SCRUGGS MEETS THE “KIDS”—MEET TARA and FINA
(31st installment, Scruggs and Samantha, by Mary de la Pena)
My heart was light as I rushed home to collect the “kids” for their appointment with Agent Tamara and Scruggs. I wasn’t overly concerned that either of my two dogs would have a problem with meeting another dog. They were dog park pros, after all, and were used to meeting other dogs. The only thing that I was concerned about was my physical ability to handle the two large dogs by myself.
Fina, a rescue who had found her way into our household, was my major concern. She was a Rottweiler mix of indeterminate origin, and I had long told her that, while her momma may have been a Rottweiler, her daddy was a coyote. She had the distinctive black and tan markings of a Rottweiler, but her nose was sharply pointed and her body was lean with the long coyote legs made for trotting great distances. More telling than her body shape and size was her tendency to howl and her desire to hunt. She howled at everything, including the moon, and the coyotes who sang at our back fence and any dog that passed by on the street. Worse yet, she was almost a year old when she was rescued from a backyard and made her way to my home. But it was during a time I had been preoccupied with my mother’s illness and eventual death. Prince Charming had also been an absent “daddy” during that time, as he was too busy taking care of business during my absences from the office. As a result, Fina was never properly trained in obedience other than basic commands we used around our house.
Like the other dogs in the house, Fina had learned to “get out of the kitchen” and wait patiently at the invisible line separating the kitchen from the dining room. She would “potty” on command, squeezing out a few drops when necessary to earn her treat. She even knew sit and “lay down,” which was the more informal command meaning “come lay down next to me,” rather than immediately drop to the ground. But some of the other commands were beyond her. She did not know how to walk quietly at my side, either in the “heel” position or the casual walk. Most troubling of all, she only came when she wanted to, which meant only when she thought food or a treat was imminent. So, while I wasn’t worried too much about my ability to handle
Tara, I was very concerned about Fina.