I won’t say that I have a favorite. I won’t. I love all my dogs very, very much. Some people would probably say I’m a little obsessed with my dogs. But those people probably have cats. Chloe and I have been together the longest and we’ll always have a special bond. I raised Tetsy from a 3-day old amoeba and he thinks I am his biological mom; I can see it in his eyes every time he looks at me. Misha is the best Rottie I’ve ever known and she’s protected me even from Jerritt (and she was Jerritt’s first…hehehe!) For all these reasons, my dogs are my children and I love them equally. But. There’s something about Paco. I won’t say special, I won’t say spiritual, I won’t say that we were meant to find each other. In fact, at times he doesn’t like me. He’s bitten me, he still growls at me if he’s sleepy, he seldom gets up to greet me when I get home (unless he hasn’t had dinner yet) and if he ever got out of the house (which he has on 2 occasions) I firmly believe he would run and never look back (which he did on those 2 occasions).
But, there is something in those eyes. Something that pulls on my heart and fills me up like a balloon. Some knowledge of the world that I either envy or wish I could erase from his memory. Since Paco was rescued so late in life, I know not of his past. Did he live a life on the streets, begging for scraps? Did he once have a happy family that he lost on a summer trip? Did his previous people have to give him up because they didn’t understand the responsibility that’s required of raising a hound? What I do know is this: he was rescued by Dawn from the Animal Shelter where he was going “kennel crazy.” This term means that Paco was being his hound self, barking, woowoowooing, jumping and acting hound. But in the frame of a 3×5′ pen, this looks like the dog is mad and surely wouldn’t behave well in a home…why not adopt that calm little fluffy dog across the hall? Paco was not showing well and his time was coming close to being up. Dawn swooped in and brought him to MoJo’s where he calmed quite a bit with some room to stretch his long legs and no oppressive judgments cast on his woowoowooing. He was here a year before I started working at MoJo’s, took him home for a weekend of non-MoJo’s activities and fell in love. I would like to say it was love at first sight, but I’m ashamed to say I barely even noticed him at first. He had apparently morphed from a kennel-crazed maniac to a dopey ball of fur that spent all his time sleeping in the sun. It took that one-on-one weekend for me to see that there was a lot more there than the surface first glimpsed.
One of the best Paco stories is one that I’ve only heard 3rd hand (which means to say, all the facts may not be arrow straight, but it’s still a great story). About a year BM (before Megan), MoJo’s had a dog trainer that worked out of one of our rooms. Every week she would come in, pass the dogs and commence with her class. One of Paco’s quirks is that he has to investigate anything new before it can be safely in the same building as him. This goes for people too. But in the case of people, that old kennel-craze comes out of him. It usually only lasts the second that it takes for him to run up to you, sniff you, approve and move on. But the trainer never gave him the acknowledgment so his resentment grew. And grew. To the point he had to be stowed in the office while class was being held because they couldn’t hear over the his barking. Apparently, this frustrated the trainer (who, by the way, should have known better than to ignore this dog) and she mentioned to one of the staff that he should be euthanized. Yes, I still cringe at the mention of this trainer’s name. This was the straw that broke the hound’s back. Shortly after that, she came in for a weekly training class and passed by Paco’s playgroup. Paco jumped against the fence, grabbed a chunk of the trainer’s hair in his jaws and ripped it out. He then proceeded to toss the lock up in the air, catch it mid-fall and toss it again like a pizza pie. I. Love. This. Dog.