As I’m writing this Thursday evening, CharlieGodammit is back with Miss Lisa in her reading room and Jack(ass) is stretched out beside my chair, snoring quietly. I find that amazing in itself see how it’s the first time I’ve ever seen him motionless for more than, oh, about 2.5 seconds.
I’ve never seen a dog as playful and energetic as he is. I mean, it’s a full time thing with him when I’m around.
One of his things is running in the house at full bore. I mean, he’ll start down at the end of the hall and you can actually see his front paws behind him and his rear feet under his chin as goes from 0 to 60 in 40 feet. What’s funny is the hallway is hardwood and that shit’s slicker than ice on his paws, so it’s like he’s doing a burnout for the first 3-4 feet. I’m glad the concrete porch keeps his nails wore down to nothing because I’d really be pissed if I had to replace those floors because of him.
But right before he crashes into the wood stove at the end of his runway, he’ll drop his ass down, lean over on one hip and slide into home. Then he’ll run the 3 feet over to me, crash into my chair, and start gnawing on my arm. Then he’ll go pounce on Legal Lucy. Then he’ll grab a rawhide bone and come over to me prancing and snarling, wanting to play. This goes on for the first 10 or 15 minutes after I let him in the house. I know he’s excited about coming in, I know it’s cold out there and I know he’s still a big clumsy puppy, but damn… give me a fucking break here, bro.
CharlieGodammit came by his name honest and soon enough Jack will be answering to JACKWILLYOUCALMTHEFUCKDOWNYOUSQUAREHEADEDSONOFABITCH. It’s bound to happen. Even when he’s been in for a while, he’s constantly wandering around the house getting into shit and sticking his nose where he doesn’t need to be.
He’s timid around men, making me wonder if he was abused by whoever owned him before. If I reach for him, 9 times out of 10 he’ll jump away from me, yet if Lisa reaches out, he’ll trip all over himself trying to get over to her. After 4 months of that shit, I’m beginning to wonder if he’ll ever get over it completely.
He is the most hard headed dog I’ve ever owned. It took me days to teach him how to sit. Some days it’s instant obedience, other days he looks at me like “Whatever, dude” before he gets around to it, and then there’s days where he’ll just flop over and lick his dick like I wasn’t even there.
He’s spent a few hours a day and he sleeps in the bedroom since it’s been cooler, so he is actually starting to learn what he can and can’t do in the house. I mean, he’s coming around slowly but surely. It just seems like it’s taking forever. I’m just too damned old to be raising pups.
He’s not nearly as aggressive as he was before I had him cut. He’s territorial as hell with strange people on the property, that hasn’t eased up and I’m not sure I want it to. I’ve always been more comfortable with a watchdog.
Angel had sent me and Lisa a Christmas Poinsettia yesterday and I heard Jack sounding off, so I stepped outside to find the delivery lady standing on the passenger side of her van getting the plant out, while Jack was baying at her from about 10 feet away. “That dog won’t bite me, will he?” she asked. I said “Hell yes, he will” and before I could blink she was back inside her van with the door shut. What she didn’t know was the dog was wearing a proximity collar and he knew exactly how far he could go before he got buzzed.
But he’s been backing down from Charlie lately. I try my best to keep them separate because Charlie’s such a fucking dick, but sometimes shit happens and they get close enough to where Charlie will snap at him. Before, Jack would fight back and I mean some serious dogfighting going on here. I’ve got scars on my thigh where I got nailed trying to kick them apart. But since he’s been cut, Charlie will snap at him and Jack will jump back. For that I’m grateful – it’s a lot easier trying to control one hostile dog that it is two.
His eating habits have changed too. When I first got him he was starving to death, so thin you could see the ridge of his backbone from his hips to his neck. When I fed him he’d damned near attack me trying to get at the food. Once he learned how to sit, that shit went out the window – if he wanted to eat, then he had to sit and stay that way until I put his food down.
I was feeding him a little bit constantly throughout the day trying to get some weight on him. I gave him as much as he wanted to eat. He got a can of food and a cup or two of dried dog food in the morning, then more dried dog food when I saw his bowl empty, then at night I’d make some rice in a beef broth for him. It worked, he went from 52 pounds to about 75 in 4 months, and there’s not a bit of fat on the dog, he’s all muscle.
Not only that, but he’s voluntarily slowed down on his intake. Before, he’d wolf his food down as soon as it hit the porch. Now, he’ll eat about half his food in the morning then snack on what’s left over the next 3 or 4 hours. With his afternoon dried food, more often than not Charlie will eat it when Jack’s inside.
Even his eyes have changed. Before, they seemed like they had no depth to them. Now they’re just as bright and sparkling as they can be. That in itself is reward enough for me.
Remember the post where he climbed up in the grandkid’s lap and started snuggling with him? He did that to me yesterday. I walked into the room after getting some tea and he was curled up in my chair. I don’t allow nobody else in my chair, so I kicked his ass out and made myself comfortable with a good book. About 10 minutes later he comes creeping up and lays his head in my lap and I’m just scratching his ears and rubbing his snout, and I feel one paw on my thigh, then another, then the next thing I know I’ve got 75 pounds of hound full in my lap, snuffling in my face. At first I was surprised, then I was flattered, then I realized that sly bastard was just trying to reclaim his seat.
Fuck. He just woke up.