My Faithful Sidekick

I work at home and often, the work is solitary. Sometimes it’s just nice to have another living, breathing being around. After the first six months alone, I caught a program on television about pets and pet adoption. It was awfully quiet around the house; I decided to go online.

I thought a medium size dog would be good. The dog had to be mellow because I knew Jon and I weren’t likely to do much running in a field with a dog and we don’t have a fence. I also am not terribly fond of dogs who jump on me.

I started with the rescue groups nearby. I followed links from one group to another and I only considered those groups that provided some information about the dogs’ temperament. I still wasn’t really serious and I didn’t want to look at any group where I would have to go visit to see the available dogs.

Leafing through, I came upon Queenie (not my choice for a name). Now how could anyone not love that face? I sent an inquiry to the rescue group to see if she was still available.

“We need to talk about something,” I said the next evening as Jon and I were driving in the car. “What?” he asked. “I think I might want to get a dog,” I told him. He said he wasn’t surprised (he knows me well). We talked about what changes it would mean to our lifestyle, but he agreed. OK, maybe “agreed” is a strong word; he acquiesced.

Later that evening when we got home, I reached for my laptop. “Do you want to see her picture?” Perhaps he was a bit taken aback that I already had a dog picked out, but his response was, “Now that’s an ugly dog.” Naturally he reconsidered once he came to appreciate her inner beauty!

The description on the website raved about what a wonderful dog Queenie was. She was quiet but friendly, they said. She didn’t walk on a leash, but they were sure she would learn quickly because she was so eager to please. They thought she would probably bark when strangers came to the door and, while we weren’t necessarily looking for a guard dog, we were OK with that.

We passed our home inspection and on April 7, 2010, Queenie moved in. She was everything they said and more. Specifically, she is a guard dog. Her first goal was to rid the neighborhood of all the pesky squirrels and bunnies. Since she walks on a leash, several times she almost pulled our arms out of the socket until we bought a harness to walk with her.

She barks furiously when dogs walk by the house. For a while, she was doing a great Kujo imitation when we passed other dogs on our walks. We had to take her to a trainer to break her of that. The dog park is out of the question because her doggie manners are not everything they should be. Thunder makes her bark. During the July 4th celebrations, she barked wildly as the revelers in our neighborhood shot off firecrackers and fireworks well into the night. Medication and her Thundershirt™ weren’t enough and she spent much of the evening in the basement.

All that being said, I love my crazy dog! She sits in my office behind my chair and I worry I will roll over her tail or her paw. I’d post another picture, but she’s not too fond of cameras and usually shows up as a brown blur. Right now she’s shedding so much I think I could make another puppy out of the fur I comb off of her or clean out of the vacuum.

But she keeps me company. She gets me away from my desk and outside on days when I might otherwise work straight through without a break. She follows me like a shadow. And she barks when strangers come to the door! I don’t worry about leaving the front door open because Queenie is there. She’s my guard dog and I wouldn’t give her up. Besides, who could resist that face?

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