Monday, January 26, 2009

Mr. Mop & Me



I find it odd that I rarely talk about my dogs in this blog.  I have two:  Mr. Mop and Brooklyn.  Let's introduce you to Mr. Mop.

I just saw that movie 'Marley & Me' which is based on the book about the world's worst dog.  Mr. Mop may not be Marley but he definitely is not far off.

I adopted Mr. Mop from a dog shelter up in Fort Smith, North West Territories.  I was shocked to discover that such a sweet looking, little white dog with one cocked ear could survive such a harsh winter (he lived outside) and not get eaten by a polar bear.

Then I met him.

It took a while for his true nature to show itself, and when it did I realized Mop had probably given those polar bears a run for their money (or seals. whatever).  

He is very sweet and loving.  Very cute and cuddly.  Very bad.  He is part Bichon, part asshole (aka Jack Russell Terrier).  He is incredibly clever, incredibly determined, and incredibly ALPHA ALPHA ALPHA.  So we have enrolled in obedience school (six months after getting him home but better late than never right?)

On our first night,  Mr. Mop cowered at my feet in the unfamiliar and smelly surroundings as the other MUCH BIGGER dogs barked and cried.  I thought that perhaps the environment alone would tame him.  I thought wrong.  The trainer used him on her first example to which he cried, lay on his back (feeble trick) and finally bit his leash and jumped at her face.  Crap.

Needless to say we got extra homework.  I mean for crying out loud, this class has two German Shepards, a crazy Bull Mastiff, two Labs and a Rhodesian what-have-you, but which dog is the asshole?  The 14-pound Mopster.   All the other dogs got to go home and get treats but Mop and I had a lesson in the corner on manners.

We (and I use that term loosely) have to:  not be on the furniture, not sleep in my bed, eat after I have eaten, go through the door last,  and basically change every single habit he has been allowed to form.  Ugh.

Here's the thing:  what's the point of a dog if you aren't going to cuddle with them?  That's my philosophy anyways.  So in the middle of the night, when I miss the presence of puppy breath on my cheek, I possibly wake up, tip toe to the living room and pick Mr Mop off his bed in front of the fire (I think he actually prefers not being in the same room as me when sleeping) and put him under the covers next to me.  So wrong.

Other than that little slip-up, I think we are progressing famously.  My little guy is very clever, and figured out the 'stay' after the second try.  So in class tonight, when we had to show off our maneuvers, Mr. Mop was the only dog who could do the heel, automatic sit, AND stay.  Take that, suckas.

I have soon realized that dog obedience school must be what preschool, or any level of school, is to for people with human babies.  All the owners stare on at the other dogs, smile and pretend we think they are as cute as our own dogs.  We secretly revel in how smart our own dog is over the idiot mastiff who still can't sit properly.  

Tonight, that same said mastiff was the dog who misbehaved and entered Mr. Mop's personal bubble when he was heeling which in turn made Mop growl (I would too if a big lady ten times the size of me got in my face out of no where) which in turn made the big dog jump and attack.  And yet the parent's of stupid dog gave me dirty looks?  I felt like what the parent of the smart geek must feel like when the bullys' parents blame her child for their own childs' stupidity.

I tell you, the power of love is strong and even though Mop has a bit of a personality, I will take on anyone, or any dog, who is mean to him.  Or any owner.

Mr. Mop has his kinks but I love him for all his faults and will work until everyone can see his good side.

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