Kooper the Dim is my, now 9 year old yellow lab-mix. He weighs in at about 100 pounds, give or take a few. For a large breed dog this is starting to get on in years [kinda like the rest of us…]. This means that he is not as spry as he once was, although he still thinks he is [again, I’m looking in the mirror here as well].
I’ve written a few stories on his big antics; grab an old copy of Lake Country Echo, or go to my website for them. These are a few of the ways he does those special everyday things that not only earned him his name but ensures that the title must be retired at some point.
Kooper likes to dance. Not to music. He dances to anything that sprays. He will get up on his hind feet and jump around like a new baby bunny, to try to catch – water from a hose. This makes washing the car or watering plants … interesting.
In the winter, when it’s time to shovel or blow out the driveway, he’s there trying to catch a piece of every shovelful or trying to swallow the output of a snow blower. Of course, when he does that I need to stop immediately, so he doesn’t get hurt. Yet every time I start back up, he starts over. I need to tie him up [he barks until I untie him] or put him in the house [where he will chew on anything in the laundry room]. Neither one a good option. So it takes two of us; one just to distract him.
This one I’m not sure whether to call him Dim or brilliant. He is not happy tied up outside, and most of the time he has free rein of the yard when I’m out with him. He stays close, typically, [well there was the one “incident” with the poodle a few houses down, but “No Harm, No Foul”]. On our cold, wet, snowy or blustery days I have a rope to attach to his collar, so he can take care of business while I stay warm and dry inside.
Inevitably, when it’s time to come in, the adventures begin. I live on a lakefront lot with a bunch of trees and ornamental plantings. Or should I say, did. Most of the ornamental's anywhere near the rope are gone. Then he weaves his way around as many trees as he possible can, pulling the rope as tight as he can and somehow weaves everything into a knot. It’s different every time. So, am I the one being trained not to tie him up?
I have seen him fall off the dock chasing sunbeams; he splashes when he swims just to be able to bite the water droplets; he gets out of the water and rolls in the nearest dirt, and he barks at animals on the television.
Back to my first point about him not being so spry anymore. I have noticed that he was moving a bit slower and stiffly after these amusements of his. On our next trip to the vet, he told us that is just the side effects of aging. I asked: me or the dog? His answer: both. When I get sore, I get to take a pain killer, and the vet prescribed the same for Kooper.
Please, please do not give your dog “people” medicine, it can severely sicken or even kill them, not even aspirin. He prescribed a canine-specific mild pain killer, that he calls his “stupid” pills for dogs. I’m to give him one every time he’s been stupid or I think he’s going to be stupid.
I looked at Kooper. Kooper looked at me. We shared a look. I think I might need to buy stock in the pharmaceutical company. Me and him, we’re growing old together.