Chester

14 Oct

I blogged last week about the new dog in my house. He came for a few trial days, and if he passed, and if my dad agreed, he would stay. I tried to take his picture earlier. I thought some might like to see what he looks like. Well it didn’t work. I stuck my old camera at him, and he got so excited he couldn’t sit still. After many attempts, I only got one picture. It’s so close that you can see only his head, and his eyes are so bright they look like laser beams. I figured no picture is better than one where he looks rather scary. Perhaps I’ll try again soon, maybe when he’s sleeping so I can sneak up on him whilst he’s unaware.

In the absence of a picture, which is what people dealt with for thousands of years, I’ll do my best to use words. He’s solid black, and his fur is scruffy and longish. It’s mixed between poodle and Labrador hair, so it’s soft yet wavy, and it sheds very little. He’s big, and his body is long. He has bushy, grayish eyebrows that make him look like an old man. And he wiggles. He wiggles so much. He has a long tail that never stops wagging and thumps whatever it’s near, so that wherever he is there’s a loud thwacking sound of his tail hitting the table or the chair or someone’s legs. It a strong tail, and sometimes it hurts.

We had the dog for a couple of days, which was supposed to be the time when we informed the owner whether we’d keep him or not, but at the owner’s grace, she allowed him a longer trial period. My dad still hadn’t made up his mind. Everyone else has, however, fallen in love with him. It’s very hard not to. He doesn’t jump, which is nice, but instead pushes into your personal space, while wagging and wiggling, and sticks his face in your own as if saying, “Love me love me love me!” He never tires of petting. When you do, he goes to someone new with equal excitement as the previous person, giving and expecting just as much love.

He’s the perfect dog, really. He doesn’t bark. If he does, I haven’t heard him yet. Sometimes he whimpers, but that’s it. He doesn’t jump on people or snatch food from the table. He’s potty-trained. He slobbers when he drinks. He does have one big quirk. He won’t go near stairs and fears thresholds. We learned why: his owner has the equivalent of an invisible fence inside her house, so that if the dog walked on carpet, he got zapped.

Now some dogs are like rhinos. A zap would be like a swat to the butt. A harmless reprimand. For others, it’s spirit crushing. It all depends on the personality of the dog. Well this dog is one who is sensitive and whose spirit, I believe, has been a bit crunched by the zapper. It’s nothing that cannot be fixed. It’s like a crunched paper that can be smoothed back out again. I believe if we keep loving him he’ll discover that he will not get hurt any longer and that we are happy with him. In the mean time, he acts as if he’s not sure if we will like him or not and he slinks painfully around doorways, never sure if shocks will go coursing through him. He’s such a sweet, good dog.

My mom came up with the name Chester because it seems an old man name, and he kind of looks elderly because of the eyebrows. Also, his former name was “Chico,” and we wanted something similar, something that wouldn’t be too hard a transition.

Chester is a part of the family now, even if my dad won’t give his final word on the matter. The trick, my mom said, is to make him think that keeping the dog is his idea. But at this point, I really believe he’s here to stay. And yes, I did just write an incredible lot about a dog, which some people might not understand. But that’s OK. Spillage is, sometimes, what blogging is for.

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