We have a new roommate. Two, actually.

Josh's brother, Trevor, had some sort of falling out with his former roommate. I don't know what happened. And Trev has some roommates lined up for November, when a couple guys he knows are getting out of their lease and moving to a new place, where he can go with them. Until then, he needs a place to lay his head. Actually, he could probably couch surf the whole time, but he does need a place to store his guitars (five of them, sheesh!).

So he is living in our spare room. He is a good tenant, quiet and keeping mostly to himself. He does have a 90-pound rottweiler, but luckily, our homeowner's insurance policy covers dangerous dogs.
Trevor adopted Syrus about six years ago. He had been badly abused. He had a bandaged wound on one of his legs, which healed in a couple of months. He also was scared of, like, air, which took longer to fix. It was pathetic, to see what should be a terrifying beast being scared of his own shadow. Anytime a new person came in, Syrus would back away until he ran into something, at which point he would jump and then run from the room.

That's why there is such a thing as a dangerous dog. Because people are jerks.

But now Syrus is a new dog. He is confident and secure and unafraid. He's also very mellow, well-trained, and obedient. Syrus, more than any other dog, convinced me that dogs could live in the house. He and Trevor have some sort of mind link, such that Syrus starts obeying the command before it's given. They are a good pair. As much as Trevor gave Syrus confidence to be a great big dog, Syrus gives his master, whose need for solitude is great, a companion who doesn't feel like an intruder.

I love having Syrus around. Besides feeling like I've got the best-protected house around, it's good for Remix, who does not get enough time with other dogs. She's much better-behaved and has not chewed the futon since he moved in (I think she thinks Syrus owns the futon, whereas we could never convince her that we in fact owned it). She follows Syrus around with her current favorite de-stuffed animal, hoping that he will want to play. And sometimes, he does. Since he is older, he is content to sleep most of the time. But after Remix has stood there, tail wagging, gently wapping him in the face with a disgusting slobbery toy for five straight minutes, he will sometimes consent to rip the toy away from her. Or at least, he tries, and then the game is afoot. As a former baby sister, I relate to Remix. And I'm glad she has someone else to pester, because it used to be me getting wapped with that smelly toy. Sometimes, they play tug while both of them are lying on the floor. It's a lazy game, like thumb war or arm wrestling, except that they are testing their neck and jaw strengths.
Syrus watches TV. No, I mean he actively watches it. And if there are certain things on, he will get very excited. Animals are a specific trigger. He will run up to the TV and watch it from a foot away. He will snuffle and growl and bark at it. And if the action onscreen is particularly thrilling, he will jump at the screen. That's not such a problem with our circa 1995 box tucked up and away inside an entertainment center, but when he's visiting friends with nice big flat screens, that could end in tragedy. It's still hilarious.

Syrus also sheds. Sooooo much. Remix has short hair, and so while she also sheds, it sort of blends in to the floor. However, Syrus hair gets wafted by the breeze created by people walking by and accumulates in little fluff balls in the corners. I gave him a good brush down (and swept the floors), which seemed to help. It also seemed to make him love me with his big doggy heart. It is always nice to be loved by a dog, but while Remix pretty much beams love at anyone who looks at her, Syrus is more reserved. I feel accomplished when I can get him to wag his little nub of a tail.

A friend of ours told us that when Syrus moves out, we're going to want a puppy. Ugh, no. But I could see how we might want to get another dog, though not another big dog (two big dogs could probably overpower me on a walk if they were both pulling in the same direction, or rip me apart if they weren't). That's a few months away, though. For now, we'll enjoy our well-protected household.

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