Writing to you is like setting a bottle afloat in the ocean since I have no idea who you are, where you are, or even if you are still alive. But if I could, I’d like to ask a few questions on this, the fifth anniversary of bringing Marcos into my life.
Was he really sixteen when you had to let him go? Or was it a misunderstanding between the Animal Control Staff and your neighbor who brought him to New York Animal Care and Control I can’t believe that the Wild Dog of Borneo who bounded out of the foster vet’s office, pulling the very buff vet tech behind him was a sixteen year old dog. That would make him 21 now. No way, Jose. That reminds me,
Are you Latino, Latina? I ask because early on when he used to walk me all over the neighborhood, we passed a group of men one evening and one called out in Spanish to another, and Marcos whipped his head around as if to say, “They’re talking my language.”
I say when he used to walk me because suddenly last April, he woke up one morning and decided I’m old. No more walking. He’s a sneaky critter, that Marcos, making like he’s sniffing the most interesting patch of pavement but what he’s really doing is turning around degree by degree, and before I know it, I’m heading one way and he’s going the other.
And when that doesn’t work, there’s this act he puts on. People we pass in the park say “Poor old guy, he can hardly walk.” But poor old guy knows the half way point on our circular route, and once we’re heading back in the direction of the car, he’s prancing more sprightly than any dog this side of the Westminster Kennel Show judging ring.
This, from the tireless dog who regularly walked me an hour and a half each morning and an hour each evening. In those days, I was known as that lady you see walking her dog all over the place.
And he’s put on a few pounds which brings me to my third question. I hope you don’t find me rude for asking but What happened? Were you too old to take care of him, too sick, too down on your luck. The Good Samaritan neighbor who relinquished him just said you were no longer able to care for him. At 46 lbs when I brought him home, one of my neighbors thought I’d adopted a grey hound.
It’s been a steady climb but
Marcos now tips the scale at 61 lbs
But them I’m also known at the veterinarian’s as the woman who overfeeds every pet she gets.
Marcos best friend and roommate, Marceau bears witness to this.
They weren’t always best friends. Back on day 1 when I introduced Marcos to his crate, formerly known as my spare bedroom,
and closed the gate behind me. I barely made it into the living room when he took the gate in one bounding leap and was in the dining room. He would have had Marceau in his mouth had I not got there in time.
Back to the bedroom for Marcos
with the gate now resting on two phone books,
And up to the loft for Marceau who voluntarily exiled himself, for most of the next year whenever Marcos was free and about.
But one day, they just clicked and have been best buddies ever since with Marceau shadowing his every move.
And lastly, How did you train him so well. I never could have done it. I did try to train my first cat, O.B. Brat, many moons ago. Our training sessions went something like this.
“Brat, off the table.”
“Come on, please, I’m trying to eat.”
“Get your nose out of my plate.”
“Oh, never mind, I’ll eat in the living room.”
So you can imagine how impressed I was with Marcos’ manners- responding to SIT in an instant, sinking to DOWN with but a point of my hand. He doesn’t respond as well anymore. I thought it was because I stopped practicing commands with him but friends have pointed out that he may be going deaf since he never runs to greet them when they arrive anymore.
But I am most impressed by, to put it politely, his house hygiene. One of my reasons for not sharing my life with a dog had been the fact that I work all day, and didn’t think any dog could hold his business from 8:00 until after 6. So, I was prepared for accidents at first – but not one puddle in nearly five years. And there were a few times when, due to unavoidable circumstances, I was gone for eleven hours, and still came home to bone dry floors.
I said for nearly five years because (and I’ll whisper this because he wouldn’t want you to know)
lately, I’ve had to put down papers.
But he knew what they for; God bless you, you paper-trained him too! Not that he uses it often, but I’d rather be safe than washing the floor. There is one problem though
– the roommates
They think it’s their very own slip and slide.
And so, upon closing, I leave you with a couple of photos of Marcos as he is today.
Not every dog has a bed
As well as a bed on a bed.