Nothing But Dogs

There was so much dog activity and dog business today that my brain is in a whirl.  I feel like I must sleep on it, in order to organize it enough to write about it.  So I’m going to write now about the one small thing that happened that I know I can handle, in my dog-obsessed, exhausted condition.

I met with one of my favorite dog friends, in the course of today’s activities, and we came to the mutual realization that, because she doesn’t use Facebook, she knows next to nothing about my wonderful Mexican dog, Sosimo (‘Simo’). 

So here’s a brief introduction to Simo, and the story of how he came to me, told mostly in links to what I wrote on Facebook at the time.  Simo has become the most fascinating dog I expect I’ll ever have, and I’m almost in awe of him.  It is because of Simo that I’ve come to have a dream of someday getting to know a wolf, or wolves.  Simo and I love each other very much.  It’s another one of those simple, needs-no-analysis dog loves, the kind I had with Dingo, as contrasted to the ‘it’s complicated’ thing I have goin’ on with Burberry.  😉

the shelter photo that made me adopt Simo!/note.php?note_id=136590808868!/note.php?note_id=151855133868

Simo’s adoption was done very quickly, in order to save him from a possible almost unmentionable form of euthanasia.  The speed of it, coupled with the language barrier, meant that I didn’t have much information about him until quite a bit later.  Here’s a photo of his puppyhood, sent to me by the former shelter director at his now-closed shelter.  Simo lived almost his whole life, until he came to me, at that shelter.

Baby Sosimo (then called Alan)

So many things terrified Sosimo at first.  He’d never walked on grass, never been inside a building, never tasted meat (nor loads of other things we generally can afford to feed our dogs in the United States).  He would start to ‘run away’ from the new scary thing, but then he would come back, with a look on his face that said, ‘I want to learn this.’  And he would practice whatever it was that had frightened him, each time rejoicing more that he was conquering his fears.  I’m not being fanciful here–he was, undeniably, purposefully working to get over fears of new things, which he sensed wouldn’t serve him well in his new life, and fears of old things, which he sensed would no longer be necessary.  His body language revealed his joy in his new skills, and when he was feeling especially proud, he’d spin in very fast circles, and then run like mad for a few laps around the yard.    

Simo had so many things to get used to, and stairs were a real challenge at first. He was so brave, and really wanted to learn. In this picture, he has just climbed that set of three steps for the first time, after practicing for days, helped by a friend with a bottomless bag of treats.

There’s one thing that Simo must have learned at the shelter (unless it’s a feral thing, and I’d love to know–I will ask those wolves).  He is a total crab in bed!  Ooh, a memory… 

Time travel back several decades.  My mother, exhausted by having to spend all day with two children, tries to catch a nap by persuading us that we want one, too.  ‘C’mon, kids, you don’t have to sleep, let’s all just lie down for a little while, and you stay still.’  Well, that worked about as well as you’d think.  We always started fidgeting, and (this sounds bad, but I actually have a lot of sympathy for her–it’s no fun being sleep-deprived) she’d reach out, half awake, and pull our hair.

And that’s Simo!  He hates it if one of us moves in bed while we’re close to him, and he tells us so in no uncertain terms.  The emphatic nature of what he’s got to say is made more so, I think, because he’s not fully awake.  It’s usually at the other dogs he snarks, but once, when he first came, he actually bit me in the head!  It didn’t break the skin, and wasn’t anything to be concerned about, but it was more than a nip.  I was asleep, and let me tell you, that’s a hell of a way to be awakened.  Looking back, I’m amazed and proud that I was able to work all of this out without hurting anyone’s feelings, or their body parts.

I can’t take too much credit, though, because, as he did with all of his other quirky fears, he eventually managed this one all by himself, electing to sleep alone, in the outer room of our suite, which is where I tuck him in each night.  I’m quite sure it was a form of self-policing.  He may have had to stay alert in his shelter, even during the night, for dogs who wanted to steal his spot.  I’ve been told that he was on the bottom of that pack, and my feeling is that he may have awakened to some alarming confrontations during nights there.  Or, for all I know, it’s what feral canines always do.  Writing this blog entry has made me really want to know…

But in any case, he realized, after a few months here, that nothing bad was going to happen to him at night.  But he found that he couldn’t always stop himself from snapping at us, so he simply removed himself from temptation.  This behavior is much more common in dogs than people realize.

Awww.  He just came and put his front paws on my chair and asked for a hug.  He has the most beautiful eyes.

On that lovely hug note, here are two more recent photos of Simo, and then it’s time to tuck him in and then myself.  Tomorrow looks to be another eventful dog day.

Surprisingly, Simo loves the snow and doesn't mind cold weather.

Sosimo of Mexico, Brave Native of Cancun

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