By Alexi Venice–
Is there a limit to the number of Facebook and Instagram posts I can do on a daily basis of Bootie Pepper’s adorable puppy, Buster? Are two videos per day too many? Should he have his own puppy Instagram account? Under a pinsta, followers could be constantly entertained with the hilarity, frivolity and Tasmanian devil in this puppy.
Bootie Pepper recently adopted 11-week old Buster from the Humane Association. We think he’s a mix of dachshund and rottweiler (“dachsweiler”) because we googled those two breeds (as a mix) and the images look like him.
Google is cheaper than the mail-order doggy DNA tests. Amazon sells several, ranging from $83 to $189. You swab your dog’s mouth and mail it in. They send back a report with your dog’s ancestry (e.g., 50% rottweiler, 25% dachshund and 25% “mixed breed,” a catchall.)
That’s a lot of money for something I can visualize for free through a google search. I encourage you to do the same and tell me what breed you think Buster is.
Anyway, I had low expectations of the brain power behind the brown wrinkly forehead of this mutt, but after only two weeks, I set aside my ignorant bias. At 11 weeks, he’s house-trained, sits to command and stays in his little doggy bed while we eat dinner, content to stare at the love of his life, Bootie Pepper. He perks up at the sound of her voice and sits on her feet when she’s in the room. Clearly, he adores her. (I sort of feel sorry for The Pitcher, who is projected to return home in mid-September. What if Buster doesn’t like The Pitcher?)
Since I’ve been an insufferable snob about Duck Tolling Retrievers, touting my three-legged Daisy’s ability to jump off the dock and retrieve a live Muskie, I expected this mutt to be the Velveeta cheese of dog breeds. No taste. No talent. No looks. No smarts. As it turns out, he’s Marieke Gouda. A blue ribbon in all categories, including cuddling on my lap.
Bootie and Buster are already going to puppy classes, where he’s socializing with other puppies and plenty of kids.
I’m sorry, Germany, for undervaluing your wise dogs. You may not regularly entertain sarcasm, but if you did, you would be smiling in triumph over my miscalculation of this crafty pack leader. He already called dibs on most of the back seat in Bill’s truck. You can read the unfairness in Zane’s expression. “Is this situation permanent?”
Germany might also like to know that Buster immediately tracked down Bill’s jar of fermenting sauerkraut, thereby proving his heritage. (Yes, it’s that time of year again. The recently harvested veggies are going into scientific-looking jars.)
Buster is shaping up to the be the quintessential castle dog, although rottweiler’s were originally used for herding and protecting cattle, then pulling carts of meat to market. For the last 100 years, they’ve been trained to guard and protect, including as police dogs. He’s definitely alert and smart in new surroundings, and he loves to bark at the robovac.
As he gets older, we’ll see if he can earn his keep by mousing. To be an expert mouser, he’ll need to apprentice under the master—Daisy. I’ve never seen a more aggressive mouser than she is. No cat comes close.
We open the boathouse door and holler, “Mouse.” She runs in and takes care of business with one chomp. Then she holds the dead mouse in her mouth and shakes her head at me when I say, “Good dog. Drop it.” Unlike the tennis ball, she won’t cough up the mouse. I don’t want her to eat it, so if I insist, after a long minute, she will reluctantly drop it.
A few weeks ago, I was playing in the water at the beach with the dogs, and Daisy was rolling in the ferns above the sand. Suddenly, two mice came darting out of the ferns and hit the water like Hawaiian surfers. They were swimming toward the open lake! I never knew mice could swim. I yelled, “Mouse!” and Daisy came barreling out of the ferns to attack.
When the mice saw her, they dove. Who knew mice could dive? They were like a special breed of Navy Seal Mouse. They went under about six inches, which wasn’t deep enough to evade Daisy, as she submerged her snout and plucked them out of the water, shaking and chomping them. Yuck.
In that moment, knee deep in fresh water, I realized that the outdoors is effing terrifying. It isn’t enough that we have mosquitos the size of jet planes that now carry Zika. Or garter snakes that slither across the summer lawn ahead of us. Or toads that secrete a toxic slime when our dogs bite them. Or wasps that nest under the deck and sting the crap out of my ankles. Now we have swimming mice in the Northwoods! (Am I crazy to wish for winter and a snow-covered landscape that hides reptiles and insulates vermin?)
All of this reminded me of the time Zane tried to drown a coon in the lake until I called him off. (See my blog post last August “Duck Toller Drowning a Coon” here.) Now he fishes for blue gills all day by pacing back and forth in shallow water. Buster watched Zane for a time, eager to imitate him, but got too cold in the lake. As an aside, Zane doesn’t give two hoots about Buster and refuses to play with him.
Buster is off to a good start by digging at the beach though.
All of the play at the beach tired Buster out, so he took a nap on the chaise with Daisy.
Buster also proved he had a true dog nose this week, finding this deer shed at the farm. Bill and Buster were on trail cam patrol, riding around on the Gator, pulling memory sticks out of the critter cams. During a stop, Buster ran into a thick bush and came out with this antler.
To sum up, Buster is the Bomb! We love him, so you should expect more pics and videos on social media. Stay tuned for the pinsta “Busta.”
However, I’m afraid that none of the pics or videos of Buster will ever compare to my friend, Natalie’s, pic of her beloved Corgi, Brecken, nestled around her face while she did a yoga headstand. She’s living proof that we turn our lives upside down and will stand on our heads for our new puppies. Maybe Natalie will teach a “puppy yoga” class. We can bring our puppies and do “poga.”
Here’s Brecken getting ready for his laptop lesson so that he, too, can post pics and videos on social media of his mom doing poga. Can’t wait to hear his pinsta name.
We need more puppies. We need more puppy videos on Facebook and Instagram. For the men reading this post, the video Drunk Girls Get Surprised with Puppies is the only thing you need to know about women. This is exactly what I’m talking about! Check it out:
*Many thanks to Natalie and Brecken for sharing their pics.