Six months with Artie

Artie surveying Lake Oanob.

How has it only been six months since we adopted Artie? She’s such a natural fit for our family, it’s like she’s always been here.

After Athena died, it took us a few months to realize we wanted another dog. So back in February I reached out to a friend who works at the SPCA, asking if she could suggest any dogs that would fit our criteria (less than 40 lbs, youngish but not a puppy, good with kids) and she sent a short list. We went to the SPCA on a Friday afternoon and Artie, at that point her name was Keily, was not a dog I would have even noticed had her name not been on the list. But she seemed friendly and relaxed, and we took her into a little garden area to spend some off-leash time with her. She didn’t mind M and when I bent down and called her over she came running with her tail wagging. Which is more than you’ll get from lots of other dogs.

Nate and I looked at each other and were like “She’ll do.”

Often running, always happy

The next day we went back, signed the papers, got her microchipped and the rest is history.

Her easy-going, happy, playful personality and natural recall make her an all-around fun dog. She’s a great camping companion; she keeps an eye on M, goes exploring with him and she’s happy to snuggle up by the campfire at night. When we holler for her and shake a bag of treats she runs back so quickly you hardly realize she’d wandered off. And she does a GREAT job of keeping rock hyraxes, birds and all other wildlife away from the campsite.

Giving me a heart attack at Spitzkoppe (photo by B. Johnson)

She’s so amiable we’ve been lazy about training her. She knows “sit,” but that’s about it. We’ve decided to train her while we’re on lockdown for the next few weeks (months?), and she’s making fast progress. She still pees in the house from time to time but we’re working on that.

More exploring at Spitzkoppe

Artie is also officially a garbage dog. You can take the dog off the streets, but you can’t take the streets out of the dog. She will leave kibble in her bowl for hours and turn her nose up at treats. But if she finds a chicken bone or anything even remotely edible outside, she’ll eat it before you even realized it was there. And may the gods help you if you leave the trash sitting by the door and don’t immediately take it to the bin outside.

But no dog is perfect and these are flaws we can live with. If the past six months are any indication, the next decade with Artie is going be great. We love you, Artie Fartie!

Our girl Artie

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