I thought perhaps I should introduce the family member second in importance only to the children. That would be Blossom, a German Shepard/Collie mix that we rescued after she was found on the side of the road and taken to a local vet clinic. She is, literally, the best dog I’ve ever owned. (If you are wondering who names a German Shepard “Blossom”, she was named after a Powerpuff Girl by my then 5 year old.)
Blossom is no ordinary dog. She was defnitely someone’s pet. She has been trained and trained well. I still find it hard to believe that someone intentionally left her behind. Most likely she was lost and her owners had to move before she was found. I am sorry they lost their pet, but I am grateful to have had her for the last 5 years.
She is a firm supporter of “no child left behind”. No kid in this house goes anywhere that she doesn’t know about it. If they are in the backyard playing, she is on terror alert red from her post beneath the tree. At night she stations herself in between bedrooms so she will be able to tear the leg off anyone trying to get to “her kids.” (I’m going to allow a rare moment of sentimentality here and say that I do thank her for looking after “my babies.”)
Of course, as all dogs do, she has her quirks and even a few faults. When she sheds I can sweep up enough hair to stuff a sofa and two armchairs, and she is rather a sloppy eater. Neatness may not be her forte, but she does have a skill that is unmatched among other dogs (okay, just the ones we’ve had.) She’s a player. She has never met a tennis ball she didn’t have a love affair with.
She knows what the word “ball” means and she can also spell it, because when we say “b-a-l-l” we are suddenly presented with a damp, yellow, spherical object on the assumption that we are proposing a game. She also knows the word “park,” which is her favorite place to play. Don’t say it unless you want her to stand at the door barking for 15 minutes.
Frankly, it’s an addiction, and it’s not getting any better as she gets older. Having been unable to locate a 12 Step group for this particular problem, she is left to grapple with her demons. It was the never ending quest for a ball game that made her the model for the “depression hurts” dog. You can see it on her face every time she is refused a game.
In addition to her love of ball, Blossom also enjoys chasing squirrels, armadillos, and birds out of the yard and sleeping 22 hours a day.