Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Why We Love "Bad Boys". . .


Georges did not have the "handle" tail, his was half the normal size which made it impossible to pull him out of the holes he dug all over our garden -- that and his growls of protest whenever anyone tried to tell him not to do something.

           The other day I was talking with one of my friends and, inevitably, our conversation turned to a subject we often address: devil dogs. She has one; we had one.

          It occurred to me at that moment that I think I have never told you about Georges.

          Georges was the worst dog we have never owned, well that's not entirely true. When we married, My-Reason-For-Living-In-France had a golden cocker spaniel that was much worse. He was 14 at the time and lived until 19 -- that shows you how mean he was. Of course I liked him; I like all dogs, but he didn't steal my heart the way Georges did.

          Back to Georges. We found him wandering around a parking lot next to a marina in Brittany where MRFLIF kept his boat. He was small and unbelievably cute in the way only wire-haired fox terrier puppies can be. I said to MRFLIF, "he's lost. We have to take him with us, now." He said, "non." I said, I'll make a deal with you. We come back in 30 minutes and if he's still here, we at least try to find his owners.


          Eight minutes later he was still there. I swooped him up. He gave me a kiss on the chin. "You're welcome," I told him and then by reflex he installed himself at my feet in our car. Obviously someone had taught him to do that. We searched and searched for his owners to no avail, and, I admit to my immense joy. Our veterinarian told us he was approximately nine months old. He also told me, "he's a fox terrier and I'm warning you do not, repeat, do not treat him like a baby. He needs serious discipline and if you don't give it to him you will regret it."

          I believed our veterinarian to be wrong on that count. Georges was too sweet, too funny, just plain too adorable to be difficult. I was wrong. Georges also happened to be extremely intelligent thus reading my intentions early on and realizing with little effort he would be the one controlling our relationship. When he was bad, and he was often very, very bad, he would climb up on my lap, look in my eyes and somehow -- or at least that's how I read it -- manage to look pitiful. It was as if he were saying, "the devil made me do it."

This about sums it up.
          He would dig out of the garden and Macha, our German shepherd who only lived to please, would follow which resulted in her being kicked by a horse. Georges was not. He dug holes all over the garden in search of the ever illusive moles that so fascinated him. He just generally did whatever struck his fancy.

         After a few years with Georges and his antics, MRFLIF and I decided the people who left him on the shores of the Atlantic in Brittany probably barely slowed down when they tossed him out of their car.

         Georges had a philosophy of life that was all about Georges. He, unlike our German shepherds and my friend's golden retriever who only wish to make us happy, had a "what can you do for me?" attitude. And, I think I can say in all honesty I pretty much fulfilled his expectations.

         Sometimes it's difficult not to fall in love with bad boys.  

20 comments:

Duchesse said...

Friends with a similar pair of rowdy terriers just completed discipline training... for themselves. They learned they were treating the dogs like (their) chldren rather than behaving like alpha humans. The dogs have settled down enormously.

Anonymous said...

This is so funny, Tish! Georges sounds like he was a real rascal. If a human friend did all of that stuff, you'd probably have him arrested ....

xoxoxo --
M.

Déjà Pseu said...

Oh my gosh, he sounds exactly like our Byron, even down to the growling when you try to move him!! I wonder if he's part terrier...he doesn't dig but those "rules" up there describe his life philosophy to a T. (Byron has some very un-Cavalier personality traits.) We love those rascals though, don't we?

That's Not My Age said...

Hi Tish, just got your message. Yes, fine to feature Golden Globes Dresses With Sleeves plus link.
Thanks for asking, Alyson
x

Kathy said...

I had a Jack Russell terrier who was my bad boy dog, and as much trouble as he was, I absolutely adored him. He lived until he was 17 1/2. Other than him, we've also had only dogs that live to please. What happened to Georges, if you don't mind my asking?

Cheryl said...

Tish,
There is nothing like a pup who steals your heart! I have Gus. (Gussy) He is a needy, enormous yellow lab who thinks he's a lap dog. He cries incessantly, whines if not getting his own way, and oh how I love him.
Once they have our hearts, there is nothing we can do!
Cheryl

rubiatonta said...

I love dogs of all sorts, but have a soft spot for terriers. We had a schnauzer when I was growing up and after my parents divorced, he had the job of vetting my mom's dates. He usually didn't approve.

When he met the date who is now my stepdad, he sat right down and started to wag his little stub of a tail. My mom and stepdad have been married more than 30 years, so clearly the dog was right.

As someone who's worked with a lot of dogs (as a shelter volunteer), I highly recommend Brian Kilcommons' training method. It's a great way to be a better friend to your dog, and they are much happier, too.

Tish Jett said...

Georges is a story from our past. He died several years ago when he was 14.

My parents had a fox terrier when I was born and he too was impossible I was told, but again, irresistible. He apparently liked to "engage" extremely large dogs. Georges loved big dogs, probably because he had one at home.

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I've never had a terrier only Goldens. But this little face could melt any heart!

Karen Albert said...

Too too funny Tish. Yes a lot of women seem to like bad boys (me?)
Georges seems to have truly won your heart. Love his List of Rules!

xoxo,

Karena
2013 Artists Series

Splenderosa said...

OMG, what can I say except that most of the time I excuse whatever they do that's bad, just 'cause they're so wonderful otherwise.

Lost in Provence said...

Why that wouldn't happen to be Sharon's Ghetto and Gibson you are referring to now would it? ;) Oh my, such characters!
I have been known to tell my Ben "Go be a dog!" and by that I mean "Go get into trouble a bit! Its ok!" but he never, ever does...

Barbara Lilian said...

Love your tale about Georges, He was French & like most young adorable French males, made you putty in his hands, as soon as he set eyes on you.
All my Labrador dogs when they were pups tried the same trick on me, when they give that certain look it's hard to resist. Loved reading about Georges.

beyondbeige said...

We have a "mellow" Jack Russell who ignores everything I say. Sit on command? Nope, never. Lay down? Oui, but only on the white down pillows.

Corrine said...

Wonderful story, mine ate a couch, really, an entire couch. It was rather ugly so I suppose he was making a statement!

Academic Writer (a.k.a. A-Dubs) said...

Georges sounds wonderfully, perfectly terrier-like. Love-love.

Tish Jett said...

Yes, the devil Ghetto, the angel Gibson.

sharon santoni at my french country home said...

The devil Ghetto!! My dear Ms Jett, I think I will have to sue for libel!
We'll have to talk about this and other equally important matters next week

xx

Tish Jett said...

Ms. Santoni, I beg to differ. You do not have a case. Ghetto is guilty as charged.

If you would like to settle this amicably I'm sure we can come to some sort of arrangement that will be acceptable to both sides. . .

xoxo

Carol said...

Love it Tish.. We've just adopted a devil dog from the local welfare organisation. l cannot believe how much sheer mischief one small dog can get into in the space of a day.

l wondered how she ended up as a lost dog, like you with Georges l now think it was deliberate !

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