A dog was always going to be the first addition to my first home, purchased in early 2000. Dogs are great for us introverts with mild social anxiety, especially the fact that they don't make you have conversations and always want to hang out with you. And Truman was a typical corgi: stubborn, friendly, very active, talkative, and smarter than at least a couple people I've met. It was hard to tire him out and, like all corgis I know, he was never, ever, done eating.
He had a full resume for a dog, including:
- Served over 12 years as symbiotic vacuum cleaner for all the food I dropped on the floor. Maybe I finally need to learn how to use a mop now.
- Certified as intermediate-level guard dog. No doubt he would alert you to intruders, but he'd most likely want to play with them once they got in.
- Overcame puppyhood addiction to chewing socks and tissues through hypnosis.
- Played volleyball with balloons. I just wish I had video of him nosing it up in the air, waiting for it to come down, and hitting it again until it got stuck somewhere.
- Killed a chipmunk and a mouse in my old house in Fargo. The mouse screamed. It was pretty strange.
- Knew the difference between "speak" (one short bark) and "talk" (low growling).
He put up with a lot of moving on my part too, including being away from me for most of 2008 while I worked around the country on the Obama campaign. And he was always disappointed that working dogs never seem to win at Westminster.
On the other hand, he had no sense of space around him. Anyone who took Truman for a walk knows that he would immediately dart inches in front of you and then get upset with you when tripped over him. And let's be honest, he did more than his share of peeing on the carpet and getting into the garbage can. That said, he enthusiastically liked just about everybody, and I didn't exactly provide him with a meadow and all the sheep he wanted to herd did I?
In the end, he was a very good boy.