My dog is kind of a jerk.
If he doesn’t get pet enough then he leans his 85 pounds of bossiness against my legs and knocks me over. If I don’t give him his afternoon treat then he will follow me around the house and whimper and whine. He sleeps on the couch, taking up two thirds of the plush real estate, despite my 10,000 demands to “get off the damn couch!”
But worst of all, he eats porcupines.
We have a small plastic jar filled with porcupine quills that have moved through his body. I’m talking from point A to point B and traveling through skin.
He is not the kind of dog who can run off leash. We have tried to train him to stay with us as we walk through the woods or hay fields that surround our house, but he never passed basic obedience training as his stubbornness is like nothing any book or professional trainer has come up against. So he is on leash at all times when outside.
Except for when he figures out how to get off his leash and then he runs straight to the cow fields behind our property, down by the dead apple tree where the porcupines have stripped it of bark, and he helps himself to whatever porcupine – dead or alive – that he can find.
This has happened three times. Three times when we have frantically run around trying to find him. We call the neighbors and form a search party. We head to the stupid apple tree where we usually find his stubborn arse chewing on a dead porcupine, his face covered in needles.
Emergency trips to the vet and several hundred dollars later we have a lovely collection of needles sitting in our kitchen window.
This dog drives me bonkers but I love him. He’s a bit like the famous Marley in temperament; wild and loving with a ridiculous compulsion to not follow direction despite being incredibly smart. He can open drawers and steal snacks. He can knock over the laundry basket to make a nest of smelly clothes to sleep on. He can get through child locks to go digging through the kitchen trash.
He drives me nuts, but I don’t know what I would do without him. Everyone needs a best friend, a companion, and dogs – no matter how stubborn or ridiculous – are the very best kind of friends.