Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pandas Aren't Really Bears





They are really aliens as you can plainly see...




This strange looking creature ushered our family into the strange world of Boston Terrier owners. How could we resist such a face?

Due to my inexperience in the blogging world (which already I'm getting better at) I was unable to scan pictures of the legendary Ziggy and the incorrigible Jake. Thus, I decided to continue down the line of dogs this family has owned. Wait, that is totally inaccurate. I've decided to continue down the line of dogs that have owned US.




Panda came into this crazy household when Jake was about 10. Jake had finally started settling down and acting like I thought a dog should. Sleeping a lot, not ripping out cables, chewing food as opposed to furniture, well, you get the idea. Life was settled, it was calm, it was - a bit boring. We needed a new challenge. Enter the great Boston hunt.

Much research was first done on the internet to find the "perfect" type of dog (this time - no more Labs!). The search was narrowed down to two perfect breeds. The Chinese Crested and the Boston Terrier. Well, I kind of like my dogs to have some hair on them and I didn't think the rest of the family would accept something quite as "unique" as the Crested. Besides, black and white go with just about anything and a Boston wouldn't clash with most of the furniture in the house.

Actually, the real reason a Boston was the perfect breed was because they are so portable and supposedly easy to train. I wanted to get a dog that I could easily take places with me and that would be well-behaved. My mother had recently passed away and I remembered how well received the therapy dogs were by the residents in her nursing home. My dad was not doing well after her death and I liked the idea of being able to bring a pet into the nursing home to visit him. It turned out to be a very good idea.....

It was love at first sight and a real pick-me-up for my dad. Grandpa H loved Panda and even named a little park nearby his place "Panda Park". How many dogs can say they have a park named in their honor? Panda, who could have a bit of an attitude at home, took on a most professional air upon entering the nursing home. She would approach everyone in a very demure fashion and sit on their laps without wiggling at all. My dad eventually had to use a wheelchair and he and Panda would ride around the hallways and Grandpa H would proudly say to everyone "how do you like my dog"? Panda brought a special light into my dad's world the last year of his life and fortunately I brought her to see him a couple of days before he died. He was resting in his bed and patted the blanket beside him where he wanted Panda to lay. The rambunctious, naughty, cranky, hyper Panda laid there, simply laid there and let her good friend pat her head.
When I think back on how much Panda meant to my dad it makes me feel really good and I also realize how she brought a little extra excitement into old Jake's life as well. He was used to being top dog, but accepted Panda right away. He was gentle with her just as he was with all our various creatures. As a very young puppy she would stand on her hind legs and box Jake's face with her front paws. Jake would tolerate this for several minutes and then snap his head away with a bit of a growl. He may have been a gentle giant, but he had his limits. Jake and Panda were buddies for three years. When Jake died, Panda would look for him and just couldn't understand where her hero could have possibly gone.
So, Panda was on her own with three cats and (oh, haven't I mentioned this pet?) a rabbit. She liked to think she was the dominant force in the household, but she didn't know cats the way I know cats. No one, and I mean no one, dominates a cat. So, in her frustration, Panda has constantly tried to dominate the humans in the household throughout the years. And, well, she has probably partially succeeded, but we try out best to outwit her. Oh yes, we let her think she's boss, but exactly how seriously are we supposed to take a dog that lays like this:

You can see by the look on our daughter's face that she, like the rest of us, know that Panda's gruff, tough-girl/I think I'm a boy-dog ways, are just a front. The true Panda is always revealed when she's least aware, in slumber. And just in case you were wondering, YES, she snores!

5 comments:

Wendy said...

I love that picture of grandpa and panda. do you have any hard copies i would love that in a frame =)

The Boston Lady said...

I do and I will pull it out for you.

KarenSue said...

I'm so glad you have that memory with your Dad. Our pets are such a big part of our lives and I can't imagine life without them. Do you want a kitty?

The Boston Lady said...

I would love one, but I wouldn't be allowed to live here anymore....

Orlando Grandma said...

I can't wait to see the finished product. THE chair.