Pets’ quirks make them endearing

Pets can have some pretty strange idiosyncrasies. Some of them become pretty endearing others are just irritating.

Take for instance the younger of our two dogs, Ranger. Since the older dog slept on the bed with us, when he moved in he decided he would just sleep under the bed. Never mind that he has to totally flatten his chunky body and push and pull himself under with extended legs and paws. He used to stay there all night but lately he goes back into the living room or to the loveseat in the office.

When the alarm goes off in the morning he’s right there to greet me. He follows me into the bathroom where he checks behind the mirrored door and in the process closes the door, locking himself inside. When I stand at the sink to get my morning pills out he noses the drawer shut for me between my taking every bottle out.

We go to the kitchen and get the coffee started and while it’s brewing I turn on the morning talk show and he wanders back down the hall to do what he considers his most important task of the morning — wake the lady of the house.

He stands at the bedroom door out of Sleeping Beauty’s reach and barks in a very, very loud voice until she gets up. My wife has blamed me for teaching the dog this behavior and for awhile I let her believe it was true — but actually he does it all on his own.

This dog loves toys and likes for you to toss the toy in the air but if you can’t be bothered to do it for him he’ll just toss it up and catch it all on his own. In particular he likes what we’ve taken to calling his woobie toys, limp nearly indestructible creatures with squeakers on both ends. When we come home he always greets us with a woobie in his mouth. As if to say, “I never let it out of my sight while your were gone.”

The other dog’s idiosyncrasy of quickly tearing up squeaky toys was finally thwarted when we found the woobies. With no stuffing apparently he has no interest in disarming them.

The older dog always used to carry a mouthful of dry dog food from his bowl into the living room or wherever we’re located. He dumps the mouthful on the floor near us then eats it one piece at a time then goes back for more.

Ranger has always been obsessed with birds and chasing and barking at them. Lately he’s picked up a new obsession. He comes into the office and cleverly talks my wife into opening the window shade so he can watch for the next-door neighbor’s cat Elvis. When he sees that cat hanging out in the bushes under the window he goes nuts. The cat just stares up at him through the window and never budges, as if to say, “You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog.”