Mr. T has been with us for a couple of weeks now. He has meshed effortlessly with the rhythm of my household and considering that he's still a teenager in dog years, I have high expectations for him after he passes the three-year mark and enters adulthood.
All of the animals here are special to me in their own ways, each one of them is loved and appreciated for the individuals that they are. Some of them stand out, naturally. Mr. T will has an innate dignity and wisdom that are apparent despite his youthful exuberance. He'll be a fine ambassador for his species. People who don't even like dogs will meet Mr. T and think about getting a dog. He will be the worlds most trustworthy babysitter. He will be the dog I can temperament test my future fosters with, after Hercules retires.
Now that he's been here some time, though, I've managed to identify a few things about his personality that prove he's not a perfect dog, although none of these are bad enough to make me reconsider him living here.
1. CATS. Generally, T-Bone is good with the felines. AS LONG AS THEY ARE SITTING STILL. A cat in repose holds no interest for him whatsoever. He ignores them, or gives them a friendly sniff. But let that cat appear to be running away from him, and suddenly he's all, "HEY!!!! HE WANTS ME TO CHASE HIM!!!!" And that he does. He seems to have an internal radar for it, too. He'll be sitting there, half asleep or fully asleep. One cat will walk through the room and he doesn't so much as twitch an ear. But let Tucker or Mikey come dashing through and suddenly we've got the Charge of the Light Brigade on our hands. He goes from fully asleep to rampaging after the offending kitty in one flat second. He doesn't hurt them, hasn't tried to bite them. He just wants to chase them, and the harder they hide from him the bigger his desire to catch them. As you can imagine, the cats are not appreciating this in the least. Juliet is the one cat he's pretty much given up on. Her badass attitude is such that she doesn't appreciate being chased. Everytime he's gone after her she's turned on him and reminded him that kitties are sharp. I have to give it to him, he's a relatively fast learner.
2. Tennis balls. I keep lots of dog toys around, and one thing I've got to say to the credit of Mr. T, he is the first dog I've ever had who has ONLY gravitated toward the toys he's supposed to chew on. The kids love him to death for the simple fact that he has left their toys completely alone. While its wonderful that the Hot Wheels and the Barbies will have a longer lifespan with Teeney in the house, I'm not a big fan of his favorite game: Slime the Tennis Ball. Mr. T LOVES tennis balls. He loves to have them thrown so he can fetch them. Instead of bringing them back to you right away, he holds them in the back of his mouth and slobbers all over them, chewing vigorously. Not enough to puncture them, of course, just enough to really work in the saliva. Once they've reached the appropriate level of frothy squishiness, than and ONLY then does he bring them back to you to be thrown again. And again. And again. He likes to drop the goo-coated object right in your lap, or on your foot if your lap is inconveniently covered by a desk or table or you're standing up. As its summer and my attire at home consists mostly of shorts and flip flops, I'm constantly being splattedwith slimeballs. He's chewing on one right now. It should be landing on my bare foot any moment. I can't wait.
3. Bed space. Yes, he's a BIG dog. And I let my dogs sleep on the bed with me. Roscoe and Hercules, even though they are sizable dogs, around 60+ pounds apiece, somehow they manage to curl up into compact versions of themselves when they sleep. Roscoe gets so small when he's sleeping that I hardly know he's there (until he stretches his head out and licks my nose to let me know he wants me to wake up, that is). Hercules usually sleeps at the foot of the opposite side of the bed, while Roscoe sleeps up next to me with his head on a pillow. I figure that leaves the entire middle of the other side for the big guy - except apparently T-bone likes to STRETCH OUT when sleeping. I know with his size its probably not easy to sleep small, but for crying out loud, I sleep in less space than that behemoth.
Its a short list, to be sure. And really, no dog is perfect. Mostly I find Mr. T's "faults" only endear him to me more. I suppose that's the way it is when you really love someone or something. Those quirky things that make them unique are all part of the charm.
I have to go now. SOMEONE is demanding I throw their saliva-choked tennis ball. Ugh.