For months, maybe years now, the kids have been begging for a puppy. In fact, the other day they said that if they could have a puppy and a trampoline, they would gladly give up their iPhones permanently. Well, we’re half way there! Meet Chester:
Chester is part Boxer, part Beagle, part German Shepherd, part ?, pure cuteness. We got him three weekends ago through PetFinder.com and I really didn’t expect it to feel so good to have a dog in the house again. We are all head-over-heals in love with him. Oh doggies, what you do to our hearts…
Our last dog, Sadie, died about four years ago. She was only eleven, but had stomach cancer, wouldn’t eat, and so we had to put her down. It was one of the hardest and saddest things I’ve ever had to do. I remember on her final day, just before Todd and I left for the vet, Todd was in the kitchen trying to get her to eat a piece of chicken. He said, “Sadie, just eat the chicken. If you’d just eat the chicken we wouldn’t have to go!” Our hearts were broken, but she was skin and bones and just couldn’t eat the chicken. Although later, when we walked into the vet’s office, she mustered up enough energy to growl and bark at the other dogs in the waiting room. A last hurrah for our feisty little beast. Then we said goodbye, went home, and the house felt so different.
The kids were six and eight years old back then, and they loved Sadie so much. We all did. Even though she was a handful at times. But after Sadie died, so many things changed. I didn’t have to shout “Keep the door closed!” a million times a day. In fact we could just leave the back door wide open all summer long. I didn’t have to clean up diarrhea every few days. There was no poop to clean up in the back yard, no expensive dog food to buy, no expensive boarding to arrange for vacations, no dog hair to vacuum up. Such freedom!
But I’m a dog person. I can’t resist them and I love having them around. Dogs and humans were just made to go together. So here we go, this is my fifth dog.
My first dog was Lola. Oh boy did I beg my parents for her, and I got her as a surprise for my tenth birthday. We got her from the ‘hippies’ across the street. Lola’s hippie owner was getting married and his fiancé was allergic, so he gave her to us. She was the best. She would follow me half way to school in the morning and then walk herself back home. Ah, the 70s…
Next came Libby. Again, I begged for a dog and found her listed in the classified ads. My parents agreed we could get a puppy if it was house trained. Libby fit the bill and was a cutie who grew into a very large, very furry, very stubborn dog who had a knack for getting sprayed by skunks.
Then in college when, for some strange reason, I was able to get myself a credit card, so I went straight to the pet store and bought the puppy in the window. I named her Wookie one night after watching Star Wars. She was also very furry. Then, in another stroke of genius, I decided to breed her and she had 10 puppies. Wookie was an amazing dog that I could take anywhere with me and she didn’t need a leash. Unfortunately I didn’t think I could take her out to Seattle with me, and so my sister and her husband became her new family. I think she traded up.
Then came Sadie, after I moved to Seattle, bought a house and got married. Todd never had had a dog, and he didn’t want a dog, and that made me sad. One night I told him that I didn’t think it was fair that just because I was married I couldn’t get a dog, and he said “Fine, we can get a dog.” So the next day I went to the pound and came home with Sadie. Todd was a little freaked out, especially since she was part pit-bull, but in no time he was completely nutty over her, and I often accused him of being a dog hog.
And now we have Chester! My first boy dog. He’s 12 weeks old and ridiculously cute. He’s close to being potty trained, follows the kids around everywhere, and is a completely unbiased snuggler. He’s a mutt, so no telling what he’ll grow up to be like, but I’m pretty confident he’s going to be an amazing member of our family. Although I think the cat would disagree.