I mentioned I’d been taking care of Rick’s dog Wylie for the last ten days or so. I generally dog- and house-sit any time Rick is unavailable, whether that be out of town or just trudging through a long day.
Although the longer daily schedule because of this did leave me wanting for more sleep, I never consider it a burden to look after Wylie since he’s such a wonderful dog. As long as you can throw a Frisbee, chances are he’ll like you. Add to that he’s an exceptionally well-behaved dog, always mindful and obedient, always waiting for permission to cross the street—or even the sidewalk, and never interested in getting into trouble.
He’s just a great canine.
I snapped that photo while we played in the front yard one afternoon. That big ol’ smile is a sure sign he’s thrilled. And he holds one of his front legs up like that when he’s expectant, knowing the Frisbee will soon take flight and offer him another chance to pursue and catch, something he’s terribly good at doing. Most assume he’s a competitive dog in that regard, and he certainly loves playing to an audience, but he isn’t involved in games of that nature. To him, playing chase with the Frisbee (or a ball if the weather keeps us from enjoying the outdoors) is nothing more complicated than a passion.
He brings it back—right to you, actually, and if not, you simply say so and he’ll bring it closer—and then he either waits or he dashes off for a high-speed episode. Often we ponder whether he’ll run himself to death. There are times when we have to stop him from playing because he seems near collapse.
Rick and I call him a killer puppy due in no small part to the fact that he hasn’t a mean bone in his body. He loves cats and, to a lesser degree, other animals. I bring him home with me when I can as I know he poses no threat to The Kids.
Actually, and as I’ve said before, they pose more of a risk to him, especially Loki. I explained long ago that “Loki’s response, however, hasn’t stopped me from bringing Wylie home, but it has certainly given me pause to consider his welfare in light of Loki’s relentless attacks. In this case, if he’s at my home, it’s Wylie who needs protection despite the fact that he loves cats. Loki doesn’t care and will hunt the trespasser so long as he’s here.” I’ve had to explain to Rick why Wylie had bloody racing stripes across his nose after one particular visit when Loki acted like the devilish predator he is. Poor Wylie. . .
Yet he’s such a gentle soul. Unbeknownst to Rick, a juvenile opossum had entered his back yard and was rummaging about pretty much in the middle of the lot. Rick opened the back door and let Wylie out for some fresh air. A minute or two later when he went to check on him, Wylie was crouched down with his ass in the air. He had the poor creature pinned between his front legs and was giving it a bath!
No, he’d never hurt anyone or anything except under the most extraordinary of circumstances, so that’s why we call him the killer puppy.