Zebulon Zachariah was what my beloved named him but we always called him ZZ or just Zee. He was a Lhasa Apso and the first dog we bought together as a married couple. We picked him out from one of those mall pet stores that you’re never supposed to buy from because they encourage back yard breeding but we didn’t care.
She saw him in the window and when we walked in ZZ ran up to the edge of the play area and picked her instantly. I carried him out in my field jacket and when we got home he immediately ran inside ahead of us up to the living room and pooped behind my Lazyboy to show who owned who, and that was that.
He was the smartest dog we’ve ever been owned by. It was his second day with us when he stood up and tapped on the the cabinets by the kitchen sink because his water bowl was empty. He knew exactly where water came from. House training was a breeze and he buddied up to our old Boxer Charley and they became fast friends for the few years Charley had left.
ZZ was fearless and more than once latched on to Charley’s drooping muzzle with puppy sharp teeth but Charley never whimpered or snapped. Once in awhile though when Zee would get too obstreperous Charley would take his big old paw and pin him down for a minute or two just to say, “hey kid, chillax a little.”
I was never much for dog training other than “come” “shake” and “heel” but Kitty worked with Zee and in a surprisingly short time they built a whole repertoire of tricks including roll over, butt up (sitting on his haunches), and my favorite, “Bang!” where he’d roll over on his back legs up and hold it when you shot him with your finger. Sometimes he’d walk up and just start doing tricks on his own with the intent of getting a lazy human to supply a treat. It usually worked.
With the smarts though came a brooding personality and after Charley passed ZZ withdrew into a darker place. Charley had been his pal and without him life just wasn’t as much fun. He was a good dog though and mostly gentle although Lhasas are an independent breed and need reminders once in awhile of who the alpha dog is supposed to be. He was my wife’s more than mine and I saw him jockeying with me for second in command more than once. He was fun but never easy.
He’s been gone for years but I still remember his silky soft fur and little shiny black 0-ring lips, and sometimes I’d tell him, “Put your teeth way” because he’d have one fang hanging out. Smartest dog we’ve ever owned but just like humans, too smart is not necessarily a blessing.