This past Sunday was Phinn’s 1st birthday. We know this because that is what Lucky Dog told us. Of course we also know that Phinn is a Dachshund Pointer mix because that is what Lucky Dog told us. Look at him. Does he look like a Dachshund? Or a Pointer?
What we can pretty closely guess at is that Phinn is a mutt who was born around this time last year. His breed was likely jazzed up so he’d be more marketable in the D.C. area. Which to be honest I really don’t care what he is. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a Phinn.
In the last nine months or so since Phinn became part of this crazy Monte family that I also belong to, he has taught us that dogs like to chew things, and that chew toys that cost $20 are about as long lasting and entertaining as a pair of $2 socks rolled into each other. Phinn also likes to chew on brand new shoes that I have either bought for the kids or myself. I’m not sure what Matt is doing, but Phinn leaves Matt’s shoes alone. Well done Matt.
Phinn has taught us that he is a very fast dog. Our apologies to all the neighbors who’ve been greeted at 5:30 by Phinn running through their legs as they get out of their cars. Phinn is scared of balloons and cats. We’ve learned this because he runs away whenever the kids come home from a birthday party with inflated balloons and he flinches every time he walks by our very large cat Toby, who hisses whenever Phinn looks his way.
We’ve learned that Phinn thinks he is being stealthy by peeing on the one remaining carpet in our home, which happens to be the room where we keep the piano. It also happens to be the place where I sit to drink my Sunday morning coffee and read the hard news Style section of the Washington Post. And I have a sense of smell, like well, a bear or well, a dog comes to mind too. So Phinn, I know what you’re doing so please just bark when you need to be let out, is all I’m saying.
Phinn also likes to bark at everyone and everything that passes our house. He has a very loud intimidating bark which is quite funny because once we open the door, he either hides behind my legs or judging that someone is not a threat tries to to jump up on them and lick their face.
Phinn likes to lick things. I am not a fan. I love Phinn but I am not a fan of Phinn licking my person. I see where else he licks. That is not for me.
Phinn likes to wrestle with Levi and take orders from Annabelle, who is at an age where she likes bossing anyone around, but mostly her brother and Phinn. Toby responds to her the way he responds to all of us. With indifference. Which I so appreciate about Toby. He is an equal opportunity ignorer.
Phinn also likes to cuddle and settle in our bed with us at night. Matt is not a fan of where Phinn likes to settle because it is squarely between me and Matt. After Matt rolls over and away from me, Phinn tries to be stealthy and sneaks into the small space between Matt and me where he reclaims his spot on the bed. To be honest, I don’t mind at all because he keeps me very warm. Thank you for that Phinn.
Phinn also likes to lead the way. Which I find very annoying when we’re out for walks. So I bought the gentle halti for his collar and leash. Phinn hates the halti but he loves to go for walks and runs, so he puts up with it and stays beside me rather than dragging me all around Brambleton. Well done Halti.
Phinn’s favorite food is any food. He will eat anything. We do our best to keep toxic foods away from him but we have been quite embarrassed at parties to turn around for a second and then hear one of our guests telling Phinn to get his paws off the counter. And then of course, he hears “Crate” and understands that that isn’t what we want him to do.
Phinn can sit, shake your hand, lay down, get down (and boogie), roll over, wait, and stay.
I am now teaching Phinn to stay on the carpet in the room with the piano when someone comes to the door. I make Matt run through the garage to the front door where he rings the doorbell. Phinn does his regular barking thing. I give him a treat and then say, “Stay,” and he does until I open the door, upon which time he runs to the door to jump up on Matt and lick his face. It’s a process.
Phinn likes to chase birds and rabbits and anything smaller than him (except Toby) that moves.
So for his birthday, I took him to the dog park and let him do what he loves best: run. He ran circles around the other dogs. I mean circles. He is probably the fastest dog at the dog park whenever we go. Sometimes I worry that the other dogs dislike him for it, so I make sure I bring treats. I ask the owners permission and then I give out treats to the dogs. They associate Phinn with me and me with the treats and then it is all good for Phinn at the dog park. Now he has friends who try to keep up with him and I notice he lingers a bit to socialize with them when they’ve tired of racing around the park with him.
Oh, one last thing about Phinn.
Phinn is always always always happy to see me. And I love that about him because to be honest, I can’t even stand myself sometimes, so kudos to you Phinn. And happy birthday!! Looking forward to your next spin around the sun. May it be filled with lots of chasing, games, runs, tricks, and food. And of course cuddles.