A Dog Up For Fun: Fostercare Weimaraner #2: Weimy

In a one-year memorial marking the loss of my dog companion Yeager, all articles running from  June 1 through June 3 will reflect that subject, including the last two of three dogs I recently foster-cared from the same rescue shelter where I met Yeager. The first such article in the series on foster-care dogs, “A Dog on the Verge of Loss: Fostercare Weimaraner #1, Paddington,”  was published May 9, 2012. Here is the link to that story, http://carlanthonyonline.com/2012/05/09/a-dog-on-the-verge-of-loss-fostercare-weimaraner-1-paddinginton/

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You want to know the poster-dog of fun?

The boy with bliss in every bark?

A Weimaraner who literally smiles, yes smiles?

I wasn’t able to ever capture the quick but brief Weimy smile on camera but his upper lips sort of curled when he did it; here’s a snap moments after his famous smile.

Well, that’s Weimy, the second Friends for Pets (FFP) Weimaraner I had the privilege of foster-caring, this time for several weeks, in November and December.

With her acute intuition for matching the personalities and evolving needs of people and adoptable Weimaraners, FFP’s Diane Monahan had a specific friend in mind when I returned Fostercare Weimaraner #1, Paddington. “He’s one of my favorites around here, always happy for everything and for nothing,” she told me, with the caveat of a curious warning: “When he bares his teeth at you, don’t worry – he’s smiling.”

He was as happy leaving the shelter as he would be returning.

Weimy jumped into the car and seemed to bark in unison my very own philosophy about it all: Let’s Get Going.

First, there was a rigorous but brief hike. When I’ve foster-cared a dog, while I have an instinct to allow them to run a bit with the freedom they’ve so long lived without – I never do. The truth is, you never know what a dog will do or how they’ll react to a bird or squirrel, let alone another dog or cat. When I clasped his collar in the park, Weimy leapt up happily, perhaps thinking I was about to unlatch him from the leash – but I wasn’t. He sat a moment,  pondering this a moment. And then – he leapt again, still happy just to be out for a walk.

In a rare moment of reflection.

He, like all the dogs I’ve shared my life with, be they permanent or foster-care, slept with me. When I stirred, however, Weimy simply got up and found himself a place in the living room. One day it was on the big old blue Yeager Memorial chaise lounge, another time it was on the hard brown sofa, the next time it was on the soft brown leather sofa. When I got up in the morning, he poked his head into my room. What’s going on? Can I be involved? he seemed to ask. Once I had to head out to the dentist. And he was fine with that after his morning walk and feeding. He sat, looked up at me – and showed all his teeth, beaming a grimace sort of smile. Once (many more often times than once) it was his feeding, and then a long, long walk to Larchmont Boulevard so I could get coffee. Every time we got to a corner, this 1o-year old sat politely, then raised his right hand and held out his paw as if to take an oath – of friendship. That led to a fair trade. Once we got to a place where there was two endlessly long stretches of sidewalk and never once a person on them, we busted out into a good, long race. At ten years old, or seventy in dog-to-human conversion years, or thereabouts, Weimy always outran. In fact, it was really hard to believe he was 10 years old. The same feeling pervaded once we got to Larchmont where a lot of the hail-fellows-well-met who remembered Yeager were all too eager to meet this new chum of mine.

To everyone he met, Weimy raised his right paw and held it steady until grasped in a shake, as if he were taking an oath – of friendship.

And Weimy made friends fast, lifting his right paw and holding it out, and offering them each a brief, toothy smile. Even Liz, the woman who works at Chevalier’s Bookstore, which still keeps dog biscuits under the counter to give out to visiting dogs as they did in the days of Yeager, took to Weimy. In fact, never known for a love of dogs, she went head over heels for Weimy. I began getting the lifted brows and silent smiles suggesting that maybe Weimy would be more permanent than a foster-care. And I turned it over, time and again, as a possibility. In my gut, of course, I knew that the circumstances weren’t in place for me to make the sort of commitment I feel compelled to make when I assume the care and responsibility of another living being, to the end and regardless of ensuing circumstances.

Weimy himself perhaps sensed this, never proving territorial or barking much when other dogs passed the house. He seemed simply happy to be existing – be it in a shelter as an “old” dog, in a home as a foster-care, in a bookstore gathering biscuits, or making friends from the coffee-shop fellows sitting outside.

And therein, I realized afterwards, was the brief but no less important lesson granted by Mr. Weimy. It’s not so much our circumstances, regarding home, companions or age, that matter, its how persistently we are capable of responding to everything by choosing to simply be happy being alive.

December came around fast, and it was time to bring Weimy back to the shelter.

I felt less of a degree of worry when I returned Weimy to FFP than I had when doing so with Paddington. It was just before the holidays and I was going back East for Christmas,  having not done for several years because I knew I couldn’t leave Yeager for long, even with others caring for him. Weimy was just as curious going back to the shelter as he had been leaving it several weeks before. When we posed for a picture on the sidewalk just before I dropped him off, Weimy offered one more handshake and smile, but he left me with a lot more.

A smiling dog may not be really bearing his teeth in aggression but, in fact,  just smiling.

(Postscript: As for those dogs deemed “unadoptable” due to special needs or their numerical age, word came shortly after our time together, that Weimy had been adopted by a wonderful family which included another dog and some little girls. As they dress him in hats, Weimy keeps smiling.)


Categories: #WPLongform, Dogs, Foster Caring Dogs, Old Dogs

Tags: , , , , , , ,

12 replies »

  1. Thank you for this. And also for sharing the pictures. And also for the tears… of joy!

  2. I seem to be getting addicted to your articles, every morning after I check my emails and my bank account on line, like I have for years religiously, now I go to your site and see what is the new “old news” for the day!
    Yesterday afternoon while driving home, I passed a woman with a little child in a stroller, walking on the side walk, being gracefully led by a beautiful Wiemer on a leash held by the little child…
    …and your story today.
    As Jim Carey commented once, we are always getting little “gleeps” in life from a stronger being than what we are.
    I will take what I saw as a little “gleep” and pleasantly smile.

    • Wow – where do I begin to respond to that except first with a huge thank you. That’s really an honor that you check out the website with other tasks in the morning. You are the first person to ever tell me that, and I really thank you. And your simple and clear description of the woman and stroller and Weimaraner and child – almost a mini-story there with a strong visual – beginning, middle and end. Thanks for that. Even though I get a brief and shallow pang still when I see a Weimaraner it is overcome by spying just how much other people are connected to and discovering their beautiful intelligence. Thanks again…

  3. This brought tears to my eyes. Two special sould sharing a moment in time!

    • Well thank you very much Sue. Seriously – but whether it be cat or dog I think that many people who share their lives with animals and learn about them, they need our help more than we (the humans) need their help and yet they give and give. They are ambassadors into the human mind and heart. And each one is worthy of everyone’s respect. It’s a way of un-selfconsciously respecting our selves in the process. Thank you.

  4. dear carl, thats a great change of pace… in this case, leaving politics and going back to your first love for dogs and specially Weimaraner. politics are no fun but your dog stories are… thank you for making me smile.

    • Oh thank you so so much – its the only sort of stuff I feel a degree of freedom to write about matters which also concern me personally – because, at least I hope it gets conveyed – it is really a case of them first,. Thank you – especially from one who does love politics so much. And thank you for your consistent and warm support. That sort of thing seriously does keep me going.

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