Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Benjamin may be an only child, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a little brother.
Damian and Irmgard have two dogs, Jessie is a little older female dog, and Jerry is about six months old. They are both small dogs, affectionate and cute. They bark at first, but that is the end of it.

I was pretty fascinated by this Jerry dog. All heart and no brains, no doubt about it. A lover, not a fighter. He was quite the soccer player, and he could jump about twice his body length in the air if he had a good run at it. He didn’t really obey the commands from obedience school, but fortunately, his is housebroken. He goes everywhere he can with Benjamin, and vice versa. I saw Benj play with him, whether or not anyone else was playing, for hours at a time. He never seemed to get sick of it.

Unfortunately, their last dog was run over when he was old, and Benjamin saw this. So he would get pretty worried whenever a tractor would pass by the farm (there is a fence, but Jerry has gotten out a time or two); you could really sense the trauma that seeing Stroopie get run over had wreaked on poor Benji. But on a lighter note, it seemed that Jerry had picked this up.

Whatever the cause, he was terrified of farm equipment. I was taking him for a walk one day, and he got spooked and wouldn’t walk past a cornfield that was being harvested. I picked him up and his whole little body was shaking. Poor little Jerry. I didn’t have the heart to make him pass by.

Jerry is an emotional dog, if that’s the right word for it. He tried to wrestle with Jesse, trying to assert his dominance (the trainer actually said this is really what he is trying to do). Jesse sort of just pushes him off, but then finally she gets mad. She’s a cranky older dame when she wants to be—bears her little teeth and then snarls and gives Jerry a little nip. That’s normal enough, but what follows is my favorite.

Jerry has the whiniest of whines. The multiple syllable, quintessential puppy whine. After he’s been chastised, by either man or beast, he whines continuously. He hangs his head, whines, wants to be cuddled, and then cries some more. This dog is all heart.

One last Jerry memory. He was running free in the neighboring fields, which is normal when the family is on a walk. He kind of comes home on his own time in these circumstances. He ran and ran and ran that day—he seems to especially love running through cornfields. He had been licking up our sugar cookie crumbs earlier that day, and then he ran his little heart out.

I came in to the house and he was laying on his side with his tongue on the floor next to his water dish. Oh, poor guy, no water. So I filled it up. He drank it fast and laid back down. I started to worry about him a bit. We got distracted and next thing we knew, he puked! He ended up fine, but clearly his little heart and the excitement he felt overshadowed his little brain.

Really, that’s a lot like how I felt in the beer garden when I ate the cheese too fast.

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