A little over a year ago I had a pretty white dog follow me home. I'd expected her to wander back to her home eventually. Instead, she laid down in the yard and stayed the afternoon. There's a little more to the story of how we got her and why she stayed with us, but the important thing is she's still here.
Her name is Sydney and we've learned a lot about our girl:
- she's part Husky and part something else (Golden Retriever, maybe?)
- she likes to pull on the leash as though she's pulling a loaded sled through the Arctic tundra (it's a full body workout keeping her walking beside me and at my pace)
- given the way she sometimes flinches, and what the neighbours have said, she was abused at some point in her history
- she likes to run-- and run and run (if she doesn't get sufficient exercise she dashes out the door for a game of "catch me if you can" (and she knows who she can challenge at the door and who she can't)
- she thinks she's a lap dog (we're working on this, too)
- she's extremely obedient (except for the pulling, jumping and running as noted above)
- she's gentle and very good with kids
- she has a sense of humour (she will stand guard near the water bowl, waiting for Bella the cat to get a drink, at which time Sydney will push Bella's face into the water. There are two other cats in the house, but she only plays this trick on Bella.)
- her birthday is Halloween
- she understands the word "Pop Tart" (we're not exactly sure when or how she learned this because we never have Pop Tarts here, but her ears perk up and she comes looking for a treat if she hears the words)
- she likes her crate (we started crate training her right away, despite her age-- 4 years) and she knows to go to it when it's bedtime (she understands the word "bedtime") and when I put on my shoes to leave for work in the morning
- for about the first six months she was with us, she hardly made a sound, but she has since found her voice and will growl or bark when she's ready to come inside or she wants to eat or play
- her colour has changed from white to gold
The thing is, after our last dog died, I wasn't looking to get another dog. I liked not having the mess of shedding fur or having to buy dog food or clean up poop. I liked having clean floors and quiet and the ability to go out without having to worry about getting home to let the dog out. Then Sydney arrived and decided she was staying. And somehow she worked her way straight into my heart and I'm ever so glad she stayed.