PAGE TURNER: Adventures with Darlington: Breed Determined 

I've determined due to his behavior Darlington is one part goat and one part rabbit. | Photo by Angela Turner 

The verdict is in: one part rabbit, one part goat.

Almost daily the conversations in my house still swirl around trying to determine exactly what breed of dog our shelter pup, Darlington, is. And while the vet offers up some educated suggestions and dog experts alike weigh in their opinions, I’ve determined the little firecracker to be equal part rabbit and goat.

At about 9 months old now, his personality is really shining through and he’s growing into his own.

All of his permanent teeth are in and for a woman without any children of her own, watching him lose his baby teeth was thoroughly exciting. I searched desperately for those sharp little puppy teeth as they fell out, in hopes to keep them (I know, I know—ridiculous). But there’s no denying I’m glad those sharp little suckers are gone.

During his teething stage, Darlington went through a variety of toys, balls and ice cubes. I thought his chewing fetish would subside a little after his permanent teeth came him.

Ha. Fooled me.

This fella has chewed the gutters, the wood on the deck, the lights around the deck, the garden hose, the tires on the grill and hose attached to the grill, two leashes, a seatbelt and multiple pairs of sandals. And I’m certain theres more to that list.

Darlington, much like a goat, will chew on or taste just about anything, and sometimes he even decides to eat it. So yes, I’ve deemed the rascal one part goat.

As soon as the weather started turning warm I’ve taken great joy in watching Dar chase the butterflies and insects. Just this morning from the kitchen window I watched him carefully spy on something in the grass, and then hop onto it, much like a bunny rabbit would. I can’t help but laugh out loud when he does this. It’s both adorable and humorous.

Dar also grunts and flops the same way a rabbit would. It is not unusual for him to come in from an evening walk and flop himself down just wherever he likes without warning. A big grunt or sigh usually follows. If it is a really hot day, forget the grunt or sigh, you’ll get heavy panting with his pink heavy tongue dangling from his mouth.

I often say it’s his world and his home. We just live in it.

If Dar wants to play or wants attention and I’m walking through the house, he gets right under my feet, like a little bully, and tries to nudge me over. If I’m sitting on the couch, watch out, he’ll run 90 miles an hour, toy in mouth and come right up and place the toy on my shoulders. I think rabbits and goats both behave in similar ways.

You’re probably thinking I’m a terrible dog mom. You’re thinking I let him run wild and take over. Well, sure, to a certain extent. But I assure you he probably thinks his middle name is “No,” he knows the taste of Bitter Yuck from Tractor Supply, and he’s even gotten a good swat a time or two.

I’m hoping the chewing or goat stage is just part of his puppy and adolescent stage. That’s what everyone is telling me anyway.

We’re making progress in some other areas which is great. Just this week he learned how to “drop” his toy after he fetches it. This tickled me because tug of war was really wearing on both our bodies.

He’s walking and running on a leash much better. I think I’ve had the same leash now for almost a month, that’s progress friends.

He’s still my entire world and anyone who asks a question about him will likely have to look at 10 to 12 photos stored in my phone with a description of something adorable he was doing in each one.

We sometimes let him share the bed in which he snuggles right up like a human, shares my obsession for both blueberries and peanut butter, was the star of the family photo shoot and will continue to be the stealer of many hearts no doubt.

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