Doggy personality quirksby Terry McLaughlin
It's incredibly easy to anthropomorphize man's best friends. Those soulful, expressive eyes, those eager-to-please instincts. Those quirks and eccentricities that make them fit right in with the human tribe. I wrote about our current dogs two years ago (June 10, 2007). Hogan and Palmer are still with us, and still as naughty and neurotic as ever.
Our first dog, an Irish setter we named Cory, had an incurable sweet tooth. He'd ignore the meat on the kitchen counters, but if I forgot to put a cake out of reach, Cory would snatch it and smear frosting from one end of the room to the other. Cheese didn't interest him, but cookies would disappear. We never caught him in the act, but we knew he was the culprit behind the missing sweets–yet another vet bill would prove that our sucrose-intolerant dog had stolen yet another batch of pastries.
Cory was an amateur compared to the worst kleptomaniac we ever owned: our beagle, Kelly. Kelly was also an escape artist who could get over or under any fence we built, particularly on trash night, when she'd knock over the neighbors' cans and spread a mess in the street. One morning she scooted beneath the neighbors' garage door just as it closed and then spent a pleasant day devouring their supply of diet dinners. Other neighbors loved to tell the story of Kelly's casual appearance at a barbecue party and of her brazen exit with a bag of hot dog buns.
The second Cory, a Labrador retriever mix, was an easy-going fellow who liked to chase rocks. Not chewy throws or bouncy balls–only a rock would do. And only one thing could turn rock-loving Cory into a frenzied, foaming-at-the-mouth canine monster: house flies. He'd hunt them down and kill them no matter the time of day...or night. I lost count of the times he'd wake the family with his furious barking because he'd discovered a fly in the high staircase window, out of reach. One of us would have to climb from bed and coax the fly down into killer-dog range before we could all get back to sleep.
Some days I think life would be less complicated without my doggy friends. Some days like Saturday, when my daughter called from our ranch road to tell me dozens of buzzards were circling over one of our fields...and I noticed Hogan and Palmer had disappeared. Sure enough, when the dogs returned, they were streaked with filth and reeking of something rotten. Ever cooperative, they froze when I told them to, and then they waited patiently for my approach before shaking their coats and showering me with flecks of disgusting stuff.
What personality quirks or eccentric habits do your pets have?