Every pet has a secret. Do you know your address?


During some rare “down” time over the holidays, I was scrolling through the offerings on the streaming service in search of a little escapist entertainment.

My criteria was quite simple: nothing too tragic. Nothing too gross. Nothing had anything to do with politics (which I realize can permeate the other two criteria).

I paused for a moment on “The Secret Life of Pets,” but as someone was eyeing me at the time, I decided to pass.

To be honest, there isn’t much of a secret about my dog ​​living at home these days. His life seems to revolve around eating, sleeping, taking me for walks and watching the neighborhood from the living room window.

It’s his past that I don’t know much about.

She arrived from a shelter in Tennessee with records from the last veterinarian who examined her and a warning that she could be rude and aggressive, especially around men. She was already 8 years old, but had no apparent appetite and weighed only 5 pounds.

Seriously, how aggressive can a 5 pound dog be?

A lot, as it turned out. When he got angry, he scared a few men half to death. (Some of whom had dogs big enough to swallow him whole.)

Obviously we had some work to do. And I wondered if the man meant enough to hold her in such contempt. I’ll probably never know.

Another small dog was mine for most of his 17 years. She was much more friendly, but I learned last year that she also had a restless time before I met her.

My uncle got it from the tenant of one of his apartments. That much I knew. What I didn’t know until she told me last year was that this tenant would let Grendel, a toy poodle who was just a puppy at the time, out for hours in all kinds of weather. will Even when other dogs attacked him.

My uncle finally took him in, he said, and told the tenant that he had him and would find a good home. The tenant apparently didn’t mind.

Grendel died in 2017, but I felt my heart break once again. I pictured my Grendel in the cold and wet rain, trying to fend off the big dogs. Why on earth anyone would get a puppy and then treat it like that, I couldn’t imagine.

I looked at his successor and thought again what? of that Life was as it had been before he came to Hagerstown, and decided that it was probably for the best that I didn’t know.

What I do know is that she has come a long way since I first brought her home. She came here one year when I somewhat nervously left her in the care of my friend Andy for a day. I wasn’t worried about my dog; I was worried about Andy.

About two hours later he sent me a picture. There, curled up on the couch, were friends forever. I stopped worrying. She had another male sitter for a week last summer, and she also behaves well when we have a house full of guests.

His appetite has also increased – perhaps too well. Whenever someone comes into the kitchen, she thinks she should get a treat. She started pinching. I observed. Our family saw. Our neighbors noticed.

At her last checkup, the doctor said her weight gain was “significant” and suggested that I start feeding her green beans.

I agreed to give it a try, but I had my doubts. She may love food, but she is the most playful dog I have ever seen. She wouldn’t like green beans, and I wouldn’t blame her. I never cared much for them myself.

Nevertheless, I dutifully bought green beans—a small package, since we were just trying it out—and gave it to her.

He looked at her. She smelled it for some time. He poked it around with his nose and claws. It was like watching a toddler with Play-Doh.

And he never ate it.

I threw it away. We have to find another solution.

But the next day, pretty much, I spilled green beans in his bowl.

And lo and behold, he messed it right up. Then he pounced on my feet hoping for more.

Now she expects them every day, and I call her my beanie baby. Green beans are a lot cheaper than other dog treats, so I’m not unhappy with that.

And I think he’s losing weight.

But she still thinks she should get a treat every time someone comes into the kitchen. I’m not sure I can give him anything for that.

However, I am so relieved to know that whatever secrets he has from before I was, wondering if he will get another invitation, is now the only thing that worries him.

Donuts, potato rolls, apples and keys: What are you giving up for the New Year?

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier – if we can keep up the pace.

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