‘Dishtowel’ dog finds reason to wag

Dog rescuers tend to have a quirky sense of humour, especially when it comes to the dogs they rescue. Even the adorable Yorkshire Terrier/Poodle cross pictured here could not escape the whacky wrath of their wit.

According to Joey’s witty rescuers, there are three main personality types – Type A, Type B and the lesser known Dishtowel. Alas, poor Joey falls under the Dishtowel category. He’s not an extrovert, nor an introvert. He’s a super absorbent in-betweeny! Apparently, it could be worse. The sub-categories are Wet Noodle and Crabapple, neither which describes Joey. Nevertheless, possessing the personality of your common kitchen cloth may be considered by some to be extremely unfortunate. I disagree. After meeting Joey, I’m convinced he’s got what it takes to mop up the naysayers and bring honour to the four-legged dishtowels of the world!

But let’s move away from the dish rack for the time-being. It’s impossible to accurately peg one’s personality without knowing their past. Sadly, Joey has had good reason for becoming as neutral as a dishcloth.

Back in spring, Joey would have been better described as a comforting blanket. He had to be, for the sake of his elderly owner. She’d become very ill and he spent weeks curled up beside her in bed. Daily walks were a thing of the past. Regular meals had also become less reliable. It didn’t matter. Joey had always been a loyal companion. He refused to leave her side, until the unexpected happened when she left his.

At nine years old, Joey was suddenly without the one and only person he’d ever wrapped himself around. He was a blanket without a purpose. His owner’s daughter took him in but that was short-lived. She has spunky Labrador Retrievers keeping her busy. She didn’t seem to need a pint-sized blanket.

But Joey was the perfect fit for a cheeky little outfit called Happy Tails Rescue, dedicated to bringing the happy back to petite tails for well over a decade. Sometimes, it takes a while to bring the happy back no matter how funny the jokes. That’s okay. It’s always worth the wait.

Joey is gradually finding reason to wag again. There’s nothing like gourmet cuisine to happy up a sad tail. He’s got a fabulous foster mom who knows her way around the kitchen which is, without question, the most important room for a dishtowel! Joey is back to eating regularly but the meals are anything but! He’s feasting on home-cooked, Ramsay-style recipes!

I thought maybe the fancy food might have also served to perk up at least one of his ears so far but I was wrong. He was born with one ear up and one ear down. We’ll blame it on the mix. His perky left ear screams sporty Yorkie and the droopy right one? You guessed it – pure pampered Poodle. Somehow, it works for him.

Aside from the mismatched ears, Joey has a pair of bad knees in the back end. The clinical term is luxating patella, a common issue for toy breeds which basically causes the kneecap to pop in and out of where it belongs. Fortunately, he doesn’t require surgery but it’s important to watch for changes. Walks are kept relatively short to ensure he doesn’t overdo it. Inside, Joey prefers taking the carpeted highway for all his indoor errands – more traction. He can also manage stairs but it’s visibly easier going down than up. Of course, when you weigh no more than a rake-full of fall leaves, you can be carried just about anywhere.

That’s where this dishtowel likes to be most – up in his foster mom’s arms. He’s not opposed to ground level experience but he clearly prefers the natural high you get from breathing the air at penthouse level. Good thing we didn’t actually expect him to tell me his life story during our interview. He got so comfy draped over foster mom’s lap, he fell asleep. Trouble is I usually get my inspiration from doing a little floor time with my subjects. We clearly had to use a different approach with Rip Van Winkle and that was just fine. I still found my inspiration. Foster mom had to get up for a minute so we played pass-the-pooch. I held out my arms to the featherweight champ. He deserves the title. He knocked me silly with inspiration the moment we made contact.

Joey may not be a party animal. He has no interest in starting a conga line with a lampshade on his head, or headlining the Karaoke portion of the evening. But when the party’s over, he’s the one that stays behind to help you clean up. Well, maybe he doesn’t exactly help you clean up but he’s definitely there for moral support. Who could ask for a better friend?

Joey is a 9-year-old Yorkshire Terrier/Poodle mix  at Happy Tails Rescue, www.happytailsrescue.ca, carol@happytailsrescue.ca. Are you looking for a lazy-eared, low-key, lap-loving lad capable of restoring order to your life with just one cuddle? Then this is the dishtowel dog for you.

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