While reading a book on the back porch last week, I heard something funny, like a high-pitched squeaking. I checked the back yard, but Ripley just stood out there with an expression that said, “I didn’t do nothin’.”
I called his name: “Raylan?”
The squeaking continued. I continued to check the back yard, because I knew he was too small to push through the dog door. As desperation (and squeaking) set in, I hurried inside our house, where the squeaking was louder.
I realized the squeaking came from the couch, or more accurately, from behind the couch. I dropped my book and ran and found our new puppy, stuck between the wall and a huge piece of furniture. How he got inside the house, I have no idea, but he squeaked until I stopped laughing and finally got him the hell out of there.
This is Raylan “Givens” Bauer, named after the Elmore Leonard character featured on FX’s TV show Justified. No, Raylan is not hot like Timothy Olyphant, but he’s two months old and cute as can be. We rescued him from a HALO shelter, and so far, so much easier than raising Ripley.
Is this because Raylan has a role model to look up to? Ripley, although a monster in early childhood, has turned out to be one heck of a great mutt. She’s well-behaved, she listens when I talk to her (I swear she understands English), and she goes “potty” in all the right places. Her behavior helps Raylan; having a backyard helps me. With this, child (dog) number two, I no longer have to get dressed at 5 AM and walk around the neighborhood. This time, Jake and I just open our back door and let the little guy pee.
Perhaps it’s the dog that makes things easier, but maybe it’s me, since Ripley was my very first dog, and I didn’t know how to handle her. I’m better with Raylan—better at breaking bad habits and giving him the occasional love he needs (when Ripley isn’t chewing on his face).
Granted, he sometimes goes into the “Blood Fury.” If you hold him when he’s trying to play, he makes a sound like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. His head spins around, but no pea soup, not yet. He also, for the first week, assumed Ripley was his mother and tried to bite her nipples—a lot—until she finally kicked his ass. She continually kicks his ass, but I think she really loves the little guy. I base this on the fact that she hasn’t just chomped his head off yet (nom nom NOM!).
He’s still really small. The other night, Jake went to toss Raylan on the comforter we keep on our couch (to keep the couch innocent of puppy accidents). Raylan was tossed, but then, little Raylan bounced—bounced right off the comforter and onto the living room floor. I wasn’t there, but I bet he squeaked, because that’s what he does in a panic. Jake apparently freaked and cuddled the guy for, like, an hour. This is why we don’t have human babies.
We’re hoping Raylan grows into his name. We’ve given him some tall cowboy boots to fill and a bad ass attitude to match. Ripley didn’t disappoint, named, of course, for the Aliens heroine. Ripley has a terrifying bark, and grown men are scared to come to our front door because they think she looks “vicious.” Now, it’s Raylan’s turn to grow into a gun-totin’ cowboy. Let’s just hope he stops getting stuck behind the couch.