Tuesday, March 8, 2011

If you're thinking about getting a dog...

This is Allie. My third son got her this past summer--he sort of "adopted" her from his aunt.

Our son was planning to live with us for most of the summer, as he had just finished a few months of Army training out in Arizona (he is in the Army Reserves) and was in the midst of a job search but wasn't yet employed. When he called to warn us that he would be bringing Allie with him, I thought, "Oh, no." Our family had only had one dog, a Black Lab/Golden Retriever mix named Shamus, from 1983 until 1988, and then we'd had to find her a new home because our oldest son was allergic. I felt like I was too old to adapt to having a dog in the house again and was not at all looking forward to the experience.

I was so wrong to worry!

Allie is hands down the sweetest, gentlest, most affectionate dog in the universe. She kisses constantly, and her tail is never still (it's amazing that she doesn't break it, the way it slams into every obstacle in its path). She craves belly rubs; in fact, she does this bit we call "stop, drop, and roll," where she just flops down by your feet and rolls immediately over onto her back, sometimes even throwing herself head-first on the floor and pivoting on her head to do a high-speed flip. It's hilarious. This dog would never hurt a fly--in fact, she's quite docile and timid. And she absolutely lives for HUMAN CONTACT. This, I found out via the internet, is a common trait of her breed, the Plott Hound. Actually, she's part Plott Hound and part something else--possibly Lab. But I'm tellling you, if you are looking for a dog, I would highly recommend getting one with some Plott Hound in it.

When our son had to go south for a few weeks of Reserve work during the summer and left her with us, my husband and I fell so in love with Allie that I half-wished our boy would come home and say, "I've made a huge mistake. Could you guys keep her?"

She really is a special dog. Did you notice that she's smiling in the picture? That's right, this dog actually smiles. And did I mention her pretty brindle coat?

We don't blame our son for wanting to keep her. But if I ever find her clone, that's it: we're getting a dog. I mean, we're not thinking about getting a dog, really, but if you are...

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