Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Range

My sister recently told me that she likes Teddy more than Ranger.  I sometimes feel that way as well, but I'm hard pressed to say why - he still won't sit on my lap, flattens himself to the ground if he thinks I'm going to pick him up, and doesn't pay attention to a word I say (unless the word is treat or outside.)  Although Teddy still follows right on my heels wherever I walk, I don't always feel like he and I are on the same planet.  Or maybe we are on the same planet, but not in the same country.  But he is so adorable and needy and helpless that I can't help falling in love with him. 

Ranger, however, was very easy to love from the beginning.  He was a puppy and therefore cute and adorable, and smart as a whip, so it was easy and fun to train him.  He listens to every word I say with his head tilted to one side, and seems to understand exactly what I mean.  He knows my routines and my habits better than anyone - sometimes I feel like I don't need to say a word as he knows what I'm going to do next.  So I feel disloyal to him when sometimes I prefer Teddy.  I owe many of the good things in my life to Ranger.  He has gotten me out into the world.  It's very easy as a single person to cocoon yourself in your house or in your work, but Ranger has helped me to stay involved in the world.  He helped introduce me to my neighbors and meet new people on our walks and through our agility work.  Without him, Ginger, Ike, Gracie, Ava, Teddy, and Duffy  might have had very different lives.  He's always a good conversation piece - if I don't know someone well, or don't have anything else to talk about, I can always bring up Ranger.  He also is good at filling my time - he loves a good walk or a trip to the store, and there is usually some dog event every so often that he enjoys going to.  He also has helped keep me involved with my family - everybody loves him, and I don't dare show up at a family gathering without both dogs.  So I guess I'm feeling a little like a mother who just had her second child - it's not that I don't love Ranger as much, it's that my heart has gotten bigger to hold the love I have for both of them.

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