Friday, August 17, 2007

Snubbed by a dog

Any animal owner will have stories about her pets--here is just another entry in the on-going pet tales that I have accumulated!

When we got our dog, Tipper, we knew we were signing on for walks every day. She is half border collie, and while she doesn’t seem to have the high drive to “work” that a typical border does, she loves to walk.

She is a very sociable dog. In fact, if she weren’t so sociable, we might not have her. Did I ever tell the story of how we got Tipper? In the summer of 2001, we were in upstate New York visiting some friends who have a cottage on Thousand Island Park (called TIP). We spent a day in the small town of Clayton, cruising around the charming shops and local galleries. As we exited one such place, I saw a mother and daughter walking a very cute puppy down the street. The puppy was very friendly, and I said—what a cute puppy. Without hesitation, the woman said—do you want her?

Since our old dog had died a bit more than a year before, we had debated getting another dog, but still hadn’t. I turned to my husband as he came out of the store, and said—this woman wants to know if we want this puppy. My husband, who is not typically given to spontaneous decisions, said—sure. Well, it was completely legitimate. The woman had to move from her house, and no place she looked at to move would take a dog. So she needed to find this puppy a home.

We ended up naming her Tipper (for the white tip on her nose and for TIP, the place we came to “find” her.)

Back to the walks. Tipper may not have sheep to herd, but she wants to interact with every person or other dog she meets. Some she likes, some she doesn’t. As a friend of mine once remarked of Tipper—she seems to think it is her job to tell everyone else what they should do. It’s true—when kids have come to swim, Tipper races around the pool barking at them. Then she runs to me and barks, as if to say—look, there are kids in the pool Are they allowed? Or when the cats fight, Tipper rushes into the fray and barks. She is taking up for Cassidy, with whom she has bonded. Allie, the new cat, can just bug off.

So the four times daily walks are a chance for Tipper to check out a bit more of the world. If she spots another walker, or a dog in the distance, she becomes fixated, and heads toward that potential friend.

One of our walking routes takes us under a row of trees, most welcome on summer days, and then around the corner. At this house, there lives a dalmatian and a beagle. The dalmatian, Maddy, was a great doggy friend of our old dog. Every day, Maddy waited for Wanda (our English setter in photo) and loved to see her.

After Wanda died, there were several months when I took few walks past Maddy's house. Then, the first time I walked along that road with Tipper, Maddy came rushing out to greet us. She took one look at Tipper, turned her back and walked away from me. Six years have now gone by and she still consistently does this.
She is snubbing us. It is as if she is saying—I don’t know what you did with that other dog, but I liked her. I don’t like this new dog, and I won’t look at you until you get the old dog back.

Sorry, Maddy—Wanda is long gone. And Tipper is here to stay with us. Dogs! Long memories.


dmmgmfm said...

Tipper is adorable. She's a lucky dog to have such good parents.

Anonymous said...

Aww, we have a cat that is afraid of people and never happened until she saw someone take a kitten away that she was very attached to.

Mary said...

They were undoubtedly friends and had bonded. It's amazing how they never forget. I guess dogs can be snobs, too.

Tipper is a very lucky dog! I enjoyed the story of her lucky day.

possumlady said...

Poor Tipper! What does she do when she gets snubbed? I always felt bad for my dog Jiminy. She LOVED to meet and greet other dogs. My neighbor's dog Koko LOVED to meet and greet people. Every time we would see Koko on a walk, Jiminy would strain to greet her and Koko would be straining on her leash and walk right past Jiminy to greet me!

Anvilcloud said...

Tipper is DOGgone great!

Ruth said...

Great story. Dogs do have long memories. Our neighbour Carol always came out and gave our dog Dakota a treat when we went for a walk by her house. She died suddenly 4 years ago. Dakota still tries to go up the driveway where she used to live whenever we pass by.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Donna,
I really like dog stories and yours was a good one. They sure have interesting personalities.

Cathy said...

Donna, I'm fighting tears. This is so sweet, so tender - so sad. The loyalty of Maddy. Oh, heck - I think I'll read this to my husband and we'll both have a good cry. Thanks.

(Give Tipper a kiss between the eyes for me - be sure you sniff as you apply the smooch to the pooch :0)

Denise said...

Awwww - I remember Wanda. She was so sweet. Tipper sounds like our dog Molly. Molly loves to walk and any time we put on our shoes she runs around us wagging her tail and barking. The world is hers and she wants the world to know that. I was amazed this week with how dogs know things. Molly knows all the dogs in our neighborhood. She doesn't actually get to play with them but she knows them as we walk by their homes. She has grown accustomed to their barks and leashed interactions. A new family moved into one of the houses behind us, and as we walked by their house, Molly knew that their dog was different. We had walked by this house numerous times, and Molly never paid attention. As soon as we walked by it this time, she turned and wanted to go up their driveway to check things out. I saw the dog in the side yard, but she had not seen it, but had certainly smelled it. I do think that if all the dogs in our neighborhood ran free, Molly would probably be queen dog. Give Tipper a kiss for me – one can never kiss their dogs too much. At least according to me.

cat59 said...

I love a good dog story and this is one. It's so great that circumstances brought you and Tipper together. She sounds like a wonderful dog!

Anonymous said...

I loved this post, and Tipper is one lucky pup. If it makes you feel any better, I used to have a dalmation, and they are very singleminded. Tell Tipper not to take it personally!

JeanMac said...

Just spent some time on your blog- the interior of your church is very beautiful.

Mauigirl said...

Just found your blog through femaildoc's blog and saw this post. Isn't it amazing how long dogs' memories are? Some scientists think everything they do is instinct but we know better.