Having Alfie means...
- Always having someone to keep an eye on me -- almost literally! When I open my eyes in the morning, he's standing there, wagging, watching me...when I come out of the bathroom he's sitting at attention. Okay, it might drive some people crazy, but it makes me laugh.
- I know someone is always listening to what I say. I don't mean to say that he obeys every single word, at least not immediately (he has amazing obedience skills, but also a healthy mischievous streak!) Still, it means that he's constantly picking up new vocabulary: kitty, neighbor, buffalo, and Grandma's room are some of his latest. More to the point, he understands things without my saying them: like that I'm about to get up from the table, put on my shoes, or make a phone call. It's quite uncanny!
- Resigning myself to reclaiming stolen items from him several times a day. He has still not outgrown this! I've learned that a single stern look usually does far more than the verbal command, "drop it." He's just doing it for attention...but really, really doesn't want me to be mad at him!
- That if something needs my attention, he'll be sure to tell me. Whether the kettle's boiling on the stove, the kids are having a spat, or a bottle of detergent fell over in the garage...he'll rush up to me, poke me with his nose, and make sure I check it out! Funny dog.
Every puppy I've raised has been a real individual, but Alfie takes it to a whole new level. He's so smart and observant that he has easily been the most challenging of all my puppies: not difficult to train, because he learns things with few or no repetitions; the hard part is keeping him from learning the things you don't want him to learn! But by the same token, he's bonded to me like some kind of canine crazy glue. He is intensely curious about everything we do and just wants to be in the middle of everything, all the time...participating, giving his opinions, working his hardest, and just enjoying life.
In other words...no, he's not a "perfect" dog...just the perfect dog for me! He makes me laugh, keeps me company, and probably teaches me just about as much as I teach him. A pretty good arrangement, wouldn't you say?