‘Hey, Zacketty!’ That is my call and my call only. No one else in our family calls Zack, our beloved Pyrenean Mountain Dog, by that silly nickname. I don’t use it often, but whenever I go downstairs to our apartment and see Zack lying at the foot of the stairs, then I will greet him with a ‘Hey, Zacketty!’
Zack always responds to my greeting, probably not so much because of what I have just said but because he recognises my voice. Raising his head up lazily, he gives me a cheeky grin before settling back down to his snooze. After all, what else do dogs do if they are not otherwise occupied? Oh, sometimes I really do think that it must be a great life for well-loved dogs: no need to work; no need to earn a living; no need to clean; no need to cook; no need to do anything except to look meltingly at its owner and into her eyes in order to get his own doggy way.
One of the tricks that Zack has in order to get his own way is to squeak. You heard it – squeak! One day, we had some visitors with us who heard Zack squeaking because he wanted to be part of the party.
‘That’s my dog,’ I said.
‘Can we meet it?’ they asked.
‘Sure,’ I replied. So I went to fetch Zack and they received the shock of their lives. ‘It’s huge!’ they exclaimed. ‘We thought it would be tiny because of the squeak.’
‘Ah well, he is only trying to sound pathetic so that he can get as much attention as possible,’ said I. Zack is a sucker for attention. He likes to be patted, and will often nudge my arm endlessly so that I pat him. Hubby tells me that Zack has me trained now, because I put out my hand automatically whenever the dog is near to pat him.
Son numero uno says that Zack is ‘needy’. Do you know, I think he is right! Zack thrives on company. He loves humans more than others of his kind. However, Monty, our first Pyrenean Mountain Dog and the avatar for this blog, was ahead of Zack in the human relations stakes. Monty THOUGHT he was human. He was not quite as amenable as Zack when he didn’t get his own way because he thought he was human and expected the rights of a human being. Perhaps Hubby and I were doing something wrong in the (belated) upbringing of our rescued dogs!
Zack is almost eight years old now and still has the soul of a puppy although, alas, not the manual dexterity of one. Everyday he looks into my eyes and I wish he can recapture his youth. I miss the bouncy Zack that flew about in haphazard helter skelter fashion through our hall, rooms, and, yes, even stairs. He still has his moments of course, when we hear him bouncing about on the floors in excitement. But his old joints cannot take as much of the strain now.
So what is Zack’s new pastime? Snuggling up to his beloved humans in any place and at any time. Happy dogs are those which receive much love and are given the opportunity to reflect that love back to their owners. Zack is a happy and contented dog. What more can I ask?
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