I was literally wasting time at the computer (avoiding the laundry) when Drake just dropped his big old melon in my lap. I swiveled my chair and attention towards him. As I was petting him and hugging that trunk of a neck he purred. (Drake makes this deep rumble in his throat when you snuggle him. When we first heard it we thought it was a growl but now we realize it means he is happy and so we call it a purr.) When he purred I thought, Man! I love you buddy! I gave him another big hug and said, "Drake, I'm gonna love you forever!"
I don't know what prompted that statement, but it did get me to thinking: Drake will not live forever. In fact, he is a big boy and will probably not have a long life (in people years anyway.) So why do we get pets? Knowing that our time with them will be brief; why do we knowingly and willingly bring an animal into our home, treat them like family and then grieve for them like friends when they pass? Why do we do that to ourselves? Even Theodore, who was not our dog of choice and was rather thrust upon us, was a heart felt loss.
Gabriel told me the other day, "I can't wait to get old and die so that I can see Theodore again!" Really? Kind of morbid...but alright.
I have shared a lot about Drake's antics but I'm not sure I've told of why he is so easy to forgive. Even though he has now torn up three doggy beds, one of my feather pillows, a throw pillow, a basket, a pair of ski goggles, his cast, eaten numerous Baking Day products, terrorizes our cats, has cost us $500 to repair his broken foot, physically causes me pain when he rips his leash away from me to chase down deer, eats like a horse and has wretched gas....he is the sweetest little lover we have ever met!
Drake can not get enough affection and ladles his out in monster size portions! He is not an obsessive licker which is good but he will give your cheek or hand a small kiss or two from time to time. If you are sitting on the couch or floor, be prepared for Drake to curl up with you. Not near you. ON you. He thinks he is a lap dog. He has climbed up onto my little bitty lap and sat his ginormous butt on it as if he is nothing but a chihuahua.
He desperately wants to be where the people are. He does not want to be an outside dog. Unless...that's where you are. He likes to hike and play out of doors. He loves to roll in the snow and bury bones BUT if you are in; he must be in. When inside, he is quite well behaved. He is not hyper and jumping all over you. No, he just wants to lay down next to you while you cook, watch TV, sort laundry, or write a blog.
He does not beg at the table. At dinner (if he is in) he will lay under the table so still we often forget he is there. The only time that he helps himself to the people food is when he has been left inside unattended. No matter how brief a time.
It is suspected that his previous owner has taught him to hug. He is pretty good about not jumping on you. When he first comes in the door he does give it a try and I give him a knee in the chest. He'll try twice and then he sits so that I can pet him. (Drake does not get the affection he so longs for unless he is "settled.") Every now and then though he will just jump up for a hug. He holds you tight with his paws until you give him some lovin' and a squeeze and then he hops right back down. He especially likes to do this if music is playing. I call this dancing. Anytime I have music on Drake jumps up and puts his paws on my hips. We then proceed with one of those awkward, high school prom, slow dance moves.
He is loving and tolerant of the children. He is mildly obedient. It takes a lot of instruction and sometimes physical pulling to get Drake to go outside.
His biggest problem is learning to walk with out pulling and not chasing the deer. I have had everything suggested to me from a harness to a shock collar. I've been told to send him to Obedience School and I've been told (by the vet no less) that you can't train his instincts out of him.