I could not live without a dog. I need animal wisdom, animal communication, animal humor, and the companionship they bring to every moment. So, to make a long story short, I put out the word that we were ready to rescue another dog. Hopefully a chow.
That was not to be. No chows around here, only north about 11 hours or so. I can’t do that anymore. So, a friend suggested a Norwegian Elkhound. Never heard of them. Had to look it up. They look a little like a small wolf, or a tiny Malamute, with a tightly curled tail. Thick coats. Black ears that tend to ride down alongside their face, or upright like a German Shepherd, when they are wondering. About life, probably.
So, along came 9 year old Troy, from the Magnolia Ridge kennel in Mississippi. To here. We live on Magnolia Ridge, in Rose Villa, so that works. He came striding in our front door, crawled into our laps, and announced that he was here to stay, and that he is the champ, and not to forget that part. Ever. We don’t. He reminds us in hundreds of ways. He loves the automatic doors into the main building, and just strolls in waiting for the reception to his champ self. He loves everyone he meets, and charms them all. Egads. A show dog.
And he’s freaky smart. We’ve had 4 other dogs, but never one like this. We are buying puzzles for him to keep him occupied, Ph.D. dog level puzzles. He aces them all, and then stands there, what’s next? He wants to crawl into my lap all the time, to give full body hugs which are sweet and not always comfortable and take my energy. So I bribe him to leave me alone, at times. These dogs are food motivated, so he eats all the time. Literally. We have to measure food, so he doesn’t get obese. He is, in effect, a challenge, but a delightful one. Mostly.
Elkhounds, like chows, are not necessarily obedient. They are self directed, in order to hunt down moose in Norway. They are smart, and also clever. It’s not that he isn’t trustworthy, it’s just that he has his own ideas about how things should go, and if they don’t, then he goes around the other way…. with one eye on me or Eric. We are working this out, one day at a time. One blessing – he lets me sleep in the morning, when Eric isn’t here. And I can sleep as long as I need to. Thank God!
In terms of cancer, its a fact that people with pets, in our case dogs, tend to live longer. So, he is now a part of my health care team. All 60 pounds, a long black nose, and busy paws. And that scary smart little brain of his.