I learned recently that there is such a thing as love at first sight.
I can’t speak for Skip though. For him, I might have been just a welcomed relief to being alone. He may have simply wanted someone to hold, kiss and comfort him. Regardless, I gladly accommodated.
In case you’re wondering, Skip is the latest addition to my animal family. He’s a one-year-old Corgi/Spaniel mix and I smile just looking at him.
I first saw Skip one night at the animal shelter. I’m not usually there that late, so I took it as a sign I was meant to meet this special guy. (I’m big on signs.)
Skip had just arrived with a van-load of rescue dogs from a mid-state shelter. Poor guy was traumatized from the ride; scared, tired and hungry. Still, he immediately caught my eye. Maybe it was the facial resemblance to my dog Bailey, who died months earlier.
Skip resembles a doll where none of the body parts match. His front legs are bowed, the hind legs chubby. He has a long but stocky body and a whispy tail. His left ear is always up, the right always down (except the first day I met him, when both were up). Basically, he looks adorable.
As it turns out, looks can be deceiving. I soon realized this little guy came with all sorts of issues. In fact, the mid-state shelter scheduled him to be euthanized that evening, but the Marin Humane Society came to his rescue.
We’ll never know what or who damaged Skip in his short life, as his issues were vast. But I like a challenge and I had a feeling he’d be worth it; he seeped with potential.
So for a couple weeks, while Skip was held for evaluation, I got to know him. He didn’t know how to walk on leash so we didn’t do a whole lot of walking. There was, however, a lot of carrying.
He was afraid to walk through doors, didn’t want to step on grass, barked at and tried to chase cars (and birds) and put everything he found into his mouth. And he found pretty much everything.
Skip peed submissively when petted. He wouldn’t go up or down stairs. But he loved other dogs and people, so he passed evaluations.
On the ride home, I admit I wondered what the heck I was doing. But, fortunately, my other 2 dogs and cat accepted him nicely, so Skip became part of the family.
Now here comes the good part: Skip is quite entertaining. As he got used to being in a home and knew what was expected of him, things started looking up. Gradually, he stopped barking at cars and the peeing has greatly reduced, except when my co-worker, Susan, comes over. He simply loves her. He can’t help himself.
Three of skip’s most endearing qualities are; 1) he plants himself in my lap whenever I’m seated. Some may dislike that, but I’m not one of them; 2) he nurses on blankets and; 3) he sleeps under the covers with only his little head popped out on my pillow. It’s freaking adorable.
Skip carries what I call his security blanket with him wherever he goes. It hangs from his mouth, trailing behind him like a wedding dress train.
This dog is kind of like my conjoined twin. He’s with me wherever I go.
Whenever I’m sitting, Skip is in my lap, nursing on his blanket. But because he won’t let me lift it for him (stubborn fool), he tugs and grunts for the 5 minutes it takes him to finally pull it up. It’s exhausting to watch.
Then, Skip gathers the blanket between his front paws, which usually takes a couple more minutes, puts it deep into his mouth and begins to suck. Let me tell you, it’s a whole production.
As Skip’s doing this, his eyes slowly close while he kneads his paws (like a cat) on the blanket. Then his head starts to twitch as he drifts off to sleep. Again, freaking adorable.
Now don’t get me wrong; Skip is still a work in progress. On walks, he now tugs like a Clydesdale pulling a wagon. He eats as if I never feed him so he’s finished within seconds.
He steals toys from the bin then buries them in the backyard. He howls at people walking by the house while Nellie and Callie join in, creating a canine choir. He’s a snorer (oh joy) and poops like a Rottweiler. Translated: I don’t regret adopting him for a moment.
All I know is, when this boy isn’t peeing for joy, swallowing something he shouldn’t, or sucking on a blanket, Skip’s right smack on my lap, where he no doubt belongs, doing what he does best – being adorable.