Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Dog

Technically he’s our dog, but I think of Augie as mine, as I’m sure my boyfriend does, too. It’s been a month since we picked him up from Animal Control in Brooklyn. We met Augie at an adoption event in the basement of St. Andrew’s Church in Bay Ridge. He stood out from the other dogs- he didn’t yap, he wasn’t freaked out. Augie was friendly, calm and remarkably self-possessed for a puppy. When being confronted with the reality of adopting a dog, after years of talking about it, we hemmed and hawed and hesitated. But finally decided we had to take him. I couldn’t understand how anyone could have given up such a wonderful puppy and dumped him at a kill shelter. The form we got from the city said he was given up because he was “too big” (he’s still not 30 pounds).

So in a month, we’ve learned things about Augie. I’ve had dogs before, but he has his own characteristics. He’s a little obsessed with paper products as a food group, particularly used Kleenex and paper towels. He likes naps, running and crawling under cars. He does tend to gnaw on things (he’s teething something awful), but is always open to the suggestion of chewing on a toy instead of the power cord for my Macbook. Augie likes vegetables, and seltzer (he likes sticking his nose in my glass). He is not perfectly trained (hates his crate, and has already destroyed one), but coming along pretty well for seven months old. Augie’s very sweet-natured, playful and smart.

It’s been a huge change in my day-to-day routine. I’ve met more neighbors since we got Augie than I have the year and a half I’ve lived in Gowanus. I haven’t yet been tempted to sleep in instead of walking him, which for me is a lot. I’m becoming more careful about what I leave in his reach: he ate a Pentel pen last week, and got blue ink on his muzzle and all over his tongue.

Considering what Augie’s fate could have been, he’s very lucky. But then again, so are we.

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