When our old dog "Onyx" passed, we decided that we really didn't want another dog. As the weeks passed, we decided that we were too much "dog-people" not to have another dog roaming the halls of Castle Nottaguy. We contacted the local animal shelter, and told them to give us a call if a small dog came in.
A few weeks later the phone rang, and we were asked to come take a look at a Rat Terrier that had been picked up because the older lady who had it could no longer care for it. She had nine dogs, and she was allowed to keep three. This dog being the smallest, didn't get much food, therefore, he would tear into the neighbors garbage.
He was bigger than what we wanted, but decided to take him anyway. When the worker reached into the kennel to put a leash on him, he bit at the worker. "What kind of crazy dog are we getting?", I asked Lady Nottaguy-TYG. "He's just scared.", she replied. We took the leash, filled out the paperwork, and exited the animal shelter.
When we got to the car, he wouldn't get in. In fact, he vigorously shook himself, and off went the collar & leash. Zoom, he was off & running. I've seen greyhounds that looked slow compared to the speed that he was displaying.
A week & a half later, we get a call from the animal shelter. "We found the dog again, if you still want him, you can come pick him up". We were ready this time. We had picked up a harness to use, instead of a collar. We got to the shelter, put the harness on him, put him in an animal carrier, and got him home. We named him "Sparky" because he reminded us of the small dog in the movie "Beethoven" that bites the bad guy in the rear at the end of the movie.
When I took him into the house, we put him into a back room, with the carrier door open. We checked on him every 10 minutes to see if he had come out yet. After a while, with him still in the carrier, I decided to take him out. Remember the dog shelter worker, I donned gloves, and approached the carrier. GROOOOWL, came the sound from the carrier. Undaunted, I reached in to take him out. In a flurry of snaps, bites & gnaws, I finally got him out of the carrier. It was almost like putting my hands into a food processor.
I lead him out the front door on the leash attached to the harness. I walked him around our landholdings so he could know his property. Since it was January, I didn't want him to get too cold, so we headed back to the house. When we reached the stairs, he had no desire to go back in the house. I gave a small tug on the leash. He responded by shaking like a hula dancer having a seizure. Before I knew what had happened, he had slipped out of the harness, and away he went.
Two weeks later, we get another call from the animal shelter. We had hunted, the area for Sparky to no avail. They found him a mile away. " If you still want this dog, you can pick him up, but if he escapes, and we pick him up again, it will cost you the adoption fee again". Off to the shelter we go again. This time, we have harness and a choker chair (I preferred not to use one, but we were at our wits end). We head Sparky to the car using two leashes (one for the harness, one for the choker chain). When it was time to take him for a walk, we did the same thing. Boy, did we get some strange looks, but he didn't get away.
That night we put him in a downstairs room when we went to bed. Yap yap. Bark bark. Scratch scratch. Whine whine. Lady Nottaguy-TYG said "He sounds lonely, why don't you bring him upstairs to sleep with us?". I looked at her, and said "Are you crazy? This dog just came from the pound. How do you know that he won't rip our throats out while we sleep?". "Go get him." she says. So I go downstairs, open his crate, and coax him upstairs. He follows, and jumps on the bed, rolling over to show us his belly. "See, he is showing us that he trusts us." my wife says. We both pet him for awhile, and allow him to sleep at the foot of the bed.
Now we wish he would stay at the foot. He likes best to work his way between me & my wife. He also likes to sleep under the bedspread. If he gets cold, he will jump off the bed, and pat the side of the bed with his front paw to tell us he wants covered up. My wife spoiled him too much. Whats funny is that if he is under the bedspread, and someone becomes "The Wind Beneath My Sheets", he will jump off, and stay in the other room for a few minutes.
Loud noise also scare him (maybe that's why he jumps off the bed?). During a thunderstorm, or around July 4th, he is a basket case. I was showering one day during a pretty bad storm. BOOM, the thunder crashed, and before I knew it, I had company in the shower. We think that perhaps he was shot at when he was tearing into people's trash, and that's why loud noises scare him. We normally wrap him in a blanket, and sit with him to calm him down
He also HATES radio controlled cars, or any toy car that makes a similar noise. When Ninja John lived with us, he would at times take out his RC car and let Sparky go after it. One year, we found a Christmas train at a yard sale. When we had set up the Christmas tree, I got the train out and set it around the tree, like you see in the old pictures. When I turned the train on, Sparky became "Dogzilla", and ran over, bit the engine, and derailed the train. Oh well, maybe another year.
He may have his quirks & idiosyncrasies, but we love him anyway.