I don’t ordinarily write in this column about myself or my family because I was taught by my parents not to do that. When you run a newspaper, it’s all about the people you cover in the community, not yourself. That was their mantra as owners of the Vicksburg Commercial-Express.
Now I digress, because I was gifted with a puppy, part German shepherd and part collie, for Christmas by my kids. It was a total but welcome surprise as I had been suggesting it quietly for many moons.
This gift turned out to be a rescue dog from Kentucky and we brought him home in the middle of a snowstorm. That’s pretty much what he has been experiencing ever since he got here, with a few melt- downs in between.
Trooper has had two weeks of puppy training from an acclaimed trainer that Tina and Larry Forsyth put me in touch with. He pretty much flunked the first week because all he wanted to do was socialize and I guess that is forbidden. The second one he understood that he needed to shape up, but more importantly, I needed to too.
What I really want to do is teach the Trooper how to hunt for golf balls, like they teach dogs and pigs in France to look for truffles. But all he wants to do is visit the neighbor’s two dogs and cavort in the snow that has fallen most recently.
Meanwhile, the decimation from the puppy chewing has been notable. My purse was the first target for him to chew because I left it right where he could grab it. The furniture probably was the second. He has added to his collection of chewables all the water bottles in the house that somehow are at his eye level (he’s already grown a foot taller; it seems). He first devoured the leather leash that was loaned to me by biting it clean through before he experienced any long lovely walks with his new owner.
He eats a prodigious amount of dog food which will probably mean I’ll need to go on short rations myself, just to feed this Christmas gift. That’s ok, because the local vet has made sure he doesn’t have any worms, fleas, ticks, heartworm, and gosh knows what else.
With all of this, Trooper is a joy every day, even when he proudly brings home the neighbor’s best snow boots to chew upon. He makes me laugh, and cry, but more importantly, he is turning out to be a great companion. I’m afraid of the coyotes that lurk in my yard, but he doesn’t seem to be, which is a problem. The deer are a challenge that he sees but doesn’t chase and then there are the geese that just arrived last week. That was fun for him. I think the golf course people will appreciate his giving chase to the geese and maybe even find a few golf balls in exchange.