One of the things I apparently missed blogging about over the winter was that we got a new dog. If you read back to Feb '06, we had tried this before, and it didn't work out too well, but this past Feb, Wife went down to the local Humane Society to look around, and saw Missy.
Missy, they said, is a cocker spaniel/poodle mix, a cockapoo, or spoodle. (I can't say I like either name; a cockapoo sounds like a bird, and spoodle sounds like a pasta dish.) She's sort of a light beige, with poodle-like curly fur and a spaniel's soft, pretty, floppy ears. I love playing with her ears, and it's funny to go see my sister-in-law's dogs, which are both at least twice Missy's size but have ears 1/3 of Missy's.
She's usually a pretty good dog. She gets a bit protective of Daughter and Wife when Son is around, and has nipped at him a couple of times, but overall is pretty laid back and mellow. She's also nipped at Daughter and one of her friends, and we're not at all sure what either of those were about, or whether either was provoked in any way. But overall she's pretty calm and relaxed.
She gets a bit riled up at the kids' bedtime, running from room to room, doing laps around the bed, and so on. She also loved to "wrestle" with me, biting/chewing (lightly) on my hand and letting me toss her around. I'm the only one who will let her do that, though; Son and Wife aren't interesting in the play-biting in the least, and Daughter would rather play fetch and pet with her. (One of these days, I'm going to get a picture of her chewing on me, and call it "Biting the Hand that Feeds You"...)
Wife (or kids, over the summer) usually walk her during the day, and I get to take her out at night, around the block. It's gotten to be a routine thing that I really like, seeing our neighborhood through all seasons and weather, getting a glance at the stars and moon (or the clouds).
Like most dogs, she prefers people food to dog food, and we usually give her a little something at dinner time, but at least 3/4 of her food is her own stuff. She'll still beg somewhat, but usually doesn't make too much of a fuss. She will come running when she hears the cheese drawer in the fridge open up. I'll often throw her bits while I'm making up my eggs-n-cheese in the morning. She was really bad at catching them at first, but with some practice, she's gotten pretty good.
And perhaps most importantly (to me, anyway) is that she's not so much of an early riser. I've heard lots of folks talk about needing to get up right away to let the dog out in the morning, but she's usually content to pad around the house until 9 or 10 AM before needing to go out.
All in all, having a dog (or at least, having our dog) is a pretty good deal, and I'm glad we got Missy.