Throughout this whole ordeal with Maggie, there is one important part of the Possum Pack who has remained largely in the shadows. That, of course, is our Land Shark, Shmoo.
Now, during the past year I know I have written about his various adventures, most of which have not been what one would term “good” boy behavior. From the first day he was here, he was endearing; but in the kind of goofy-boy way that you love the class clown. He’s fun, you’re glad he’s around, but you don’t want to give him any responsibility.
I have to say, however, that in this past year, he has matured into something I have not, and could not have, suspected; our Shmoo has become a sensitive soul.
Oh, yes, you look at him and think he’s just a big goof, with those floppy, silly ears and his giant head. But he is an affectionate, sweet, loving and understanding softie underneath all the goofiness.
When Maggie first got really sick, it was clear that Shmoo understood something was wrong with his princess. He changed his routine, no longer trying to drag her around the house by the scruff of the neck or pulling at her tail to get a reaction. In the past, when I would try to take Maggie out for a walk on her own, he would not let us out the door, and it took someone to hold him inside so that I could leave.
Now that we’ve had to get up multiple times during the night for extra outings, and also had extra walks during the day, he is amazing. He gets out of bed, comes downstairs, goes on one of the blankets in the corner until Maggie and I go out, then he comes and lies down at the door to watch and make sure that we’re safe. As soon as we come back inside, he licks Maggie’s face and then lies back down until I’m ready to go back upstairs; then he follows me up, gets back into bed and curls up to go to sleep.
In the mornings, he comes for a scratch and tummy rub, but does not bother Maggie to make her play; he seems to understand she needs her sleep.
Then, this morning, the nasty little Fox Terrorist came running after us again. JM had Shmoo this time and ran interference between the beast and Maggie. Without being vicious or violent, Shmoo made sure the nasty creature could NOT get to Maggie! He scared it off without growling or baring his fangs.
What really surprises me, though, is that when we take our walks alone, without Maggie, Shmoo is now a gentleman on his leash over 90% of the time. Granted, not perfect, but for a dog who pulled me face first into a wall a few months ago, it’s a big improvement.
So, here’s to Shmoo; my goofy, silly boy who is now a grown-up. (I was going to say, “Today he has become a man,” but that would just be creepy!!)