Animal magnetism at its best

Published 1:25 pm Wednesday, April 16, 2008

By Staff
A magnet is something that possesses materials that produce a magnetic field causing attraction to happen. The definition of a magnet is also a person, a place, an object or a situation that exerts attraction.
To have magnetic qualities means something has the unusual ability or power to attract.
I was curious about the exact meaning of the words magnet and magnetic because apparently we possess magnetic qualities at my house.
Now I know most magnets attract metals, like iron.
We, on the other hand, have the extraordinary ability to attract something quite different. Or maybe the place we live is some kind of special magnet field.
Whatever the reason, our house, and the people living in it, have the power to attract things that are furry and hungry.
Yep, we are dog magnets and apparently our ability to pull in pets is as strong as ever because there is a new animal sleeping in the chair on my deck, one that looks expectantly at me every time I walk outside and is now getting a share of the food at feeding time.
I noticed the animal a week or so ago. It was standing beside the dirt road with a panicked look on its face, a look I've come to know because of other dogs that arrived with the same look. The dog, which is hardly more than a big puppy, tried to follow me as I drove up the road.
Later that day as I returned home, I hoped that perhaps it was just a neighbor's dog that was visiting the other two dogs that sleep on my deck and I would not see its panicked face again.
No such luck. After about a day and the failed efforts of my golden retriever to send it packing, the dog remained.
My husband, who has an even softer spot than I do when it comes to lost animals, started feeding it along with our retriever and the neighbor's rat terrier (she thinks she lives at both houses and pretty much does). I resisted the urge to pet the dog still hoping its owner was out there looking for it. I even put it on the radio to see if maybe it was simply lost.
That was more than a week ago. The dog is still here and I stopped resisting and started petting. Despite my best intentions, I find myself with a growing affection for this black and brown fellow that just wants to be close to me and rewards any attention with lots of wags and exuberance.
This is the third, no the fourth, dog that claimed us for its owners after being mysteriously drawn down a lonely, mostly deserted dirt road to end up on our doorstep.
My husband and I decided to let him claim us and he will shortly get his own feeding bowl. However, we need to demagnetize ourselves and put an end to our dog drawing powers because the sleeping space on our deck is getting crowded.
Nancy Blackmon is a columnist for The Andalusia Star News.