The 14th of February is a special day in our household, and not because it’s Valentine’s Day. In our house February 14th is Simon’s birthday and this year he is turning 3. Normally you probably wouldn’t think that turning 3 is a very important milestone for a dog. Except from everything I’ve read and dog-people I’ve talked to 3 years old, for their breeds at least, is the age when Simon is supposed to have achieved adulthood. He’s not supposed to have any problems stemming from puppyhood and he should have outgrown all of the adolescent quirks he may have picked up along the way. However, the operative phrase in that sentence was “supposed to” because while he is a good dog he does sometimes regress into bad behaviors such as stealing food off of the counter every once in a while. Still, even I have to admit that Simon has grown up a lot over the past year. He doesn’t go crazy in the mornings as we get ready to go for a walk, he seems to actually listen when he’s given a command, and he is much calmer than he has ever been. Of course, these changes are also due in large part to changes on behalf of us humans such as learning to be patient and calm, and most importantly being consistent with him. Nevertheless, Simon is growing up and I can’t stop from thinking back to when he was just a young pup.
Simon got his start in life as part of a litter of puppies that someone left on the doorstep of one of our local fire stations. The firefighters sent out an email to all city employees, which my mother happens to be, asking if anyone was interested in adopting a puppy. After we saw the attached pictures as seen below it was pretty much a done deal.
The puppies were only going to be held at the station for a day and if they weren’t adopted the firefighters were going to take them to the local animal shelter. Fortunately, all the puppies were adopted that day, and Simon was welcomed into our lives.
As a puppy Simon was energetic, and even now he is still mostly a…mystery, if you will. It has never been clear exactly what kind of dog he is and he seems to defy any category we try to put him in. He loves being the center of attention, but hardly pays attention to things himself. Sleep has never been one of his priorities, but he is a natural born cuddler with any blanket. He can learn a hundred new tricks a day, but only chooses to perform said tricks when he wants. He loves water and to swim, but barely tolerates baths. Perhaps it is these contradictions that we love most about him.
We had hoped once he was neutered he would calm down a bit, but it didn’t seem to change him at all. In fact, the veterinarian told us that almost as soon as he was taken out of surgery he was awake and wanted to play. All I can say though is that’s Simon for ya.
Now as we approach his 3rd birthday I appreciate all that I have learned from him. He’s definitely a special dog.