Have I ever told you about my dog? He's pretty amazing. His name is Tootles and he is a Chiweenie...a chihuahua/dachshund mix. No, he is not named for Mickey's Mousketools helper on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (what? I'm a nanny and I have nieces and a nephew, back off!), but rather for the Lost Boy in Peter Pan. He is my little Lost Boy and I am his mother.
He is sweet, funny, neurotic, cuddly, weird, and very in tune with his humans.
His favorite thing is to be constantly touching one of us. If he can manage to be touching both of us at the same time, he's even happier. He likes to curl up into a tight little ball and be as close as he can possibly get. He will squirm and curl his way into the smallest possible space just so that he is certain there is no air between him and us.
Sometimes he forgets that he has two back legs. He'll just drag them around behind him and stretch his long doxie body out as far as he can to make progress before pulling his back legs up under him. If he's traversing over you and does this, it's a completely ridiculous sight because all it does is make his life harder. But he doesn't seem to get it or care. Or both.
Sometimes I think he might be part cat because he loves to bask in the sunlight on the carpet and he'll stretch and arch his back like cats do. This always weirds me out. He reminds me of that old gross Nickelodeon cartoon, CatDog, when he does this. Do you remember that cartoon? Yeesh. It always bothered me. What a weird thing.
He refuses to eat unless he can keep tabs on us. If we are in the living room, he will go into the kitchen, get a mouth full of food, bring it out where he can see us, drop the food on the floor, and then eat it slowly while keeping an eye on us. If we are in the bedroom however, he will not eat unless one of us gets up to go in the kitchen at which point he follows us and scarfs as much as he can while we stand in the kitchen before he has to give it up to follow us back to the bedroom.
He tries to anticipate our every move in an effort to be as close to us as possible at all times. If he thinks we're headed to the couch, he'll race to it and leap up on it. He then proceeds to run back and forth on the cushions trying to decide where we'll land so that he doesn't waste anytime being curled up next to us.
If we shift positions at anytime he shifts with us but doesn't wait until we've settled back down. He always has to be glued to us, even as we're shifting. It's very awkward sometimes and makes the whole scene a little more difficult for everyone.
He will do anything for a belly-rub. Anything. He will squirm around to get into a position that leaves you with no question of what he wants exactly when he wants it. He makes it very clear that you are expected to give him a belly-rub. Right. Now.
He has the greatest brow furrow. When he's concerned or feeling playful or confused, he scrunches it up and I just can't resist it. I love a good brow furrow. Probably the main reason I married my husband as well as chose my dog. The brow furrow. I could write a love letter about brow furrows. Maybe another day...
He has Dachshund sized ears but they stick up like a Chihuahua and that coupled with his brow furrow makes me weak in the knees for my little Lost Boy.
He does what we call the crouch-waddle when he thinks he's in trouble or when he knows he doesn't get to go with us and has to go in his crate. He crouches as low to the ground as he can get and waddles his back end, which I think is him really wagging his tail, to try to hide. It's like he thinks the closer he is to the ground the less likely we are to see him and make him "go to bed".
Conversely, he thinks that the higher off the ground he is the more likely we are to see him and pet him. When we come home he immediately hops up on the arm of the couch and wags his tail so hard that his entire back half seems to swing around and hit him in the face and knocks him off the arm of the couch.
He also has a crazy high vertical jump. He will use this in an effort for us to see him better as well.
He does not like to be ignored. He will stick his face in front of the phone if we're looking at it, he will sit ON the keyboard of the computer if we're typing, and he will crawl over the book and block it if we are reading. He will get in our faces and not leave us alone until we've acknowledged him with a belly-rub or ear scratch.
He knows the cues for bedtime. When either Mr. Ford or I brush our teeth and fill our water cups from the Brita pitcher in the fridge, he knows...bedtime...and often, he'll put himself to bed. This is especially awesome.
Most incredible to me though, is his ability to know when we are in emotional distress and that we need his comfort. Maybe this is true of all dogs, but Tootles is just so good at knowing exactly when Momma needs a cuddle and he knows how to give just the right amount of cuddle in those moments. He's been there every time I've needed just some unconditional, raw love.
Dogs are just really wonderful creatures. And we love ours a whole heap. He's our little Lost Boy and he gives us so much joy and so much love and so much laughter.