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Rescue dog Albie: if only children could be so accommodating

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Peter Zheutlin

(Read caption) Rescue dog Albie is pleasantly well-behaved. A welcomed relief to the uneasiness owner Peter Zheutlin felt about adopting an unfamiliar dog.

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If patience is a virtue, Albie, our part golden retriever, part yellow Lab, is virtuous in spades. I’ve never seen a dog so willing to wait calmly for the things he wants – a treat, a belly rub, a pat on the head – though there is one exception. When he senses we’re getting ready to take him for a walk, and he has an uncanny way of knowing, he can hardly contain his excitement. He rears up on his hind legs like -- and I’m going to date myself here -- Fury, the black stallion who starred with Peter Graves in the eponymous 1950s television show. Then he barks, which is completely out of character. But he otherwise displays an almost preternatural calm.

For example, he never wakes us up to go out in the morning no matter how late we sleep and, one presumes, how urgent his need might be to relieve himself. He watches us eat dinner from a respectful distance, never begging for food, something virtually unheard of in Labs. When we come in from a walk on a wet day and his paws and legs are covered with dirt, he sits patiently offering up one paw at a time to be wiped off. Though he doesn’t voluntarily get into the tub when it’s bath time, he stands stock still even as I pour water over his head to rinse the doggie shampoo from his fur. He offers no resistance when I clean the wax from his ears or brush his teeth. If only my children had been so accommodating!

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