Winnie turns 1 tomorrow.
Winfield isn’t perfect, but he’s pretty close. And his few “faults” are, of course, part of his charm, and generally my responsibility in training.
Winnie likes to bark at passerby, it’s just about his favorite thing. The bark collar has made him more quiet about it, but he’s still an enthusiastic greeter of all you pass by (especially dogs).
He’s peed indoors, twice, both times at the Trident. Dylan was so sweet this morning, as was everyone, about cleaning it up tho I offered of course.
He sheds everywhere. Sometimes he likes to jump in muddy ditches where streams were.
He likes to try to eat bear poop, sometimes, as do his doggie friends.
If he sees a squirrel, 1100 miles away, he’ll run there with enthusiasm, ignoring my calls.
I let him off leash last week when I was shoveling snow, and he ran across two busy streets to visit his puppy friend.
Often, when inside, he’ll growl at the TV if a cow or horse or dog appears.
Occasionally he’ll tear up stuff. A friend’s new wool gloves. Checks. Boxes.
He likes to lick my hands and arms, so slobbery and slick. Then he’ll lick his private parts, then try to go back to licking my hand. I know he means it as a sweetie compliment, and I let him do it, within reason, but yuck.
He’ll jump up on people, sometimes, especially if they’ve given him a treat. He’s pretty good about it these days, but not great.
Once or twice ever he’s growled at passerby dogs not just defensively, but he’ll start trouble where there was none. Not nice, Winnie.
Every morning at 715 or 730 or 745 he’ll jump on my bed and wake me up. Time to play! Or cuddle! Or bite at my hands playfully after sweetly yucking licking my hands. He gets hair all over the blanket on the bed that I’ve put there to protect against his shedding.
But in just 7 months, he’s healed my sadness at losing my old first longtime dog, Redford, who suffered a painful drawn out death after a minor surgery. Hell, Winnie healed me up and made me smile that first night, cuddling into my arm on the couch.
In return for joy and healing and fun and chaos, I give him such a good life. Healthy yummy food that doesn’t hurt other animals or make them sad or heat up our planet unduly. Active running around with my bike, going as slow as he needs or wants, though often he’ll want to gallop. I let him jump in the creek and farmers’ ditches and get wet 108 times a day, if he wants. He gets playdates with other puppies, every day, including in 3 minutes after we bike up the hill from the Trident where I’m writing this. He gets cuddles in the morning and at night. He gets to play with dogs in the park, or walk along on regular hikes. He gets an active, social life, free of suffering, torture, and casual murder. This is what every animal, not just pets, deserves.
Winnie, Cheerful First Birthday! May your next year be as joyful and darling sweet and silly as your first.