We always knew when we moved into a house that we'd get a dog. I wanted a small companion dog. Big D wanted a big dog. He won for the protection factor. I admitted that a big dog would make me feel safer while alone at night. He researched and researched. Finally decided that a Belgian Malinois would be the dog for us. And, as luck would have it, there was a year old rescued dog not too far from us. After an application process & home visit, we were approved. That weekend, we drove to Tyler, Texas to bring our new family member home.
Recently, I read the youth version of Marley & Me by John Grogan. As I was reading about Marley, so much of it reminded me of Ty those first couple of years.
- We only had Ty a week when get ran out of the house without a leash. We called and called him only to have him ignore us. We'd get close to him and he'd run away. I think I need to mention that this was in June. It's hot in June. Big D took off after him while we wrung our hands at home. After an incredibly long time, a furious Big D came home with a happy-go-lucky dog. Big D chased him all through the neighborhood & by a busy street. Just as Big D decided to give up & head home, Ty's herding instincts kicked in & he herded Big D home.
- He chewed up everything in his path. Everything. That includes mini-blinds.
- When Lamb was in 6th grade, it was a rare time that Big D worked days. Intermediate schools start at 9am which is an hour after my school starts. At the time, the only choice we had was for her to ride the bus. Ty could not handle watching her walk down the street by herself. He knew it wasn't right. What's a dog to do when he sees his charge doing something "dangerous"? Why, tear up the blinds & door frame to get to her, of course. So we had to crate him. And, sadly, it was up to Lamb to do the crating. He never gave her any problems.
- When she was in 7th grade, a dear friend of mine with a daughter Lamb's age moved close to us. We had a car pool arrangement so Lamb would not have to ride the bus. Ty had no problem with Lamb getting into a car with someone else. The crate days were over.
- Periodically, Ty would get loose. He's a bad doggie and doesn't come when called. However, we learned that if we opened a car door, he'd come running home & hop in.
- He gets in the garbage. Repeatedly. He also eats kitty litter which completely grosses me out. We had to get Cleo a hooded, private bathroom.
- When we go out of town & he has to be kenneled, he always comes home with a scratched nose. He tries to nose his way out of the crate and he whines for us.
Silly, naive me. Last night, Lamb was coming outside with me and Ty, pretty as he pleases, pushed her out of the way & came barreling out. Down the street he went. I called and called. He ignored me. I opened the car door. He ignored me. Bear went after him and he ran from him. I told Bear to walk away, hoping Ty would try to herd him. He didn't.
He darted across our busy street. Bear with a terrified voice begged him to listen and come to him. Ty kept running. Finally he passed a fence (an actual, honest to goodness fence) with a dog in the backyard. The dog started barking so Ty had to halt and tell him who's the boss. It gave Bear enough time to reach him. With me hot on the trail, Bear grabbed his collar and we got the leash on him.