The second we saw that little brown bundle pop his head out of his plastic igloo, I knew he was coming home with our family. We had gone to the shelter to look at kittens, but got distracted by the dogs in outside cages before you enter the building. Rousseau, then named Liam, was coming home with us. At only three months, Rousseau was traveling cross country, staying in hotels and camping in the National Forests of Wisconsin and Michigan all that summer.
He quickly became my best friend. When I wanted to go for beach walks some days, my family would grumble, but Rousseau was happy to go. He loves to chase seagulls and often dashes into the ocean after them. Down on The Point, he frequently sniffs out starfish and once even came out of the water with a dead fish! Heaven help him if he finds a jellyfish. They down right terrify him and he will vigorously bark at them while maintaining a safe distance.
He has learned to mountain bike and sit nicely in a kayak. The kayak was a challenge for him. He used to sit on the bank when one of use would go out on the kayak and chase us along the lake’s edge while we paddled. Then one day he jumped in, swam out to the boat, and hopped in.
Rousseau loves the dog park, frisbees, squirrels, and birds. He is obsessed with chips, popcorn, and demands the last bite of whatever you are eating. He is extremely protective of his home, but once a friend is invited in, he will force his love by insisting on sitting next to guests and give his “Rousseau back hug”.
Rousseau spends hours hunting butterflies and bees. He keeps himself very busy, but when 8pm comes around, he is in bed with his cat sister who also came from the shelter. They snuggle and groom each other. Then he is out for the night and only stirs to make sure he is being properly spooned by the lucky chosen family member for the night.
Rousseau has brought so much joy into our lives. He is brilliant and incredibly in tune with his family. Training was a walk in the park because he was so eager to please. When I look at him, my heart actually feels lit up. I love all of my animals, but Rousseau holds a very special place. I have never bonded or had so much trust in a dog as I do Rou. He has given me the confidence to jog and bike without another person because he is there. When I get up early and everyone is still sleeping, he is there to have coffee with me. I cannot imagine our life without such an integral part of our family, our goofy, adorable, protective Rousseau.