morning at his dog house). He's always so happy after he’s met up with a friend, just like we are.

He apologizes… when he’s done something for which he’s gotten into trouble (not all that often, really), he acts so sorry. When I’m lecturing (because how else is he going to learn?) he’ll sit directly in front of me, head down, eyes up, looking soulful. Then he pets me. I try to look and sound stern but damn, the dog is cute.

He’s just a happy boy… he has a happy expression (and no, he’s not just panting, you non-dog people). When he’s especially happy, he hugs you… sometimes from behind, which will knock you down if you’re not prepared for it (and no, he’s not humping… he doesn’t do that ever). He hugs me in the park all the time and it makes people laugh (and gets me very dirty).

So that’s my boy in a (rather large) nutshell. Once, I complained to a guy I was dating that pictures of Sundance never really show you who he is. He replied, “You can’t capture a soul with a camera.” And I can’t do it here, in words, either. I really wish I could because I’m telling you, you would love my boy, too.

34 comments:

Heather, aka Jake's Mommy said...

He is a def. cutie. We're looking for a puppy for our son, ya know, to solve the only-child syndrome and let him tell us we love the dog more than him. :-) We hope we can find sweetie like Sundance.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

How could you not love that face and his strength - And I read back to your older posts, Diane, and the incidents that pup caused! Hilarious, although character-forming too, no doubt! I love how he came into your life, and he must have been such a pillar of love for you at such a horrible time.

It's so interesting to see how Ryan has grown in the intervening years too - She is very like her mom...

Lovely postings and pics, Diane, lovely! xox

Michelle said...

Sundance is beautiful!!!

What a great doggie!!!

Amy McMean a.k.a McSunshine said...

when i was little a had a dog that would lay next to us on the floor and put his front leg and paw over us like he was hugging us. so cute.

Protege said...

Anyone having a pet understand this post.;)
What a beautiful tribute to the members of the family that always loves us unconditionally.;))

mo.stoneskin said...

Nawwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Blech.

We're gonna a get a dog as soon as we have the space :)

Greenfingers said...

What a lovely dog Diane! Look at his cute little face!! I had a few dogs when I was younger and I know what amazing companions they can be to. Pure unconditional love!

blueviolet said...

I noticed how cute he was in the pictures yesterday with your daughter. That is a beautiful dog!

Michelle said...

The puppy shot was so darn cute. He sounds like a fab dog.

lisa said...

That Sundance is a keeper. So-o-o handsome. He's a perfect family dog and he knows it.

Heather said...

Sundance sounds like an amazing dog. :) I got all teary eyed reading your account of him.
Toby is spotted, too. His skin looks like someone splattered him with black ink, but it usually only shows up after his bath, when he looks like a little drowned rat.
*sigh* What is this hold dogs have over us?

Sam_I_am said...

I love puppy stories! I'm typing this with one hand, because Chance is demanding the attention of the other and Narnia is MIA. Probably destroying something in the livingroom.

Debbie said...

He seems such a sweet dog. MY dog..is just plain naughty! 4 pounds of sass..but we love him..and he's part of the 'clan'.

Michelle said...

Our cocker spaiel pup is such a pain but so cute and loving....if only i could fast forward him a year....

SSP said...

awww puppie dogs...sundance is awesome...you've inspired me to write a post about Willie... come by later...

Gal Friday said...

Such a beautiful dog!(the puppy photo is like my own dog's puppy pic, but in reverse--she is nearly all black)I can just imagine all the attention your Sundance gets out in public, being so large and striking and white.
I often get those unexpected dog tongue in my mouth moments(I am still alive--not so bad, after all) and my daughter too, often half-jokingly complains that I love the dog more than her...

Ronda's Rants said...

He sounds wonderful and I totally understand...

Cathy Winsby said...

We're such suckers when it comes to our pets...as it should be. We treat our dog as we would treat each other and he gives us back so much love.

Sometimes Sophia said...

Adorable puppy picture... really beautiful. Now, I'm not a dog person, yet the wonderful canine friend that you've described in Sundance sounds like a kindred soul more than a pet. I could live with somebody like that... :)

Mel said...

Those boxers, they protect their kids! As much of a scaredy cat as Baylee is, if anyone came to the house when Alex was a baby, she wouldn't leave Alex's side. We do that spanking thing with Alex too just to see Mocha get all put out. Funny, though, she doesn't do it when it comes to Brianna. I think she knows Brianna will just kick someone in the shin if they do something she doesn't like!

Mel said...
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Jane! said...

He's gorgeous.
My kids complain about my dog-love, too. I tell them that they are totally free to adore me as much as the dog does, THEN we'll talk equal treatment. Ha!

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Nothing like half a pint of lukewarm dog slobber to get the day off to a flying start!

Lee said...

He looks a real sweetie!

sherri said...

He's gorgeous and sounds very lovable.

If a man should come along with many of these same qualities (not the lazy) snag him!

Braja said...

Dog posts are fine: we love Henry after all, and he talks and tells us about his life.

And I say "go for it." But this long? Jesus wept, woman...

:)

Jenners said...

This was so lovely! And I really think you did him justice ... your love for him and his for you came shining through! And I just adore that puppy photo!

hebba said...

oh, aren't dogs the best? He seems like a great friend.

theoddduckling said...

All I can say is 'awww'.

namaste said...

You've put it all just perfectly. He sounds like a doll. I feel the same about our dogs too. I love all of their traits. Their personalities are just so different. We have the old man, the middle dog, and the puppy. I could go on and on... but I won't. This is your post! And he is just gorgeous, and sweet and I want to cuddle with him!

Lisa said...

honey, i love him- he's part aussie, why wouldnt i ?
Lisa xxxx

Jenera said...

I feel the same about dogs, if I can't have them in the house with me and treat them like family, I don't want one. I would never tie mine up outside like our neighbors do.

I have had a boxer and an australian shepherd and they are both great breeds-especially with kids.

Moomby said...

Sweet! I agree with you, why bother getting a pet if you're not gonna make it a part of the family?

Henry the Dog said...

Oh you have hit a nerve with my mum Diane, she could so easily rant and rant about folks who simply tie their dogs up or lock them in cages. One dog close by to us is permanently locked in a little cage and it breaks mum's heart. She has to put it to the back of her mind all the time otherwise she'd dwell. Dogs SHOULD NOT BE LOCKED UP ALONE or be alone for too long. We are pack creatures. We aren't solitary. We CRAVE company. It's what makes us feel safe. It's so lovely to see that Sundance is part of your world and that you talk about him as if here were another person. Thanks for sharing that with us, it was lovely xxxxx