Before we talk about this month’s new friend, I have to report on my new brother, Indy. Indy was the featured friend in our last installment and quickly went from foster dog to permanent member of our family. I’ve warmed to him. You might even catch me at night snuggled up with him on the couch, but don’t think it’s because he’s my new best friend; it’s only because I’m cold.

It has been fun getting to know Indy. The five-year-old at my house has been bossing him around and teaching him tricks. He actually listens to her. What a sucker. His appearance has improved remarkably. His coat has gone from a Brillo-Pad-like texture to shiny and soft. I even think his breath smells better. One weird thing he does is poop in the exact same place. It’s convenient for our humans, I guess. There is always just one pile in the backyard. Indy is great with the kids and Tobias the cat. We couldn’t ask for a better new addition to our family. We are eternally grateful to the humane society for rescuing him from a shelter in Nevada where he was scheduled for euthanasia. If you think you can’t get a great dog from a shelter, Indy is just more proof to the contrary.

This month, Indy and I met a new friend from the shelter named Amira. We took her by our place to hang out for a bit before we set off on a hike. Amira was able to meet Tobias and was so smitten with our little cat that she licked him. She also drank from our toilet but we didn’t tell Tobias that.

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Once we hit the trail Amira really shined. She’s part Rhodesian ridgeback, a breed used for hunting lions in Africa, so she is very athletic. I thought I was fast but she can catch me, and she’s not a little girl. She could play linebacker in the NFL with her combination of size and speed, as long as she doesn’t play for the Cowboys. All the dogs at my house hate the Cowboys. You see, one of my people grew up near Washington D.C. and if you are going to live near D.C you have to hate the Dallas Cowboys. Since moving west we only adopt animals that hate the Cowboys. We almost adopted a cat a few years ago but we found an old Cowboys jersey in her kennel. It was a deal breaker.

Amira is probably about 75 pounds. When we met she wasn’t too thrilled with my person. Apparently, she doesn’t like men, but it only took one treat to change that attitude. Amira listens well and knows most basic commands. She does like treats and will do what it takes to earn one. She even takes her treats gently without trying to bite your hand off.

Amira really knows how to take care of herself. She has beautiful eyes, a smooth, shiny brown coat, and movie-star white teeth. She was fun to have on our hike, listened when she was called, and even handled a not-so-friendly neighborhood dog with ease. Amira would make a great companion. She’s smart, knows her manners, and doesn’t pull on a leash. Loyal and protective — why not have a lion hunter by your side this winter?

Before I go, I must recommend the Lucky Dogs of Tahoe calendar. All proceeds from the calendar sales support the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe. The calendar also features Flip’s and my good friend Oso the dog. Oso passed away earlier this year and it is a nice way to recognize an amazing dog. To purchase a calendar or to check out any of the great local dogs and cats available for adoption, visit hstt.org. Have a great month.

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