Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Unflappable Mr. Carter

The dog will not be flapped. I think we may have won the dog lottery.

Here is a partial list of things that have so far failed to elicit a bark, whine, struggle, or really much response at all from the dog: the mailman, his Elizabethan collar, crowds, police on horseback, loud noises, other dogs barking at him, other dogs sniffing his butt, squirrels, vacuuming at a distance, vacuuming nearby, vacuuming around the occupied dog bed, vacuuming the bed itself right around the dog, vacuuming the dog.

The hitherto untold dog backstory:
We decided to get a dog because I'm kinda stupid that way, and Bridget is kind enough to humor me. That's the misleading soundbite version of the explanation. Here's the longer version: We're both suckers for the cute and fuzzy. When we walk around the neighborhood, we like to walk up by the reservoir, partly because it's a nice place to walk, but mostly because we stand the best chance of seeing the motley bunch of dogs who play there. There's a shaggy dog at the bottom of the hill who we've been stalking for the last three months. The owner may well be afraid of us at this point, not knowing that we just want his dog. Prior to buying the house, dog ownership was impossible, or at the very least too unreasonable even for me. But once we became not only house owners but yard owners, a dog became a possibility to consider.

Being reasonable people, we weighed the pros and cons of dog ownership. On the con side we have: Dogs smell bad and destroy everything; they bark; they take up time; they make it a pain to travel. That list is far from exhaustive, but you get the idea. On the pro side we have: Dogs are cute and fuzzy. That list is exhaustive, and here's the part where I'm kinda stupid. By my measure, the pro outweighs the cons. Bridget had more misgivings, not because she's less a sucker for the cute and fuzzy, but because she pays better attention to the possible disastrous consequences of decisions.

A few weeks ago I became enamored with a Brittany Spaniel mix puppy listed online. It turned out the puppy was already adopted, but the New England Brittany Rescue wanted to meet us in case we wanted to adopt any of their other dogs. They sent a volunteer over, with her dog, to make sure we would make good dog owners. We passed the test, but the volunteer had so many tales of misbehaving dogs that we (by which I mean mostly one of us) were convinced that we didn't really want a dog.

Meanwhile, down in South Carolina, Carter somehow got lost. A lady found him, but couldn't find his owners, and also couldn't keep him. She called a Cocker Spaniel rescue group who wouldn't take him since he's insufficiently Cocker Spaniel. She then called a Brittany Spaniel rescue group who took him, then decided he wasn't sufficiently Brittany Spaniel and gave him to a shelter in Carter County, Tennessee. The New England Brittany Rescue (NEBR) is not so hung up on racial purity and decided to find a home for our little mutt, naming him after his temporary location.

So NEBR called us a week or so ago. I told them that we had reconsidered, due to the fact that dogs smell bad, destroy everything, and take up too much time. They said they had just the dog for us, a mild mannered, full grown, "plug in pet." No effort required. So we drove to North Sandwich, NH, met Carter, signed some papers, and brought him home.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Meet Mr. Carter

Hello, faithful readers! This is Carter. He is about 5 years old. He's a mix of Brittany and Cocker Spaniel. We're very happy to have him here at 83 Durant Street.

I'm adding more pictures now, after requests. Please do come meet Carter! He's a sweet, sweet dog. We haven't heard him bark yet.

So the only thing cuter than a cute dog is a cute dog with a collar around his head. Poor guy. He had to have a little snipping done (ouch!) so he has to wear this for a few days so he doesn't pull out his stitches. He's actually surprisingly calm about having this thing put on.

I think Carter might be part cat -- he has been SLEEPING a lot! Isn't he cute?