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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Just Braggin' on My Dog

Let me apologize in advance to all you readers who thought you had the cutest, coolest, best dog in the world...I can't let you go on holding that delusion any longer because the fact of the matter is, you don't. I do.
Muggle (Photo by Matt Drobnik)
Yes. Look upon my doggy's divine countenance and weep, for no matter how adorably, loveable, cuddly ALL dogs are (I really have never met one that wasn't cute), Muggle is the awesome-est and cutest!

Many of you may know Muggle's story, but if you don't, you can go to his website, The Muggle Chronicles, and read about his--and our--amazing journey from discarded, to rescued, to agility dog.

Some of the things that make Muggle one-of-a-kind:

1.  He doesn't run to greet us at the door. When we come home, he maintains his dignity (and his spot on the sofa) and gives us a Joey Tribbiani nod of the head: "how you doin,'" and patiently waits for us to come over and pet him. He has a bit of Eey-ore in him about the whole enthusiasm thing. Most dogs are excited to be invited onto the sofa, chair, bed, car...not Muggle. He'll slowly inch his way to the seat, look up through his eyebrows and sigh, then slowly lug himself up alongside you. "If I have to...."

"How you doin'?"
2.  He's neat and orderly. I'm not, so I figure this is a good thing. Muggle has upstairs toys and downstairs toys and gets absolutely neurotic if they're out of place. He'll pace and fret over his toys, poking his nose into the basket and under furniture until he's certain something is missing, then he'll rescue it and return it to its rightful place.

Looking intense through the tire (Photo by Matt Drobnik)
3.  He talks to us. If you've ever seen Muggle run agility, you know he's a talker. He grunts and growls, and snarls and snarks the whole way through the course. Today, I found out that could be me. When I give him clear directions, he gets quieter. I did see something similar when Matt ran him and did some incorrect handler motion--Muggle would turn around and give him what-for before doing what he was supposed to do. But, he'd still do the right thing. That could explain how we've gotten as far in agility as we have. Because of Muggle, not me. I know he far outperforms me in the ring.

4. He's a grandstander. As Ginger said, he is my dog. He does well when he has an audience. He doesn't do particularly well at agility class, or when we practice. But put him on a course at a trial, with an audience, and Muggle will do things I'm positive we haven't learned, trained, practiced, and certainly shouldn't be able to do given how much (or little) we actually do train and practice! And he only does that when he has an audience! Imagine what a little more effort (on my part) could produce?

Eey-ore says, "I won some ribbons, oh well..."
5. He's OCD in a really funny way. Aside from the toys being in their right place, Muggle is a schedule- and routine-driven dog. He likes things to occur in the same way, all the time, every time. So, when 9:30 p.m. roles around, he likes me to head upstairs and get ready for bed. He waits patiently through my part of the routine, knowing the last thing I do before crawling under the covers is give him a biscuit. Then, he's like a machine: eat, get a drink of water, get the gator (his squeaky toy), and come into bed. He plays with gator for 5 minutes, then lays down between me and Matt while we watch TV or read. When Matt turns out his bedside light, Muggle goes downstairs (we have stairs for him to get on/off the bed) and into his crate. At that point, he gets really anal about his schedule. It is now BEDTIME. We do not mess with bedtime. If Matt or I talk after Matt's light goes out (I can still be up reading with the light on, doesn't matter, it's all about the Alpha-Matt) Muggle dives us a "grrrfffff." He's the chaperone. There is no talking, kissing, or moving after Matt's light goes out. Sometimes we make kissy noises just to mess with the dog. Poor Muggle goes crazy and runs back up the stairs into the middle of the bed to get between us and break it up.

He's pretty darn funny. And adorable. And when he gets to the agility field and knows he gets to run, he gets excited and happy. Regardless of ribbons or Qs, there isn't anything as wonderful for me as the look of sheer bliss on his face when Muggle and I are running together:

Just happy to be out playing with me!! (Photo by Matt Drobnik)
Muggle is keeping guard over me right now as I work at my computer. He stares out the window and lets me know when strangers walk by across the street. I think he might also be looking our for "the biscuit lady" and "the biscuit man." A couple who live in the neighborhood carry biscuits when she goes for her morning walk and he for his run. Muggle has learned to time our walks to their routine. On a good day, he can meet Joanne once on her walk and Michael twice on his run.

He's a funny, funny dog.

While I am truly sorry that you can't have the cutest or funniest dog out there since he's mine, I know every one of our pets have their own unique qualities and, while not THE cutest, rhey're all pretty darn cute too. What makes your pet the best?

Muggle with his best-bud, Dagan, getting ready to root for their team.

December 5, 2009. The first photo we saw of Muggle...and decided to adopt him.
Dec. 12, 2009. Muggle's first night with us...after some grooming and neutering.
Looks like a completely different dog, doesn't he? And completely different from what he looks like now, too!