Jerry Martin

© Copyright 2002 by Jerry Martin

Photo of Keeko and Mckela.

I have written about some of my past dogs I've had namely "My Three Bears." So now here is a true story about my other dogs.

A few words about my male dog I have today named "Keeko"

Keeko is a wee Maltese dog, tipping the scales at around eight pounds.

Keeko is the second Maltese dog we have had. The first being a female named "Tina." We had to sell Tina because no matter what we did even after bathing her or any time, she would stink almost as bad as a skunk. The Maltese breed are bad about getting ear infections because they are super hairy dogs. Try as we may we could not get rid of the odor.

The Maltese are more at home when they are in your lap being petted. Then they are in dog heaven. Hence the nick-name "lap-dogs."

It is said they originated in the land of Malta being reserved for royalty only. The first of this breed brought to America was introduced by a con-man as "lion dogs."

When their hair is permitted to grow long and groomed

combed carefully, (a pain in the butt.) they are some of the most beautiful dogs in the world. Long silky white hair that any woman would be envious over.

This man had let his dogs hair grow out and cut into the shape of a lions mane and he was believed.

These are the most loyal, affectionate little dogs I have ever encountered.

I highly recommend them for older people who need a companion. Super great with children and no shedding. Good house dogs and no one steps on my porch without Keeko sounding a serious warning. Except when thieves stole my chained bicycle off my porch a few weeks ago. Then he slept through it all. #&%#%&!!!

When we made the decision to sell Tina, it was a hard thing to do. I had parked on a busy road and staked her out so people could see how pretty she was.

She was petrified of the traffic. Finally a dog loving couple came by and just couldn't get by her and we agreed on the price of what I had into her. I insisted on cash as only a idiot would take a check from people you don't know.

While they were going to the bank and get their money I brought Tina inside the car with me and she looked at me with adoring eyes and snuggled over to me, looked up at me with her big black eyes, and seemed to say: Are you going away Daddy?" and gave my hand a couple of gentle goodbye licks.

I don't care how strong a person is but you get so attached to these little fellows and the tears from me gushed forth.

I tried hard to straighten up before the people came back and was kind of hoping they wouldn't. They did and we exchanged money and dog. As I was giving them Tina's toys the tears came again. She had a ball, bone, rag which she loved playing tug.

It was embarrassing to show emotion over a dog but it couldn't be helped. I took satisfaction knowing Tina was getting a good home.

Perhaps a year passed and my wife and I both missed Tina so I ventured to buy a new Maltese and named him Keeko.

Keeko has a wonderful disposing and now he is four years old and has never growled or shown his teeth in anger. (except once.)

Keeko became part of the household promptly. When we put him in his place to sleep at night, he never whimpered or howled at all. Tina didn't either.

Keeko is also one of the stupidest dogs I have ever had but his other qualities make up for it. I have to watch him very carefully or otherwise he will become a dog pancake venturing out into the street..

If I go to the mailbox, he is very happy to trot along side me to sniff around. He doesn't mind all that well. I have to be sure no cars are coming. If a car does come unexpectedly he will stand his ground in the middle of the street demanding the car stop or go around him.

Some of Keekos bad features are he doesn't know he is a runt of a dog. He thinks he is a 8' 6" grizzly.

Like I said, a real no brainer.

If he is outside with me and a huge strange dog enters his territory he lunges at them with fur ruffled, emitting all kids of dog curses and growls and snarls.

Still he doesn't show his teeth.

His bluff usually works as the large dogs run away.

He trots back to me with his happy dog smile and chest all puffed out. I give him a good scolding because I know some day, some dog is not going to be bluffed and tear him in pieces.

Another bad feature is although Keeko loves children, he likes to bluff them also. I warn these children he won't bite but he chases and lunges at them that they get scared and start running off crying for "Mommy" much to Keekos delight. He is right behind them snarling, growling and just pulling a bluff. I do scold him trying to make him stop.

Cats? Chasing a cat makes Keekos day. They all can outrun him and God help him if he ever catches one as a cat will skin him alive.

A funny thing happened one day when a big puppy entered Keekos yard and wanted to play. Keeko had to establish who was boss or so he thought. The puppy was about three times the size of Keeko.

So Keeko started with his ferocious growling, snarling, lunging act and the puppy just bopped him once and sent Keeko spinning. Brainless Keeko jumped up and lunged again making all the dog death sounds he could think of. The puppy quickly threw Keeko down and bit his leg (not to hard) and you never heard such a scream of terror and fright coming from Keeko.

YIKE, YIKE, yike, yike the sound a whipped dog makes when they are very afraid or getting mauled badly.

I reached down and separated the two. The puppy still wanted to play, jumping around making friendly overtures. Keeko in my arms whining and trembling with fear. I soothed Keeko and set him back down on the ground thinking he might have got the word and would play with the puppy now. Nope! Not to be done. Keeko again lunged at the little pup and the melee started again.

Like I say Keeko is very stupid.

When little children visit my house Keeko loves it when they lay on the floor to play with him. That is getting down more to his level. He goes after their ears, nuzzling them and licking their ears and it tickles the children into a shrieking fit that is enjoyable to hear. He seems to know that is a ticklish spot with little people and he does it often.

When Keeko is in a good mood and wants to show off, he will tear through the house as fast as his little legs will carry him emitting his little happy dog growl and turning corners at a breakneck speed.

Keeko makes every one laugh. He is fun. Keeko is also house broke.

Because of his digestive system, we found out the hard way not to give him any table scraps. Especially pork. He does annoy us by sitting near us when we are having our meals and STARE us down. he doesn't whine for a hand out but stares.

He knows what: "GET OUTTA HERE" MEANS." He will slink off where we can still see him and put his head on his paws, looking sad, wanting us to feel sorry for him. he does the same thing when I scold him.

Keeko love hotdogs, peppermint candy and sugar Cheerios. He goes crazy for them.

Keeko loves to go for a walk and when he sees me putting on my shoes in the evening and get his leash, he jumps, spins and barks with great anticipation.

Checking the neighborhood out is delightful for him.

Keeko would love to sleep with us and would be very happy if I put his bed next to mine but the mean wife says no. He has a little bed and when we go to bed he staggers over to his. Sometime he rearranges his bed because something is just not right. He gets in it and scratches the bedding this way and that, putting everything in place with a few pats using his nose. The with a satisfied groan he settles down for the night. That is a show in itself.

Keeko sleeps about 21 hours a day. I suppose he would play more if we would or have more grandchildren around. He is always happy to see them.

When Keeko sleeps he believes in solid comfort. Sometimes he is streached out flat on his back, paws in the air and snores. Thats funny.

At times Keeko will be snoozing next to me and have his doggy dreams and perhaps he is dreaming he is chasing a cat because in his sleep his little legs will be twitching with running motions and giving out a little muffled bark.

The only time Keeko ever gave out a real snarl, showing his teeth and snapping?

We don't give Keeko any table scraps but few weeks ago I brought home a couple of fine tender beefsteaks with a bone in them.

I marinated and cooked these morsels to perfection to where you only have to lay your fork on them and hear the "click" of it hitting your plate they were so tender and juicy.

We gave Keeko a rare treat of this beef bone laying it on a news paper so he wouldn't make a mess. Oh he dove into with much gusto.

He was slurping, licking, eating and having a big time. During his struggle with the bone it slid off the newspaper and my wife reached down to retrieve it and put it back on the paper.

This is the only time this has ever happened. Keeko saw his treasure threatened and cut loose with teeth showing, jaw popping snarls that any wolf would have been proud of. My wife jumped back startled. I walked over to him to see if he would do it to me but no, he was a perfect gentlemen as I picked up his bone and placed it back on the paper.

(I would have sent him sailing across the house if he did.)

If I am in the living room watching television, usually sitting on the floor, Keeko will come over and make himself a little nest in my lap or find someway to touch me and go to sleep. he just has to be able to touch me.

If he can't touch me, he will curl up around my shoes and use them for a pillow.

If I leave without him, he will sit at the door and actually cry. Dogs do cry.

Strangely when I take Keeko for a ride with we he is petrified of riding in a car. He actually trembles so bad that he will have a bowel movement. So I make sure he has relieved himself before I ever take him.

I play the harmonica some and Keeko much to the amusement of onlookers sits, looks up to the heavens and starts singing in time to my playing.

He can shake hands, sing, and give me a kiss when asked. Which consists of one lick on my nose.

He is not a very licky dog. Many dogs will smother you with their form of affection.

I hope Keeko has a long life with me. We love him very much. I hope you have enjoyed my story of Keeko. He is right here beside me.

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