It's been three weeks since my dog Fredo's sister died, and not coincidentally, it's been three weeks of unremitting kindness and cuddling from me. Three weeks of hell.
I initially acquired Fredo because Dex was lonely. Specifically, she was obsessively fixating on me 24/7 and driving me insane. I never had to call Dex. She was right there. So I got her a brother, and he fixated on her, and he drove her nuts, and he was always right there, and I savored the karma. My problem was fixed forever, or so I thought. But now Dex is gone, and Fredo is next to me, as he always is, ever staring, staring, staring.
It's like buying a fire extinguisher that five years later sets the house on fire.
He is, as I may have mentioned once or twice before, an appallingly stupid dog. I've been working with him these last three weeks, trying to raise his training to at least gerbil-level. At the advanced age of five, he now knows his name, or at least he looks up when I say it. He comes to "Dex," I've discovered, though I try not to use it.
Yesterday was a milestone: I taught this furry paramecium how to sit on command. Kind of. I used a food reward, and eventually it penetrated his membrane that "butt on ground" = "cookie." So now he shadows me constantly, sitting seven times in the fifteen feet between my desk and the refrigerator. He doesn't walk so much as waddle, scooching his butt along my floor, hopeful, ever hopeful, that a cookie will appear.