He always has that look on his face, like an exasperated cat that cannot seem to get the humans to understand a damn thing. We’ve all noticed it. At times I have called him Eeyore or Grumpy Gus, as if learning that his name is now Teddy isn’t confusing enough for him. His face just tells me that if he were an actual person, he’d be that crotchety old man yelling at the kids to get off his lawn. Or Teddy Roosevelt (Matt seems to think they have a similar look about them and I tend to agree).
Then there’s the bandana. When I first took it off of him to wash away the Animal Shelter funk he didn’t seem to mind, but once he saw it again out of the wash he got really happy and wanted me to put it back on (again, Teddy’s face tells you nothing – his happiness is all in the wagging of the tail or his paw on your leg). I will be searching later this week for one or two more bandanas.
Teddy seems to have some anxiety and separation issues, which any one of us can understand. We have had to assume certain things about his former family and the life he had with them. All we were told was that his owner could no longer care for him. Was it financial? A divorce? Did the dog do something the shelter intake people and we are not aware of? These are things we’ll never know. But a few of the things we can assume are:
- Teddy must have been a good travel companion for somebody. He loves being in the car and if he could use actual words, I know he would yell “Shotgun!” while knocking down whoever is his greatest competition for the highly coveted front seat.
- Teddy must have also been a good sleeping companion for somebody. He’s getting better about listening to us when we tell him to get off the bed and stay off the bed, but there have been a few occasions that lead to a battle of the wits. So far, the humans are winning.
- Teddy already knows a few tricks so his previous owners cared enough to teach him things. He’s good at sitting and shaking paws on command and if I have the right tone in my voice, I can usually get him to stay in one spot. The thing the melts my heart is when I finish petting him (or haven’t yet started) and he pulls my hand toward him. Dawww…gets me every time.
We are all learning how to live together and no, it is never easy bringing in another family member because everything changes, the whole dynamic of the house is abruptly altered. I have likened it to when I brought my newborn daughter home for the first time (exactly eleven years ago today) and the simplest of tasks were suddenly difficult. Teddy is no infant but he does make it a chore to even get myself into the car (remember, “Shotgun!”), out of the driveway (we have to leash him until we can close the gate again from the outside, then he’s unleashed…yes, unleashed is the perfect word), and into the house with groceries (seriously, I must find a way to transport all cargo from the van into the house without opening car doors, kind of like what Willy Wonka did with his Wonkavision contraption and Mike Teavee).