Here's Willie in all his baby cuteness at six weeks old. Twelve years later here he is getting ready to celebrate New Years 2008. We've been together for 13 years now and he is my Darlin' Companion (Remember the old Johnny and June Carter Cash duet? ". . .you give me understanding. . .gonna stick by you, darlin' companion). Our host for this week's Fun Monday is Sayre over at Sayre Smiles and she's given us a real easy assignment since it's a holiday for the US Fun Mondayers. Sayre want us to share some photos of our fur-fin-feather or skin babies. And, what's the story on how we came to live together?
I was not thinking rationally when I threw a milk crate in the car and went over to friend L's house in response to her telephone call inviting me to come over and have a look at these two cute puppies she had found by the Ben Franklin store dumpster near her home. But, do we ever behave sensibly when confronted with a few pounds worth of sleek puppy wiggles? The thing was, I already had a houseful of high maintenance dogs, all male--Zack the crazy border collie, Frank the chow-German shepherd mix, and Dan the golden. You already know the rest of the story though, Willie was loaded in the milk crate and brought home (my good friend S took his sister Hallie home with her). We never knew anything about the previous owners and why the pups were abandoned. They were well cared for and socialized, but all our efforts to find their owners came to nothing. We speculate that they were abandoned because of the obvious pit bull in their mix. It was about that time in 1996 that it was becoming an issue to own a so called dangerous breed like a pit bull in Louisville.
For the next six years our house was a battleground. I knew nothing about handling a strong breed, especially when mixed with three other males who had been accustomed to living together in a chaotic undisciplined manner. They never fought each other. But Willie changed the mix. From puppyhood, he methodically challenged the other dogs for alpha position, starting with Frank the chow-german shepherd and working down to Dan the golden. I mostly walked a tightrope trying to quell the squabbles before they escalated to bloodshed levels. The three older dogs hung on to old age, sadly not as peaceful as they deserved. Dan was the last, dying of heart problems in 2002. Willie finally got to be an only dog
He thrived on all my attention. I was determined to turn him around with a steady regimen of exercise, discipline and affection. When I retired in 2006 we spent even more time together. He is with me 24/7 and we both love it. We take long daily walks and he is always by my side. Luckily I don't do a lot of housework so he gets to sleep a lot, important for an old boy! We spend a lot of time in this corner of the house--on the computer, blogging, netflixing, reading, writing, sometimes watercoloring if the mood strikes. Willie lies on his bed under the desk. It is not unusual for us to be here in the wee hours of the morning. It's a good life.
People who meet Willie now can not believe that he used to be such a "bad" boy. I never have to worry about him confronting other dogs when we're out in the neighborhood. In fact, he has good friends that we stop to chat with, like Cooper the yellow lab. They have peeing contests through the fence and Cooper presses into the chain link to get his butt scratched. Never a bark or snarl. Willie is just secure that's he's number 1 with me. And it's true, he's my Darlin' Companion.
Now be sure to check out everyone else's best buddies after you've celebrated Labor Day.
(Note: Swampy, if you're reading this, notice those two purple balls on the desk to the left. Meet Paris and Lindsay--remember I recommended you sitting on a couple of these in your car when you have to do those 500 mile drives? Works like a charm to relieve the pressure on your "brain". :-)