As some of you know, our family adopted an eight year-old dog from an animal shelter over Christmas break. We named her Hazel. She is a sharpei mix, and really well behaved. She is, however, perhaps the laziest creature I have ever seen. She has a crate with a large pillow in the bottom, and that is where she would stay 24/7 (except bathroom breaks) if we let her.
Prior to getting Hazel, we paid a considerable sum to finish fencing in our back yard. I pictured our new dog playing fetch in the yard with the kids, or perhaps basking in the sun chewing on a bone. Not this dog. This dog goes to the back yard to do her business, and then immediately paws at the door and does this crying barky thing until you let her back in. The way I see it, being outside at the shelter for three years has pretty well earned her the right to lay around the house and be lazy, at least for a little while. But once the weather gets nicer, out she goes. (We'll see. I'm kind of a pushover.)
Hazel is gentle with the kids, with the lone exception of her first night with us when my bony 7 year-old son fell on her. She snapped at him pretty good for that. (Kinda like a momma dog would snap at a rowdy pup.) Other than that, she's been gold with the kids.
As for yours truly, she tolerates me. When I come home from work, she kinda rolls her eyes and gives me a look like "Oh, it's you again." and goes back to sleep. But when Rachel comes home from work... oh boy... she worships Rachel. When Rachel comes home, Hazel jumps up, prances around the house, wags her tail furiously, and wrinkles up her considerable jowls in a big doggy smile. Anywhere Rachel goes in the house, Hazel is not too far behind. She looooves Rachel!
Of course, Rachel jokes, "Yeah, just what I need. Another creature in this house to follow me around and be clingy." (She already has four kids and a husband to do that. I'm sure there are days she would like to hide in the pantry like the YouTube lady.) Dogs are smart. They recognize who the "heart" of the home is. And in our family's case, it is definitely Rachel!
We are hoping Hazel the dog will be a good family pet for years to come. So far, so good.