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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Good Dog

     I was talking to a pair of adorable missionary girls at my daughter's front door when grand-dog Sirius decided to check them out. He pushed his big black head out between my leg and the door. His head reaches well above my knee. I am not a short person. One of the girls said "Oh!" and stepped back. Sirius has that effect on people.
     My son-in-law from Wyoming wanted a big dog, and he got one. Sirius is a combination of German shepherd and rottweiler. A grandson and I came up with a name for the breed: shepweiler. (I've discovered since then that people do use that name for the combo. It can also be used as a Yiddish insult.) The dog has a chest that could bump cows into place, a broad black back, and a long tail that's practically a deadly weapon. (Kind of like his breath.) He can stand under the dining table with his head in one diner's lap and his tail knocking the person on the other side out of his chair.
     If someone climbed through the window with ill intent, I do believe that person would depart without his face. Yet Sirius is also one of the sweetest creatures I've ever met. When his masters produced their first child, Sirius immediately became the baby's protector. My co-grandma came to visit and reported that when she walked around the house with little Edward in her arms, Sirius shadowed every step, eyes riveted on the little bundle. The boy is now four, and he hugs Sirius, lies on Sirius, kisses Sirius-- even tries to ride him. When the dog's had enough, he just walks away. When I come to babysit, he wags and wiggles and begs to have his ears scratched. He rolls onto his back and uses his enormous paws to hang onto my arm and keep me scratching. I love the big lug. 
     There's a new member of the pack, a baby girl for brother and dog to look out for. Sirius has sniffed her thoroughly, and I look forward to seeing him adapt. He loved big brother, though he was forbidden to lick him. I have seen him sidle up to baby Edward in my lap, ease his head close, and whip his tongue out sideways for a quick kiss. I'm guessing he will be the same with baby Chloe. He seems to want nothing more than to patrol the house and make sure all is well with his charges. During a party, he was sent to the back yard. Someone had left the gate open. Sirius made his escape-- and ran directly to the front door. "Freedom, schmeedom, I want to be with my people." Good dog, Sirius, good dog.