Slugger is as Slugger does

Of all of the kids, Slugger’s is the hardest bio to write.  It isn’t a case that I can’t think of anything to write, it’ that there’s just too much to write, and I have no clue how to keep it cohesive.

A few tid bits about Slugger:

He once got stuck in a corner.

He eats 1 kibble at a time, and must chew each one thoroughly before swallowing.

He can jump into and out of the Waggin’ Waggon,  as well as on and off the couch, but he can not jump onto or off the people bed.

If something gets stuck to his butt, he circles endlessly in an attempt to get at the sticky object.

He absolutely, positively, can not remain clean for any period of time.

He is highly flatulent.

I can’t remember what it was, but once when something scared him.  His reaction was to run behind DASH!, DASH! who is only a fraction of Slugger’s size.

He used to be afraid of bunnies.

If you plant a flower, Slugger will follow behind you, and with great care and concentration, remove the flower from the plant, with no damage to the plant, mind you, then chew said flower thoroughly before swallowing.

I could go on…

I have never encountered a creature like Slugger, ever.  We thought Hector was mentally challenged, until  DASH! made him seem intelligent.  Compared to Slugger, DASH! is a genius. Trust me when I tell you, that isn’t saying much for DASH!.

I’m not saying Slug isn’t the brightest bulb on the tree – that would be giving him too much credit.  Slugger is the bulb that failed quality control so it never left the factory to be put on the tree to begin with.

Let me give you an example of what we are dealing with here:

Let’s pretend Slugger has the ability to hold a crayon.  You give him a piece of paper, hand him a box of crayons and leave the room.  When you return, Slugger has colored on the wall with the red crayon and he is so proud of his artwork!  Now Slugger really does, even as his doggy self, want to be a good kid, so when you tell him coloring on the wall is wrong, he gives you his sad face while promising never to do it again.

The next day, you set him up with his paper and crayons again and leave the room.  You come back and see that he has removed the red crayon from the box and moved it far away from his person so as not to use it improperly.  Problem is, he has scribbled all over the wall with the blue crayon.   But he is so proud of himself!  He didn’t use the red crayon, just like he promised, and Golly!  Look at the pretty picture he drew, all by himself!

Do you see where I am going with this?

How long it takes to get the message through depends on how many crayons are in the box, and lest we forget, most rooms have 4 walls.  Each color of crayon and each wall presents a different situation.

It’s not that Slugger is a bad kid, it’s that he needs direction, constantly.  Once you show him right from wrong, he remembers the lesson.  You don’t have to yell, or rant, or get mean in any way.  Just tell him “No” and the behavior will never happen again.  Problem is, with every “No!” you get the sad face.

Here is the disconnect: While the rest of us live in a world of black and white, Slugger lives in a world of an infinite number of shades of gray.  Our challenge is to anticipate all possible shades of gray a situation may present before Slugger does.  Let me tell you, it is not easy.

To many, if not most, people, what I have just described sounds like a dog that would be unacceptable in most homes.  Actually, it is quite the opposite.  Despite his mental short comings, and our exhausting efforts to be good parents, even when he is being ‘bad’, Slugger is irresistible.  Some people are glass half full, others are glass half empty, Slugger’s glass perpetually runeth over, and this is why even when he’s “bad” all you can do is shake your head and smile.

Morty is a great kid, don’t get me wrong, but a part of me is both jealous and resentful of him.  Slugger immediately latched on to him and never let go.  Because of this,  Morty is changing my ‘special’ little boy.  Though lifting the leg while peeing didn’t stick – Morty has taught Slugger other things I am not pleased with.

i.e.

Slugger used to twist, contort and do all that was required to avoid getting his belly wet in the pool.  It was quite the show.  Absolutely hysterical watching the many positions he would assume to get as wet as possible, without getting a drop on his tummy.   Morty showed him that full body submersion is better.  Now, not only does Slugger fully submerge, he practically snorkels.

and

It used to be that Slugger absolutely, positively could not standup and walk on the people bed.  He would slither around like a snake.  But Morty showed him that walking was easier.  My Slugger Snake is gone forever.

There are many more examples, but I am getting misty just thinking about my pre-Morty Slug-Nut.  My only hope at this point is the fact that Morty, a loud and proud Leg Lifter when he moved in, has become a Slugger-like stand and squat slightly pee-er.  Perhaps maybe, just maybe, Slugger can convince Morty that the ways of the world are too complicated and it is better for all concerned if Morty convert to Slugger-ways.  Maybe then I will get my Slug-Nut back.

Slugger is the biological brother to Emmi.  We say that Emmi got all the smart genes and Slugger only got the pretty ones.   Emmi got the promise that this was her forever home on Christmas Day 2011, shortly after we found out she would be a lifetime medical dog.  Slugger was still going to adoption events.  He did not get his promise until March of 2012.

I don’t know why we waited so long to give Slugger his promise.  He knew at our first hug, when he was a mangy emaciated piece of trash that he was home. I like to think that home to him isn’t the ground he now lives on, but the arms that held him when no one else would.

I love all the kids equally, but there is something about Slugger…

If you are ever in the Phoenix area and are scoping the local attractions, be sure to look up Slugger.  He, and I hate to admit it, more than all of the other kids combined, is worth the trip.

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3 thoughts on “Slugger is as Slugger does

    1. It’s not the face, its how he is. There has always been something special about him – and it’s not just me being prejudiced.

      I think he had been with us maybe 6 months or so when I started taking him out in public. He was still showing the effects of mange, so most adults wouldn’t go near him. He went with me on a landscape consult once and wandered into the neighbor’s yard (my stupidity). There was a slight shriek as the mom ran out to find her small daughter wrapped around Slug.

      We were pretty close so I went to get Slug, while apologizing to mom. Instead of yelling at me, mom stopped me. She said her daughter was afraid of dogs (bitten once).

      Hand to God, the little girl looked at her mom and said he (Slugger) wasn’t a dog.

      I thought it was profound then, I find it even more profound now.

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