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Edmund isn’t Josie Dog….

July 20, 2011
tags: ,

I know you shouldn’t compare kids or husbands or dogs, but I can’t help it—the comparing dogs part, I mean. Josie, the Border collie mix we had for 15 years, was such an amazing dog that she’s a hard act for our new Cairn terrier, Edmund, to follow.

Josie was always ready to cuddle. She would lean into you or nudge you a bit politely when she needed to be petted, which was all the time. Invite Edmund to jump on your lap and he’ll march right past you as if he has that inherited Cairn vision problem… and then hurl himself on your lap five minutes later.  Or not.

Josie loved everybody and would let kids do anything to her. At four, David used to literally examine her head to toe, throat to tail. Edmund?  Well, let’s just say he’s not an extrovert and occasionally gets a sound caught in his throat when a stranger reaches a hand toward him. He is wildly affectionate to only one person. When Jeff comes home, he (Edmund, that is) dances and prances and leaps up Jeff’s legs, barking happily and sometimes even smiling his cheesy doggy smile.

Josie came when called. When you call Edmund, he looks you over to see if you have a visible treat. If so, he will come. Probably. If a treat is not visible, he determines the statistical probability that a treat might be hidden on your body somewhere. He reruns the tape in his head of the last five minutes to recall if you were in the refrigerator and thus might have a blueberry hidden in your hand or pocket. If the probability of a treat isn’t high enough, he saunters off. If he thinks you might be considering putting him in his kennel and going somewhere, he runs, even when a treat is visible.

Josie went to the back door, caught your eye and nodded toward the door when she wanted to go outside to go potty. Edmund thinks outdoor pottying went out of style with the Model T and often demands an escort service to the pottying tree.

Josie politely did her business in one section of the backyard behind the trees. Edmund has been known to politely do his business in one section of the basement, behind the ping pong table.

When Josie was outside and wanted to come in, she determined where the people were in the house. If someone was in the den, she gave one soft woof at the back door. If the people were deeper into the house, she gave one sharp bark. If no one heard her, she came to the office window and barked once under the window. The few times Edmund has stayed outside, he’s just sat at the back door until someone let him in. (No wonder he doesn’t like staying outside.)

Josie was an outdoor dog (with an insulated, heated dog house) until we moved here in 2006. She loved being outdoors. Edmund has grown up going outside only to potty, go for a walk, or ride or fly to dog shows. He really doesn’t seem to appreciate nature.

Josie knew her boundaries in the house (until she got demented). When we moved here, she decided on her own that she should not walk into the living room. Edmund thinks he is allowed everywhere, including inside the refrigerator, inside our tiny crowded closets and especially under the beds where the shoes live.

Josie looked guilty when scolded. Edmund looks haughty. And very cute.

Josie, at age 10, learned how to beg in two days, proving that old dogs can learn new tricks. Edmund pretends like he does not understand why you are acting so silly with these new words and gestures. “Lie down?” Is that even proper grammar?

Josie was always happy to shake hands, sit or beg in exchange for being petted. Edmund pretends he does not know what any command means unless you pretend to be a snack machine.

Josie exercised herself. Seriously. We could do a circular motion with our hand and she’d race around the yard. If nobody took her for a walk or did the circular motion, she was self-motivated and self actualized and raced around the yard without a command. Edmund has to be walked on a leash like a mortal dog.

Josie cleaned the house. Just kidding. Only the kitchen floor. As does Edmund.

I wonder how perfect Edmund will become after he goes to the Happy Squirrel Hunting Ground?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jill permalink
    July 22, 2011 12:54 pm

    Jill Evans

    A nice description of both dogs. I don’t remember Josey but she sounds wonderful. My Molly B was similar in her affection. Bernard is getting adjusted in his own time. It will be interesting what he will be like next year. He loves you both and I’m happy finally got his own dog.

  2. harphappenings permalink
    July 22, 2011 2:28 pm

    Enjoyed reading your doggie stories!! Many points brought a smile to my face!
    P.S. Love your pretty flowers on your header!!

  3. Jo Ann permalink
    July 27, 2011 4:24 pm

    We had a Scottish Terrier…many similarities!

  4. August 3, 2011 10:34 am

    Tsk. Sounds like Edmund has gone to the dogs…(smile)

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