Thursday, February 21, 2008

becoming an old man


May I introduce Barley. He is our dog (or pet pony, you can choose). He is an Alaskan Malamute and suffers from "large dog syndrome", which means he is convinced he is a lap dog. Jes had commented that she noticed him in a picture from my previous post.... inside. Yes it is true, our dog has begun to turn into an old man. Allow me to explain. In the past, Barley has refused to come in the house - EVER. When the temps would dip into the negatives I would leash him and pull from the front while John shoved him inside from the back. Barley hated it and would beg to go back out. I didn't want the pet welfare people pounding on my door accusing me of neglecting and abusing my dog, so we would ignore him and at least make him spend the night inside. In the morning we could not get him outside quick enough. But as he approaches the seven year mark his attitude about outside has changed. When we took him to the vet in the fall they told us he was about 70 years old. Large dogs don't live as long as smaller ones so he will probably only live to be 8-10 years old. That being said, he has entered his retirement stage.

With the colder temps he now refuses to be outside! His old bones must not be able to take the cooler temps anymore and he prefers his "spot" at the end of the couch. Though this also means that I have to be more mindful of the counters as he can easily access anything up there with one simple pass. Grady discovered this the other day when he put his half eaten cookie up there while he got some juice. When he came back, the cookie was no more. Barley on the other hand was quite pleased with his find. I will say though that the boys love that Barley is in the house. I on the other hand, am still debating. I enjoy his company and the fact that I do not have to sweep up the crumbs after every meal, but Barley is a snow dog. He could clothe a small country with all his fur, especially his winter coat. The groomer runs in fear when we bring him in the spring so she can blow out his coat (it takes her four hours!) Last year a small dog was lost in the mounds of fur pulled from our beast. So for now Barley will continue to inhabit our house. We will have to wait and see what spring brings. Maybe he will become an inside dog after all!

4 comments:

Jes said...

What a difference a few yars make huh? i am sure it is strange having him inside, but like you said sort of nice. Good luck with the hair :)

Jes said...

I swear I really need to proof what I type before I hit publish. Sorry about the errors!

The Grocer said...

Looks a wise and reliable old soul. Isn't it what we all need as we grow old - a place at the end of the couch, it sounds just great.

JCR said...

He is so beautiful! He looks like such a sweet dog. Back in the day before kids with allergies, that's the kind of dog Heff wanted.