By the way, I did not always err on the side of sentimentality, or talk about animals like they were people. This is a recent development and I think it’s going to pass or at least be relegated to the occasional rather than the ubiquitous. Nonetheless!
My family passed the picture of our new dog at two months old, softer and cuter and vulnerable at the shelter, and all of us sitting together looked at him and petted his face and my brother says looking at the picture and looking at his unsuspecting face, “What happened?” The dog, happy at the tones of our voices and all the attention and blissfully unaware being made fun of, preened and nuzzled as my mother says “Yes you are, you are so cute, but what happened to your face?” This humor my brother developed with Rudy who, sweet as he was, was not the smartest dog. “Hello stupid.” We’re not mean, our dogs also receive shameless adoration. So the new one’s name is Rowdy, which I don’t really like but he’s not my dog, and he’s a five month old mix of a hound and something else. He’s still uncoordinated and when he sits its kind of like his butt’s falling over, his legs splay out and he doesn’t really seem to have control over where it goes. His torso is over here and his butt and legs are kind of over there, and he’s so submissive just looking at you like is this what you want? eager to please, but not dignified in the least. But then neither was Rudy. He would spend a minute, literally, adjusting and re-adjusting his back legs slowly lowering into a seated posture as though he was rebellious teenager, kind of complying but also kind of hoping you’re going to stop paying attention and he can stop this charade of doing what he’s being asked.