Thursday, September 20, 2018

Russell the Muscle

Someone hurt Russell's feelings once and he has never forgotten it. He is a very soft dog—a fast movement makes him cringe and a harsh word curls him up like a pillbug. Nonetheless, he also has a tremendous, oversized capacity for joie de vivre. I have never seen a dog enjoy freedom as much as Russell does.

When Russell was younger, he used to make a garbled sound like an emphysematic gremlin at the sight of any other dog. That sound, plus his curled tail and wrinkled forehead, made me guess he had a streak of basenji in him. Now that he's arrived at the dignified age of 6, he has a regular (though shrill) bark. He spends less time shrieking in the presence of caninekind and more time trembling with tension and curiosity.

Russell spent the first seven months of his life tied to a tree, and after joining our family he tried to help himself to freedom in oversized portions. Backing out of harnesses, scaling gates, digging under fences, and squirming out of the cracked windows of cars in motion—if you can think of an escape plot not involving opposable thumbs, he's tried it.

Yesterday, I took Russell to a favorite site of his—the road to nowhere, conveniently sited on a friend's private property and surrounded, as you might guess, by virtually nothing. He had a major grownup moment when the cattle in a neighboring field began to run. Do you know what my good puppy did? I'll tell you—he froze, he stayed on OUR side of the barbed wire fence, and he watched.

Good boy, Russell.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks in Advance for Your Mulish Opinion!