Friday, June 18, 2010

CharlieGodammit

Hey, I know I make CharlieGoddamit sound like a fucking mess, but the fact of the matter is he's a damned fine dog.
He's rowdy, he's hardheaded and completely unpredictable at times, but as Pops pointed out, I am too.

I had never gotten an adult dog before. Every other dog that's ever owned me I had gotten as a pup and I started working with it from day one. I've had 3 month old dogs that minded better than professionally trained dogs.
Charlie was different. I didn't want to take the effort to raise a pup again, so I looked for one that was grown. I was told he was 3-4 years old when I got him, but once I got him home and checked his teeth, I knew he was maybe a year, 18 months at the most. Not an adult dog, for sure.
Not having any experience at training adult dogs, I went and bought a "Dog Training For Dummies" book. Read the motherfucker one time and tossed it. I started training Charlie the way I would a pup and he responded better than I thought.
He sits, he lays down, he comes. What more can I ask?
He does range a lot further than I would prefer when we're in the hills, but he eventually comes back. I'm used to Labs that generally stay close or hounds that'll range but at least give voice so I can keep track of them. Charlie's Husky and Shepherd, so I've got a dog that ranges and stays quiet. I'll get used to it.

The girl I got him from found him running down a main road here in town and tried for 6 months to find his owner. Her daddy (a friend of mine) said she was getting rid of him because she was moving. I suspect she got rid of him because she couldn't handle him.
We butted heads for a few days, but he eventually figured out I was the boss (I hate the term "Alpha male", sounds too uppity for me) and started acting like a dog instead of coyote or wolf.
He's still kinda sorta skittish about certain things.
If I reach for him to grab his collar or to pet him, he'll grab my hand for a second or two. He doesn't like to be touched unless he wants to be.
He doesn't care for women too much unless he sees me hug them. Then there's no problem.
He won't get near my feet if I'm wearing boots. I suspect somebody used to kick him. When I'm barefoot though, he lays across my feet.


I went out and bought him a shitload of toys. When I say "Go get Tug" he'll bring me that hard rubber double D-handled thing that he uses to jerk me off my feet in his yard. When I ask for Squeak, he brings me his squeak toy - it's pink with blue hearts, the big pussy. But his favorite toy? My empty Busch 12 pack cartons. Matter of fact, I just kicked his ass back outside when he brought one into the house and started ripping it apart.

I know I've gotta get him cut, if for no other reason is that he pisses on anything new. When I take him to the dog park to let him run and socialize, he pisses on EVERYTHING. Fence posts, bushes, fat ladies, chairs, chihuahuas, everything. He's way too territorial.
But he's gentle with other animals and loves kids. He doesn't misbehave around strangers either, unless they're clearly hostile or he can tell I'm not happy with them.

When he's in the house - and he gets free run of it - he's well behaved. He generally lays in the corner by the door with Squeak and never takes his eyes off me.

He hardly ever barks. The only time he does is when he's pissed at somebody coming up on the porch. If he knows them, it's all good, but let a stranger come to the door..... He'll bark once and then watch my reaction. If he wants something from me, he howls. I think that's cooler than shit.

His (and mine) favorite time of the day is coffee time. After I get up and ready for work, I generally kick back on my bed and enjoy a cup of my ass-kicking wonderful coffee. I also enjoy Charlie, because that's his lovin' time. He jumps right up there with me and snuggles, getting his belly rubs, ear scratching and kisses.

There's no doubt in my mind that if it came to it, I could put my life in his hands. And I think he knows that he can put his life in my hands.