Sunday, October 30, 2016

Life With Max

Welp, looks like I have a house guest here at Bob Canada's BlogWorld Headquaters. This knucklehead will be staying with me for the next three weeks. A friend of mine is going out of town for a while, so I agreed to babysit his dog Max while he's away.

I used to watch his dachshund Lucy for him now and then (before she sadly passed on), but she was an older dog who was very calm and no trouble whatsoever.

Max is a different story. He was an absolute nightmare the first year or so of his life. He was completely out of control, and every time I'd go to my friend's house I'd spend the entire time trying to fend off Max, who was constantly biting and scratching.

Then my friend got a second dog coincidentally another dachshund and Max immediately calmed down and became much more well-behaved. Maybe it was his new "little sister's" influence. Or maybe when he saw my friend bring home a new dog, he realized he could easily be replaced and decided he'd better shape up.

Whatever the reason, Max is finally tolerable, and I actually like being around him now.

Max is a shelter dog, and the workers there told my friend that he's "part Boston Terrier, part Shih Tzu." He most certainly is not! He doesn't look the least bit like either of those breeds, and is twice as big as they are. Maybe three times. I don't think a child can be three times bigger than its parents. Unless maybe your name's Yao Ming (GASP! Did you hear? Bob just compared Yao Ming to a dog!)

It's a well known fact that shelter workers lie about their dogs' parentage all the time. They do this because they know if dog has even a single drop of pit bull blood in it, the majority of the public won't want anything to do with it, and the poor mutt will spend the rest of its life in the shelter. 

As near as we can tell, Max is a boxer mixed with... something else. Most likely pit bull, but who knows?

Even though Max has improved quite a bit, I was hesitant to babysit him when my friend asked. Three weeks is a lonnnnnnng time. A long time. I suggested that before I made such a lengthy commitment, that I do a "trial run" with Max and watch him for just a weekend. So that's what I did. A few weeks before my friend's trip, I brought Max to my house for a couple of days. He did pretty well! He didn't knock over the TV or soil the carpet, so I agreed to watch him during the big trip.

So that's what's going on right now. I picked up Max on Friday evening (right after I voted early) and he's been staying in my house since. So far so good. 

I discovered that Max makes an excellent alarm clock. Saturday morning I woke up around 6:30 AM and saw him sitting patiently next to my bed, staring at me. I figured he needed to go out, so I dragged myself out of my nice warm bed and took him outside. There I was, standing bleary-eyed on the back deck at 6:30 in the morning, watching a dog take twenty minutes to find just the right spot to pee.

When he was finally done I flopped into bed and tried to go back to sleep for another few hours. Max had different ideas though. He farted in my bedroom, and the stench was so horrifying and persistent that I finally threw in the towel and just got up. At 6:45 on my day off. Touche, Max.

One thing Max has brought to my attention: apparently there must be a ton of ghosts in my house. He spent the entire first day standing in the doorways of various rooms, staring intently into them. He'd stand there for hours, his head snapping back and forth like he was watching something moving or listening to a conversation. It was a little unnerving.

Here he is guarding me from the ghosts in the kitchen. Note how alert he looks, as if he's really watching something out there. The kitchen's completely empty! There's no one in there! At least no one I can see!

I don't really believe Max is seeing ghosts in my house of course. There are 4, count 'em four noisy clocks in my kitchen, and I suspect he's hearing them ticking and trying to figure out what all the noise is. 

On the other hand, I know for absolute fact that someone has died inside the houses on either side of mine. It's entirely possible that someone died in this house as well, and I just don't know about it. Maybe Max can see 'em and I can't. If he starts suddenly performing tricks, as if being directed by an unseen trainer, then I'm getting outta here!

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