Monday, December 5, 2005


This is Layla, the dog we adopted last May. She's a big sweetie. We don't know why anyone gave her up because she's fairly well trained, doesn't chew, doesn't dig-up the lawn, and won't sit on the furniture. She doesn't attack the mailman or deliverymen and would be more likely to pursue them in search for some affection. "PLEASE pet me!" Why would anyone want to give this dog up?

Fur. The groomer believes her to be a mix of two breeds: English Shedder and Boredom Collie.

We changed our floors from carpet to hardwood last summer. So the fur coalesces into clumps and glides around, seeking refuge under the furniture where it is dutifully swept-up by my 14 year-old who declares "Dust Puppy!"

She has talent too! We thought about making her a showbiz dog but we're not sure if there's a market for dogs whose talent is to lay in the most well-trafficked spot of the house at any given time. In the mornings, when people are shuffling through our hall, there she is, in the middle of the action. In the evening, when we're preparing dinner, there she is again, ready and able to make you stub your toe on the dishwasher in an attempt to avoid stepping on her. This has got to be some sort of marketable skill. Not only does she lay there, but she does so with the most bored look on her face, a look that suggests that you must abandon your homework, housework, or computer gaming to engage her in her favorite activity of belly rubbing.

Layla's name is similar to the name of my daughter, Lolly. Layla had trouble, at first, not answering to Lolly's name. Sometimes she wouldn't even respond to her own name, but call out "Lolly?" and she'd come. However, Lolly has used this nickname (her real name is Lauren) since she was 5 days old and it's too late for us to change it.

It was obvious that Layla had been trained at some point because she could do tricks like Shake, Fetch, Roll Over, etc.. But I can see that anyone who expected her to be militantly adherent to commands would be disappointed. When given a command she often just sits there sort of passively receptive to the fact that you've just gotten her attention and given her a command. Then she'll give us the "Oh, do you mean me?" look. Eventually, she'll do her trick but she's likely to be delayed when distracted by outside stimuli like stray electrons.

Mostly, we were excited because our youngest expressed no fear toward her and that's kind of rare for Lolly. She's been a little nervous around animals for several years, since unfortunate incidents with a neighbor pets like the black lab that knocked her down when she was 4 and the cat whose bite resulted in an infection when she was 5. The biggest compliment paid to Layla was when a friend's daughter said that, like Lolly. she's usually "at least a little afraid of all dogs" but Layla was the first dog that didn't scare her at all.

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