This is Stewart.
He's part Beagle, part Collie and all "barking-hole-digger". I think that should be his breed name, since he's officially a mutt.
I suppose I love him. ;-) He's almost thirteen, and has been with us for 10 years. I got him from the Summit County pound the day he was set to be euthanized. I've never known a more affectionate, appreciative animal. He still acts like he's a puppy, running around the yard like a maniac and jumping over small objects for sport. On the other hand, he also knows how to relax, and can sleep for hours without moving a muscle.
Stew is famous for digging holes underneath our fence and escaping to roam the neighborhood, eventually ending up at Nick's parents' house, getting a biscuit from them, and then carrying that biscuit a quarter mile home to eat it in the comfort of his own living room.
He's the reason that I cannot sit down with a kitchen full of dishes after a meal, even if I wanted to. He barks and barks and barks until the kitchen is clean. (He is under the impression that there's a chance I'll give him some remnant from a plate if I'm not cleaning things up immediately.)
Poor Stewart lost his best friend back in April. Our other dog Ruby's death hit us all a little harder than we thought it would. Stewy wouldn't eat and was very lethargic for weeks. He lost weight. But gradually, he's regained some spring in his step. More on Ruby when I go back and cover what I missed this spring.
The best Stewart story of late is from over this summer when he ran through FRESH TAR on one of his excursions about town. He returned home, with a front paw that looked like he had dunked it into a bucket of tar, and little bits all over his belly/chest (from running with the tar-laden paw) and on his whiskers (from trying to lick the tar away.)
He came into the garage, I opened the door, and was happy I censored expletives as B happened to be standing right behind me. I said, "STEWART!!! Are you kidding me?!" And Ben said - "Yeah, Stewart! Are you kidding me? Are you kidding us? Are you kidding EVERYONE?!"
Isn't that awesome? So, when "are you kidding me?" just doesn't pack enough wallop, "are you kidding everyone?" really fits the bill.
Back to the tar - 2 hours of cutting, using Goo-gone, and Go-Jo hand cleaner, Stewy was set free from his tarry prison. I used the Goo-gone prior to reading the bottle, which said something like, "avoid prolonged contact with skin, contains chemicals that are toxic and flammable, never ingest." I read that, and then glanced over at Stewart who was licking his paw, completely soaked in the Goo-Gone.
But what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger, and Stewy emerged triumphant over solvent toxicity and fresh tar. What a dog!!