Back in 2010, I wrote a blog entry entitled “Living with a Dog Stalker,” in which I talked about my wife Sheryl’s obsession with all things canine. For as long as I’ve known her, Sheryl has actively sought out and greeted every dog that has crossed her path.
Well, three years later, we finally have a dog to call our own.
I never thought I’d say this, but getting “Danny” the rescue dog might be the best thing we’ve ever done.
As soon as we met Danny, an adorable little Shih Tzu, we knew he was the one for us. The bond was immediate as he greeted us enthusiastically. Everyone at the shelter had raved about Danny and his gregarious personality and he did not disappoint. He is what they call a darter; he never stays in one place too long. He loves to go for walks, car rides, and chases our cats endlessly without any success. After all, he’s built for comfort, not for speed.
What I have discovered over the past few days of dog ownership is the subculture that exists. At 6:30 am and 10:00 pm, the only folks wandering the streets are fellow dog walkers. The owners exchange friendly hellos and chat for a bit while the dogs stop to sniff each other. It’s better than attending a networking event and much less stressful.
Danny, being the newcomer to the club, has already become a big hit in the neighborhood. Within 24 hours, he had a walk date with his buddy, Ace, the delightful Maltese down the street. On his excursions, he regularly meets up with Dakota, Gibson, Lulu, Sparky, Milo, just to name a few. Funny, I have a much easier time remembering the dogs’ names than their owners.
Anyway, we have now had Danny five full days and he has kept a very busy schedule. He’s taken a bunch of car rides — he even rolled down the power windows twice in the back seat before we finally put the auto locks on. He’s attended an art festival, shopped at Petco, PetSmart, and a few other stores, taken at least 20 walks in the neighborhood, played fetch daily in the backyard, and chased our two cats all over the house. No wonder he sprawls out on the carpet from time to time.
There’s a story behind the name Danny. Sheryl’s father, Dan, was never much of an animal person. When Sheryl was a kid, she always wanted a dog but her dad would nix the idea. As an adult, whenever she brought up the idea of getting a dog in front of her parents, her dad would always say, “When I die, on the way home from the funeral, stop and get yourself a dog and name it after me.”
Sheryl’s dad passed away last October. We have a feeling he’d be proud of little Danny.