Every dog has a signature move.
They have some weird quirk, or funny game, or strange physical ability. Every single one. If your dog doesn’t, it just means you haven’t noticed it.
Riker, our two-hundred-pound Anatolian shepherd was, literally, a big crybaby.
He cried when he wanted love. He would lay in the living room, look as pitiful as caninely possible and weep and wail. He also cried at night when he went to bed, until I went over and tucked him in with his blanket and gave him a goodnight kiss.
Yeah, he wasn’t spoiled at all.
But the big payoff was when you went over and showed him some love, he would actually purr. Like a sofa-sized kitty. Purr.
When we go on walks, Crowley, our current pup, has one of the nuttiest moves I’ve ever seen.
He’ll take a few steps, lower his left shoulder, and drop like he’s been shot. Then he lays there, on his side, and laughs while looking to see if I’m watching him. If it’s not 1000 degrees or I’m not in a rush, I run over and make a huge fuss over him, “Oh poor Crowley fell over! Whatever shall we do?” He thinks the whole production is hilarious.
Turns out, it’s the actual technique for stuntmen to fall dramatically and also something the army teaches for hand-to-hand combat. I’m not quite sure how Mr. Crowley Pants learned it, but I’m seriously thinking about trying to get him a gig as a self-defense instructor.
All the love and knowledge that I have to show my dogs came from the original dog; Fluffy.
We got him when we lived in Puerto Rico. He was the surprise love child of a chow and a Borinquen terrior, which was the colloquial term for a mutt of indeterminate lineage. He and I would sit on the curb, watch the world go by, and share a Charms pop (I took a lick, he got a lick…).
My big brother Homer who was also stationed in Puerto Rico adopted Fluffy’s brother. Unlike his black, extremely hirsute littermate, Eric was short-haired and as red as Opie Taylor’s tresses.
As for Fluffy’s move, he jumped.
He didn’t leap into swimming pools like those frenetic pooches you see on ESPN when there are no human sports to televise. He didn’t jump over felled trees and across brooks and streams like National Velvet.
From a sitting position, he would leap straight up. If you held a piece of cheese as high as you could, he would vault toward the ceiling, grab the nosh, and land again into a sitting position. And all in the blink of an eye.
My dad is 6’4” and his reach is somewhat north of eight feet. No sweat for Fluffy. That dog would make Zion Williamson weep with jealousy.
He had one other odd “talent”.
In San Diego, we lived in a house with a chimney. In that chimney was a beehive. Periodically a bee would fly out of said chimney. The first time we saw it after we moved in, Mom freaked. She was just about to call an exterminator when Fluffy walked over and caught it and ate it.
We were afraid he’d get stung and swell up and get sick. Never happened. The dog just loved the taste of bees. And for the entire time we lived in that house, Fluffy never missed one.
That dog and his insect predilection would have come in very handy a few weeks ago. Instead of stinging me more than twenty times, Fluffy could’ve just gobbled them up.
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