The Story of a man who had never seen a dog

It’s always great fun when Smokey visits.  Smokey is my daughter’s seven year old Morkie:  half Maltese and half Yorkshire Terrier.  He weighs 11 pounds.

Smokey met Kloe the first time after we moved to the mountains.  Kloe was just a few months old but already four or five times the size of Smokey.  Upon introduction Kloe became instantly enamored with Smokey.  With puppy-pose in full force Kloe invited Smokey to run, play, wrestle and good old fashioned tug-o-war.  Smokey played it cool, gave Kloe a sniff, and sauntered over to some bushes to leave some pee-mail.

Throughout that weekend Kloe would follow Smokey wherever he went.  Kloe would initiate play, Smokey would give her some sniffs and a lick on the face, and then move along his way.  When Smokey would jump on the couch to settle in for a nap Kloe would lay on the floor and stare at him. When Smokey went outside to do his business Kloe would follow in his tracks. Occasionally Smokey grew weary of Kloe’s attention and gave a snarl telling Kloe to back off.  Kloe respected that and gave him his space.  It was good that Smokey, this little miniature Ewok, established some ground rules for Kloe who is always eager and totally unaware of the size difference.

Fast forward a couple of years and things haven’t changed much.  Kloe remains enamored with Smokey who is still just 11 pounds and still holds his own navigating in and around Kloe’s 80 pounds of energy and constant motion.  Upon arriving for a visit the two of them greet one another with enthusiasm, some “kissy face” and both seem to enjoy the familiarity with one another

The Story of a man who had never seen a dog

A man had never seen a dog before arrived at our house a couple of weekends ago when  Smokey was up for a visit   This man thought Kloe and Smokey were two different species.  The man said, “which one is the dog? And if one is a dog what is that other creature?”   When I told him they were both dogs the man responded, “That can’t be true!  One is barely 10 pounds, not much bigger than a squirrel, and looks like a fur ball in the wind. The other is 10 times that size, looks like a pony, and runs swiftly like a  gazelle.  No this can’t be so. They cannot both be dogs.” The man was puzzled and interested in understanding how these two creatures could both be dogs.

I explained how dogs come in many different sizes, have varied physical attributes, and come from many different walks of life.   I told him that dogs have a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and qualities.   I explained that although some dogs have been bred for specific purposes like hunting, or herding, or mousing they are all still dogs.  I went on to say that in spite of these different qualities and experiences, and having come from all around the world, they are still all just dogs.  Dogs who recognize each other as dogs.  Not as a different breed.  Not as a lesser or more superior beast. But as equals with a set of universal codes of communication, respect, and an natural ability to get along and co-exist in peace.

The man seemed less puzzled now and began to understand what I was saying.  The man said, “So what you’ve told me is a lesson for dogs?”.

I said no, “What I told you is a lesson for men”.

*****

Smokey arriving for a visit

 

 

 

 

Smokey

The first meeting between Smokey and Kali took place the morning after Kali arrived in America.   It didn’t go too well.  There was lots of barking by both dogs, some enthusiastic teeth gnashing and growling from Smokey, and a lot of nervous panting and confusion from Kali.   In retrospect I didn’t prepare for or handle the first meeting very well and I would (will?) do it different the next time around.  In spite of my clumsiness in handling the introduction by the end of the day Smokey and Kali were co-habitating very nicely and after just a few days they were eating side by side and laying in the sun together.

Smokey was about eight weeks old when my daughter brought him home almost three years ago.  Less than three  pounds he looked like a miniature Ewok.

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Smokey the Mini-Ewok tipping the scales at a robust 2 lbs. 12 oz.  

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Even before Kali arrived Smokey never had problems making friends

Half Yorkshire Terrier and Half Maltese – a Morkie – Smokey is a cute little lamb-pie and tough guy all wrapped into one very intelligent dog.   Loyal protector of the pack Smokey sounds the alarm – much to my chagrin – at any sign of danger or threat.  Unfortunately his “small dog syndrome” causes him to perceive the UPS truck, any moving creature in front or in back of the house,  and any knocks on the front door threatening.  When we let him out to do his business first thing in the morning he immediately bolts to the back fence and runs the perimeter patrolling and using his nose to gather “intelligence” about what may have gone on during the night.   But for all his Napoleon Syndrome traits his enthusiastic, unbridled, and unconditional  love more than make up for it.

If someone arrives home from being out Smokey greets them with his entire body wagging.  This is not separation anxiety.   He does this regardless of whether he was home alone or home with other family members.  When one arrives home he runs up to greet you and wags his body all the while smelling your feet and legs to see where you’ve been.   One cannot have low self-esteem when around Smokey because he let’s you know how important you are to him.  He does the same thing with Kali showering her with kisses when she arrives back from her walk with me.  For Smokey, in ways different from Kali, it’s all about the pack.

Now, full-grown at 10 and a half pounds Smokey is not much bigger than Kali’s head; which he often lovingly jumps onto with his front paws when Kali is laying down.   Smokey sleeps with my daughter but on the rare times she’s not home he sleeps with my wife and I.  How is it that a ten pound dog can commandeer a queen size bed?   Smokey does have a few fetishes. He loves to nibble on toes of barefoot visitors during the summer.  He uses his incisors to chew on the hairs on my arm and face like a monkey grooming his mate ridding them of mites and parasites.

I’m not sure if this is a small dog thing or a Smokey thing but he doesn’t lift his leg to pee.  Ever.  He’ll stand there like a pointer looking off to the distance with his tail in the air and snout facing in the direction of “the hunter’s prey”.  “Ahhh…” he seems to say as he jogs back to the door taking one last glance at the perimeter of the yard.

The Smokster, Smokadoo, and “hey da Smoke” is the smallest member of the pack but I am sure has the biggest heart.

IMG_0384Tough Guy Smokey

And then the transformation…..

IMG_1673Lamb Pie Smokey right after getting groomed 

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Smokey and Panda

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Sharing some sun with KaliIMG_1381Kissy-Face with Sissy Kali