Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Bred to Look Pretty"

The kid who lives here said Pinky the Poodle looked sad, and so we took her to get her trimmed. I personally like her hair longer, but it is summer, and so I didn't gripe too much.

My wife insists on leaving what might be called "boots" around the Pinkster's lower legs. I said, "You're just making it easier to track in mud and water." She replied, "It's cute. And that's why we have wood and tile floors." I suppose she's forgotten about my power wheelchair rolling up carpet like a cigar. 

The Pinkster attempts to crawl into the bathtub when ever the kid who lives here is taking a bath. I thought then the traditional summer cooler-offer -- the sprinkler -- would be just the ticket. It turns out Pinky is afraid of the sprinkler. The boxer, however, loves it. 

My wife said to the groomer, "We;re surprised she doesn't like the sprinkler since she loves the bath tub." Poodles, after all, at the water retrievers of France. Supposedly even some of the hair cuts on poodles are meant to keep joints and head warmer as they work. Imagine my wife's surprise when the groomer replied, "Oh, these dogs are bred to look pretty. They wouldn't like a sprinkler."

Pinky is 2-inches taller and 20-pounds heavier than the boxer, but the boxer is top dog, often disciplining Pinky with a bite. Conversely, the late, much-lamented Boston terrier disciplined the boxer. Maybe it has to do with seniority. There's this too: Pinky doesn't like to be disciplined by a loud voice. I can have something to eat and tell her softly, "No, leave it alone," and she may sit, even drool, but she won't touch it. However, when my wife yells at her, Pinky still considers anything edible in that environment fair game. 
I've been around cattle dogs, Great Danes, Dalmatians, and a whole group of assorted terriers, and each of them have a breed-distinct personality, even when they are not so-called "pure bred." I was neutral when we found her. I would have preferred another Boston, but Pinky is convincing me that standard poodles are good companions. She loves everyone. She's intelligent. She adapts easily into any routine, as when she is given a bone to take outside when the housekeeper arrives. She seems to gravitate toward my wife as Alpha Dog (perhaps because of the quick movement, the taller presence, the louder voice, and the fact that my wife has never run over her foot in a power wheelchair), but she insists on sleeping parallel to my leg each night. And now that she's losing some of the puppy-ness, she's learning the things that'll make her a great dog.

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