Now this is a flighty little mutt

By Steve Estes

Holly and I are both dog lovers. She bred dogs for 15 years before she gave it up to move to the Keys with me (Thank you for that) and I have always had a soft spot for the furry, four-legged critters.

We had two pit bulls when she came here. They were fun-loving, extremely loyal dogs who would curl up in your lap at a moment’s notice and refuse to move until their nap was done.

We added a Jack Russell/Chihuahua to the mix a few years later. We lost both pit bulls within eight months of each other, the first from old age and the second from separation anxiety from its life-long playmate.

We added a Puerto Rican mixed breed from the shelter that had been rescued by a couple sailing past the island that spotted the animals roaming free and stopped and brought the whole litter home. She is the most mild-mannered dog I’ve ever seen.

Before the Jackihuahua got too old to play, we supplemented the brood with a Dachsund/Chihuahua mix who has turned out to be the second-most mild-mannered dog I’ve ever seen. She lays in your lap, eats and gets fat. She does little else.

Then we added a Chihuahua/Rat Terrier mixed breed to the brood after the Jackihuahua left us.

And this dog broke the mold. Along with the windows, the furniture, the table, the plants and…well you get the picture.

I’m not a dog psychologist, but I bet if we took Dora (so named by our adopted son because she spends all her time looking somewhere for food she shouldn’t have) to one, they would say she’s an ADHD dog. That stands for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

And she fits that description.

I’ve never seen a dog walk away from a food bowl unless it’s empty. This young lady will gulp down a few bites, then leave her bowl to check on the other two and make sure they have the same food.

She’ll boot the wiener dog out of the way and attack her bowl, only to move on a few seconds later to the bigger dog’s bowl and boot her out of the way.

They take it in stride and just attack the bowl that’s left open.

Which of course brings our ADHD mutt scurrying back to her own bowl because maybe we changed the entrée on her while she wasn’t looking.

She’ll give up food to check out the person coming in the front door, or just to walk over and check out who’s calling on the phone.

She usually winds up getting less food than the other two because she’s unable to focus on a single task until it’s completed.

They are the beneficiaries of this behavior, and they’re getting fat because of it.

Dora will jump on anything that doesn’t move out of the way fast enough. She’ll bounce from the floor, to the chair, to the couch, to my lap in the recliner, to the floor again, up on the kitchen chair, to the floor again and then on to the couch again just so she can make a bed on the throw pillow and settle down for a nap.

I don’t know why she doesn’t just stay on the couch after the first trip. Oh yeah, that ADHD thing.

She runs to the front room and stands on the chair so she can bark at everyone who goes down the street. We live on a dead-end street like many people, out in the middle of the refuge, like many people, and have only two neighbors to the end of the street.

She’ll bark at the neighbors every day. She’ll bark at the bicycle riders who use our street because it’s quiet (except for her) and she’ll bark twice a week at the trash truck.

She used to bark at the mail carrier, but now they toss treats across the fence and she barks until they toss treats across the fence.

She’ll bark to be let outside just so she can go halfway down the steps and bark at the wind whistling under the house. She’ll chase a gecko off just so she can check out what it was eating and see if she’d like a bite or two.

When she jumps in my lap for a nap, she first has to twirl around a dozen times to find just the right angle, then flops down, gets back up, moves to the other side and twirls another dozen times before she flops again.

I don’t know if I have one leg fluffier than the other, but she’s starting to give me a complex.

She has to investigate every door that has just been opened. Just because I am who I am, I will sometimes open the front door just so she’ll dart outside to check out what she can bark at, and I shut the door behind her.

When she does accidentally get shut inside a room, she’ll bash herself against the door unrelentingly until someone comes to let her out.

Maybe that’s how she got the way she is…brain damage from repeated collisions with the door?

I don’t know. But if anyone knows a good canine replacement for Ritalin, I’m willing to listen.

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