Gustavo goes along unnoticed a lot, now. Under appreciated, and that's just wrong. I've been having so many troubles with Banksy, and having three easy dogs is something I am hanging on to right now. Not sure what's going on with Banksy, her behavior has taken a terrible backslide down into a murky and scary abyss. We are trying to work some things out.
In the meantime, I am making sure Gustavo knows how important he is. I am very lucky to have a Gustavo.
Gustavo leads the way in the forest. He may sometimes chase a squirrel or a turkey, but not for long and not for far. The other dogs don't chase things, this is true. But it's something I allow him, because he always comes screaming back in when I whistle and walk on.
He's our coyote detector, he comes back and finds me when they're near. I always trust Gustavo. He's a dependable forest creature.
The other day, the asshat neighbor dogs came running towards us out on a walk. They hate Otterpop. I picked her up, and Gustavo and Banksy went and charmed the heck out of them. Little evil Shadow, with her hackles up can't resist Gustavo. And this is a skill he's taught Banksy. Kill 'em with the kindness. So now I have 2 of them who seem to work their magic on funny little mean dogs.
Gustavo's never met anyone that isn't his new best friend. No one. Nobody. He doesn't care who you are. He loves you.
Gustavo's always happy. All the time. Except for during fireworks. Explosions are still hell for him, but the other night when they went off, it being firework season now in my neighborhood for the next month, he was able to stay on my lap and not completely go to a catatonic meltdown state. I think because he has complete trust in me that I will not let anything hurt him.
He's had no agility for many months, between me always training Banksy and my knee. I decided to pull Banksy from agility class and let Gustavo go back to his old class instead. I run him with not the quickest of legs now, and he doesn't care. If anything his agility's gotten better. He's just happy to have a turn, and the luxury of having a dog sitting waiting his turn quietly, chilling in a plastic chair, makes me incredibly grateful for Gustavo.
During the day, he's decided he likes to sleep under the couch. He stays home with Banksy and is her very best friend.
At night, he sits on my lap. Always. He knows all the words to the Orange is the New Black song. And yes. Gustavo sleeps in the bed.
Gustavo used to have hallucinations. He would bolt out of the woods. I never thought I'd be able to train him. At agility, he'd scream in his crate, and could run away at any given time. He was so cute. But oh, so impossible.
I try to remember how much of a challenge he was, every time I think I'll never figure out Banksy. She seems to be a hundred million times the challenge he was. I try to remember how hard it was for me to train Otterpop to deal with other dogs. At the time it seemed impossible. But even Otterpop's an easy dog now. Pretty much. Same thing with Ruby. Who's beyond easy now, Ruby is actually Perfect Saint Sister Mary Ruby of the Perfect Perfection.
So this little guy, he's helping me remember. Somehow there's a way to figure all this out.