Friday, February 19, 2010

Meet the Animals: Part Deux

In a previous post, you met Odin. Now meet Athena.

I had always known that we wanted two dogs. I think that it's healthier for dogs to have a companion and a friend. Odin was so co-dependent on us when he was a puppy that we quickly realized that he needed another dog to bond with.

We were at the party of a friend of a friend in Texas and the neighbors mentioned that their dog had just had puppies. If someone mentions puppies or kittens, it is physically impossible for me not to go see them. I looked at the puppies (i.e. cuddled and baby-talked them), mentioned I would be interested in adopting one when they were weaned, and the neighbor called me a couple of months later.

When I went to pick one out, all of them looked almost exactly the same. I was overwhelmed with cuteness. I decided to sit down and pick out whichever one came to me first.

None of them came to me.

Finally the mommy dog walked behind me and one puppy tried to follow her. That was close enough in my book.

From day one, she and Odin were best buddies.

We decided to stick with naming motif with had going (names beginning with vowels, various gods and goddess) and call her Athena.

Her mom was a husky and her dad (as best we could figure out) was a pit bull. She had beautiful light blue eyes when she was a puppy and now they're closer to a tawny yellow.

She is as brave as Odin is meek. While he wouldn't even jump off our bed as a puppy, preferring to whine until we set him on the floor, she would throw herself off of the five foot high drop-off in our back yard.

She's an escape artist. Odin knows the boundaries of the yard, and probably wouldn't even leave if a gate was open. She routinely hops the fence at my parent's house and used to squeeze out of our yard through the tiniest holes.

She's smart but a little lazy. When we were teaching the dogs about the electric fence, we'd put them on leashes, throw lunchmeat on the ground until we gradually got to the boundary, let them hear the beep and get shocked, pull them back in and tell them how good they are. Odin learned that beep = shock. Athena learned that lunchmeat on the ground = shock. She spent a week on our porch before she learned the boundaries by following around Odin.

She'll sit on command if Odin does it first. She thinks that fetch is a game of tackle Odin, or sometimes of taking the ball and running away with it.

She's a fierce defender of Mo-mo. She even growled at Odin the first week if he came too near--but she's ever so gentle to Mo-mo herself. She is a compulsive licker and a stealer of the pettings. She dislikes swimming and getting baths. She bolts down dog treats and steals Odin's if he doesn't watch them well enough. She loves getting her belly rubbed. She has horrible manners on the leash. She's tough--she doesn't whimper when she's hurt like Odin does. For anyone who says that pit bulls are a horrible breed and should be outlawed, we point to her and her sweetness. We call her Theena, Tina, Theen-bean, Theeners, Beena, and Butterscotch Ears.

She is also a Good Dog.

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