My name is Cu and I'm my dad's best friend. Dad rescued me from the shelter when I was 18 months old. At that time I was known as Tiger - is it any wonder I was kind of neurotic? How undignified to be named after a C-A-T!

Dad decided a new name was in order and came up with Cu. He fancies himself a glider pilot and named me after cumulus clouds - the white puffy clouds that show the pilots where the lift is. How nice to be named after the cumulus - a glider pilot's best friend.

Now it's pretty remarkable that dad gave me such a nice name and even more remarkable that dad still thinks I'm a pretty cool dog. Because I sure was a mess when he brought me home. I was a wild and undisciplined teenager who thought he knew what was best.

Dad immediately set out to correct my wild ways, but I was sure a handful. I wasn't housebroken and was poorly leash trained. Since I hadn't yet proved I could be trusted, dad put me in a crate during the day, which I hated. After a month or so, I broke out of the crate and celebrated by dragging bedding all over the house. Dad was kind of desperate for what to do with me during the day so he turned to his brother Mike for advice. Mike and his wife Nancy had had dogs for years so dad thought he'd get great advice. Mike suggested confining me to a place where I couldn't get into trouble, like the bathroom. So dad carefully removed things like towels and soap that I could get into trouble with and left me in the bathroom while he made a quick run to the store.

Ha! I thought, now I can really get my revenge!

In a few short minutes, I managed to:

Dad came home to an inch of standing water.

End of experiment.

I think for a while dad may have thought he'd made a mistake. But he was patient and doggedly determined. We went to school and I got to learn more about how a proper dog behaves. We eventually came to terms and dad apparently learned to trust me as the crate is gone and I have the house to myself during the day. Dad even put in a doggy door so I can go lie in the cool grass or chase the occasional squirrel or cat (Oh glorious day!) that wanders into the yard.

Dad plays fetch with me every day before he goes to work and we go for walks in the neighborhood a couple of times a week. One of my favorite adventures is going to Fort Funston in San Francisco. Hundreds of other dogs and not a leash in sight!

He's also taken me on longer adventures such as camping in the Sierra Nevada (pictured above) and weekend trips to hang out at the glider port where he flies.

More Cu