By Diane Ako
My friend Paul Drewes recently got a new dog. It'd been some years since his other dogs died and he said he didn't think he would get a new one, but his kids nagged him into it, so he says.
"We had a family meeting. We all got to say what quality we wanted in a dog. I said I wanted a low-maintenance dog, because I knew I'd be the primary caretaker. I wanted something that didn't shed, an adult, well-trained, housebroken, friendly, and solved mysteries on the side," he describes.
So everyone had a list of what the perfect dog would be, and the children agreed they would walk it, feed it, clean up after it, and all that good stuff.
They had just started this process of looking when they saw a foster dog at the dog park. It was a cute female Lab-Spaniel mix that won the kids' hearts that afternoon.
"She was nothing on the list. Nothing," says Paul, who tried to discourage them, but it's hard when the kids have their heart set on something, so they adopted her and named her Kali.
"Now I have a dog with long hair that sheds like crazy, is a puppy, bites, pees everywhere, and to top it off, she does not solve mysteries in her spare time," he sighs. "Let me put it to you this way. She is so misbehaved, she was rejected from Petco for a grooming."
He brought her to my house where I met her for the first time. She is dear.
She is also needy and either sticks right to his leg or leans into the screen door to make sure she can tell he hasn't left without her, and whines or scratches the door every so often to remind him she's out there. She was out there with my dog and the two completely ignored each other.
Kali is still quite young (one year old) so she is certain to improve with time, because that was the trajectory with my dog. But I laugh at him, because the guy with so much on his plate is also now a dog dad all over again.
I'm going to buy him the Lassie DVD collection so somewhere in his house there will be a well-behaved canine that doesn't shed and still fights crime.