The Tale of the Extrovert Puppy

My friend’s Facebook posts about comforting her dog who was recovering from surgery took me back to Honey’s operation as a puppy.

But I was no comfort to my dog. Darn extrovert puppy.

Honey the golden retriever was a cute puppy.

You aren’t going to tell people I was evil are you? They’ll never believe it.

The Evil Puppy

The phrase “it’s a good thing she’s so cute” was made for Honey. Because as a puppy, she was pure evil.

There were the pointy shark teeth that snagged my fingers, my sweaters, and most painful of all, my nipples. She did physically impossible things, like swallowing a whole pigeon she found on a walk when she was only three months old.

Honey the golden retriever puppy is carried by Mike.

Aww, I am so sweet and cuddly.

And then there was the defiance of the squeaky toy.

Honey the golden retriever puppy wants to get down.

Okay. I’m done. Let me down now.

Honey fell in love with a toy someone had donated to the SPCA where she attended puppy kindergarten. It was a tiny piece of fluff that sorta resembled an animal with a plastic squeaker inside.

Honey adored it so much the leader of the kindergarten class let her take it home with her.

Honey plays with a duck tolling retriever at puppy kindergarten.

Yeah, I like this shark okay. But without a squeaky, it’s only interesting as long as this duck toller fella wants it too.

I knew the danger if Honey loosened the squeaky from its fuzzy casing and I watched her carefully. When I heard the unmistakable sound of teeth on plastic I told Honey to spit it out as I moved toward her.

Honey is no dummy.

She saw me going for her squeaky. She looked me right in the eye. And swallowed.

See? Pure evil.

The Sick Puppy

We watched Honey’s leavings carefully for a week hoping to find the squeaky had passed safely through her system. But when two weeks came and went with no squeaky and no sign of distress, we assumed she must have passed it sometime when we weren’t looking.

Thank goodness.

Months later, Honey started vomiting and suffering from diarrhea. But it would clear up after a few hours and she’d return to normal.

She never stayed sick for long. But she started losing weight.

Honey the Golden Retriever is very skinny.

Sure took you long enough to figure out why I was getting so skinny.

The vet began to wonder if she had a flaw in her intestine that kinked and unkinked which would explain the sporadic illness.

But a follow up x-ray revealed the problem.

Yep, there was a small piece of plastic slowly working its way through her digestive system. It was clear one day and stuck the next. And it made it necessary to schedule emergency surgery.

The Extrovert Puppy

Luckily the surgery went well and Honey would make a good recovery.

After she was awake and alert, I went to visit and comfort my poor, sick, scared puppy. Yeah, right.

The vet allowed us to visit each other in an empty exam room. Except Honey wasn’t at all interested in me.

Every time we heard voices outside the door, she went running to see who it could be. She sniffed the hall outside through the crack under the door. And she wouldn’t stop whining.

It was almost as if she was saying to me, “Let me out of here. All the action is in the other room. I’ve got to be near my public.”

Okay, I’ll admit it. My feelings were a teeny bit hurt.

But it was great to know she wasn’t feeling scared and alone in the hospital.

I’m sure the hospital staff visited her often. And she must have loved being surrounded by other dogs and new people to love.

So I didn’t stay long.

I let Honey get back to her new friends.

Honey the golden retriever in recovery.

So when can we go back to the hospital? It was fun.

The Grown Up Puppy

Honey is over five years old now. We’ve had lots of time to build our relationship.

But she still loves meeting new people.

Every time a meter reader, Latter Day Saints missionary, or political canvasser comes to the door, I swear Honey will jump in their pocket and go home with her new person.

But I suspect that if Honey needed medical care today that she’d be much happier to see me when I visited.

I just hope I never have to find out.

Honey the golden retriever sits on Mike's chest.

I hope I gain back all the weight I lost so the man really feels it when I sit on his chest.

Your Turn: Do you have an extrovert dog who thinks everyone else is his or her best friend? Or does your little introvert prefer to spend time around family?

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  1. When people visit, our two dogs act like we don’t even exist. The way they throw themselves at guests, you’d think they never got cuddles from us!

    As for Honey, maybe the love you give her gives her the confidence to be ‘out there’, even when she was feeling a little poorly recovering from surgery. She knows you’ll always be there for her.

  2. My two now take after their mom and are introverts, but our Sally was an extrovert and very much like Honey – she loved everyone she met. She knew she had a good gig with us, but you never know, someone else might have more treats.

  3. So glad the surgery went well as a puppy and you have your girl 5 years later. My dogs when sent them off for training couldn’t care less the days I went and visited. They were having fun with Mike and came to me to just say hi but wouldn’t leave his side. They are a mix between the both now they are happy to go visit with people and then happy to be back by my side.

  4. Bailie is our social butterfly. She has to meet and great every human and creature. Even at nose work or tracking class, she has to say hello to everyone before she starts her work. Mom wishes she would be a bit more reserved, but there are no signs of that happening any time soon. I’m friendly with people too, but I’m quite and more reserved about it. Glad that squeaky was finally found and that Bailie puked up the headband after 5 days or Mom would be in a panic right about now thinking Bailie may need surgery.

  5. Misty’s purpose in life is to meet and charm every human and nonhuman on earth and let them know how much she loves them. There is a lot of cuteness and sweetness, but little sincerity.

  6. Zappa is our extrovert. Takes after his mom. He hogs any company that will let him and even if they don’t. Little do our guest know that they are going to be mobbed by Silver, Fiona and Zappa at once, but it is always Zappa that sticks it out til they leave.

  7. Yikes about that squeaker!!
    Dante is my extrovert, everyone is more interesting than me..well depending on if I have a treat. We’ve been working on his attentiveness a lot recently and it is thankfully getting better! :-)

    Ziva is our introvert except at daycare where she is the social butterfly. But aside from daycare she sticks right by my side or hubby’s side. She’ll greet guests but she isn’t as insane as Dante she’s a bit more dignified I think is how she would describe herself.

  8. Nelly just wants to be with me, Sophie and Theo want to see what’s behind the door!

  9. Callie and Shadow love all people. Other critters not so much unless they know each other. They loved Gatsby (used to live next door), but not Alex (Gatsby’s bratty brother). Ducky loves other doggies — especially her boyfriend at daycare — but not other people she doesn’t know well, including little kids who move too fast (like the grand kids). I have my work cut out for me getting her better socialized now that she’s not going to daycare as often any more.

  10. I grew up with a spaniel, who, although very loving and happy to see her family, like Honey, loved everyone else just as much.
    As an adult I purposefully looked for a dog who might not treat a burglar as their new best buddy. So I settled on a sheltie, who are supposed to be reserved around strangers.
    Ludo does like his adoring public, however. But for the most part it worked.

  11. I once had an extrovert dog who sounds like she was just like Honey. We swore that simply visiting the vet’s office cured all sorts of ailments because she got to see all her friends.

    In her younger years, I often thought that she would gladly go home with someone besides me. But, as time went on, she showed me that I was her person, no matter what. Sure, she still adored the public, even when she was terminally ill, but she gave me the special looks and came to me when she needed comforting.

    I bet that the same is happening with Honey. You just don’t realize it yet :)

  12. Introvert dog here – I think having an extrovert dog would drive me crazy :) Maybe it’s egotistical if me but I enjoy being the center of my dog’s world…well, to a point anyway! I’m an introvert myself so we understand each other. But Sienna is so cute that she attracts attention like crazy. It’s actually helped make me more outgoing. I respect her wishes not to be touched by strangers, though, and do my best to protect her from eager admirers that would pet her (how insulting! LOL).

  13. She was an adorable babydog. I am dying over here!

  14. A dog like Honey would totally hurt my feelings. Blueberry is definitely an introvert. Although she will tolerate other people (some people, anyway) – she makes it perfectly clear that she is with me. It cracks me up how she will put on a show to let others know we belong together.

  15. Straight up extrovert for sure!

  16. I love meeting people! It’s wonderful when we have visitors, I make the most of them while they’re with us – my own bipeds will still be there when the visitors have gone.