Monday, March 26, 2012

About the Dog

When we put the wood flooring in I was expecting to need to sweep up dog hair all the time.

I had told myself,
"Rachael, there will be dog hair.
You will need to sweep it often or it will drive you crazy."

Interestingly enough,
Our dog is the same color as our floor.

I did not do that on purpose.

I really couldn't have picked a closer match if I had color matched them in the paint department.
This is good because, while I'm sure there is dog hair, I can't see it.
I sweep (every 2-3 days usually) and if I look closely I can detect dog
hair in the sweeping pile. But only if I look for it.

So if you are considering wood floors,
or if you have wood floors and are considering getting a dog.....

Be sure that the dog and the floor match.

A little bit about our dog

He is part boxer. We don't know what other "parts" he is.

His name is Anikin.
For those of you who don't know, that is one of the main characters in Star Wars.
Incidentally, he is boy who turns into Darth Vader.

When the kids wanted to name him this I had a little trepidation.

I was worried that the dog would start out really great, with lots of potential.
But then his 'dark side' would come through and he would force choke us all in our sleep.

So far nothing like that has happened.

Anikin was a rescue from the pound.

He was about a year and a half when we got him, which was good because he was past
the puppy phase of chewing everything up and peeing all over.

I think puppies are incredibly cute, but I have 4 children.
I do not need to potty-train anything else thankyouverymuch.

The pound had brought a bunch of dogs to our local PetSmart one Saturday morning.

I used to take my children there on cold Saturday mornings to get them out of the house
while my husband caught up on his sleep from working the night shift.
I had taken them on this outing often and I had NEVER been tempted to get a pet before.

For some reason this day I was.

I like dogs a lot, but I do not consider myself a "dog lover" in the sense
that I would talk baby talk and let the dog lick my face.
No, that's not happening.

I pet them, take them on walks, throw balls for them etc. But I draw the line at licking and baby talk.

Anyway we saw this dog was sitting quietly in his kennel while all the
other dogs were barking and going crazy.

1 point for the dog.

Someone took him out and was leading him around.
He walked along quietly with out tugging at his leash.

2 points for the dog.

My children and I approached this dog and the boys started oohing and aweing over him.
My little guy, who was only 2 at the time, clapped his hands and squealed inches
away from the dogs face. The dog didn't even bat an eye or twitch his head at the
sudden noise from an excited toddler.

10 points for the dog.

He had short hair.

Another point
(I think you've probably guessed how I feel about dog hair).

We led him back to his kennel and looked at other dogs, but I kept my eye on this one the whole time.
His behavior with everyone was excellent.

More points.

Someone came over and started looking at him too.

I started to get jealous.

They were acting really interested.

I was getting more jealous.

They went over to talk with someone asking about the dog.

As soon as their back was turned I grabbed a leash that was sitting out,
 clipped it on the dog and lead him over the pet adoption people.

"Rachael, what has come over you?" I thought to myself.

"Are we getting this dog?" My children asked excitedly.
"I don't know." I replied, still a little bewildered.
"Can we please? Please please!" They begged.
"Shhh, mommy is trying to think." I was still sure that I had lost my mind.

At this moment the pet adoption lady was called away for a little bit.
"Ok Rachael." I thought to myself. "For some reason you have become obsessed with this dog.
If you don't want it to become your 5th kid you need to do some fast negotiating
right now with your children."

Me - "I don't know if we can get a dog."
Kids - "Oh mom please!" 
Me - "Dogs are a lot of work."
Kids - "We will take care of him! We promise!"
Me - "I just don't know...."
Kids - "We will feed him every day."
Me - "What about cleaning up his poop?"
Kids - "We will do that too."

The negotiations went on in this manner for a few more minutes.
But in my heart I knew that we were getting this dog.

So we did.

And I must tell you that my negotiations worked like a charm. The kids always feed him, I have to remind them but I anticipated that. They take him on walks and pick up poop too.
When they complain I remind them that they promised.

After I signed the adoption papers the pet adoption lady told me that she was so glad
this dog had been adopted because he was going to be put down on Monday.
He had been in the pound since November (it was now January).

They had kept him on because they could tell what a great dog he was,
way longer then they usually keep dogs. But they just couldn't keep him any more.

My heart broke. Poor thing.

I learned that he had been found abandoned in a neighborhood of unfinished
homes where no one lived yet.

We led our new pet around the store picking out dog food and other things.

And I started wondering how I was going to explain this to my husband who was sleeping at home.

"You've really done it now." I thought to myself.
I decided that my husband would have one of two reactions.

#1. He would get really mad and insist that I take the dog back immediately.

#2. He would roll his eyes, accept the dog, but hold it over my head anytime he wanted something.
For example, "I can go and get that laptop with out talking to you about it because you went
and got a dog with out talking to me about it."

So we loaded our purchases and our new family member in the car and drove home.

The kids burst into the house where my husband was just getting out of bed, and started
telling him all about our new dog. And the dog happily ran right up to him, stumpy tail wiggling,
and made himself right at home.

"What's this?" CM asked.
I grinned sheepishly.

I could have never had anticipated that he would have reaction #3.

#3. He would be happy and excited about the dog and fall in love with him right away.

I now know that we were supposed to get this dog.
Maybe much like you hear people who adopt children know that that child
is supposed to be in their family.

He really is a great dog.

He still hardly ever barks. When people come to the door he sticks his nose
through the blinds to see who it is but he never barks.

He is fantastic with the children... and my husband.
Sometimes I feel bad for him because they love him so roughly.
But they do love him and he seems to love the roughness as much as they do.

He is so afraid of moving.
We have moved three times since we got him and each time I start to pack up boxes
he gets incredibly anxious and worried. This leads me to believe he was abandoned when his old family moved. When we brought in all those boxes of flooring he got worried again. Maybe someday he will understand that we won't leave him.

He does not realize that he is a dog.
I'm pretty sure he thinks he is one of the kids. And that is fine with him. He obeys my husband and I really well. But not so much the kids. Because he is one of them.

His one fault - he loves to lick.
I don't let him lick me, but the kids and my husband will let him. I tell him "No licking" and he looks at me with his big doggy eyes and tells me "You don't want me to lick you but I have to lick the people I love. Please just one lick? Please." And I repeat, "No licking." He licks me anyway.

I'm impressed if you have stayed with me this long.
Now you know all about a very important member of our family.


1 comment:

m @ random musings said...

what a sweet ode to your dog (and a great tip re: floors)! I'm not a dog-person in the sense that you are (ew dog spit on my face?), but for the life of me I can't understand when people abandon their dogs when they move. What an awful thing to abandon a living being that is completely dependent on their owner for food/water/shelter! Your kids might enjoy joining a obedience or agility class with Anikin, which will help with the whole listening-to-the-kids issue. I only say this because my sister's golden was like your dog and there was an instance when the kiddos were unable to call him out of the street - the dog got hit (broken bones only, thank goodness) but it was 6 weeks of carrying all 70lbs of him in/out for potty.... plus vet bills and pain/suffering


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