Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Happy Birthday, dear Scout--Whatever you are!
The Benedict family loves its dogs. Longtime readers of my myspace blog will recall many tales of Hrothgar, the (almost) Labrador we adopted from the shelter not long after we moved to Illinois. And just last spring we announced the arrival of Scout, whom we adopted out of a shopping cart at our local grocery store.
Scout--all eight weeks and three pounds of him--sat with his nearly identical sibling in the cart, nearly dehydrated. The family giving the pups away hadn't brought any water with them. Scout and his brother were the last of a litter of seven. We'd been looking quite casually for a second dog, but hadn't been able to choose one at the shelter. We all agreed that we wanted a smallish dog, something that might actually be allowed with us on the couch. And there was Scout, looking winsome and small and darned cute in that cart. Scout's birth family said that the mother of the pups was a Rat Terrier. Seems she was seduced by an unknown stranger.
We took Scout home, buying dog food, a crate, and bed on the way. Fewer than 48 hours later, he was at the vet's office to be bathed and wormed and inoculated, etc. When we picked him up, he weighed 3.5 pounds.
Rat Terriers, said we. They're smallish.
Scout loved to cuddle in our laps. He chewed on Hrothgar like he was an enormous piece of rawhide (still does). He chased balls. He fell asleep curled in the crook of my arm.
Next vet visit, he was 10 pounds. And the next 15. You see where this is going, don't you?
Hm, said we. He's marked like a Doberman. Maybe a miniature Dobie?
Last time Scout went to board at the vet, he weighed a solid 35 pounds. Still, he has an itty-bitty terrier head. But he has a broad chest for a little guy--Overall, he's kind of stocky.
Good God, said we, just last week. He's not part-Doberman at all. He's part-Rottweiler!
Yes, we have one of the only seven Rat Terrier-Rottweiler mixes in the world! It makes sense, of course. He's a backwoods kind of dog, out of a very rural birth family. I've yet to see a Doberman in these parts. But there are Rotties--and plenty of them. I like a Rottweiler, and I've been around enough dogs to know that a dog learns aggression from its pack leaders. If you treat a dog well from birth and train it properly, there's an excellent chance it will be a good dog.
Scout's attitude is all playful, smart terrier. His back end, though, is definitely Rottie. He's kind of ugly. Common, as my father-in-law says. Yep. That's our Scoutie.
Happy Birthday, good dog!