Thursday, January 9, 2014

Be Careful Who You Wish For

I got a dog. I've wanted a dog since approximately two weeks after my last dog died.

Let me share a brief history of me and dogs:

I grew up on a farm. We had dogs. I loved them. I went to college. I got a house. I got Davey.

Davey was an eleven year old Irish Setter and was the smartest, prettiest, bestest dog in the history of dogs. He was so good it made your heart hurt. I had him for five years and at 16, he died. I was 9.9 months pregnant with Brynna. Seriously, he died the week before she was born.

I sat in the floor of the vet's office and sobbed until they threw me out. Nicely. Because they were wonderful people, but they really needed that exam room. They offered to drive me home.

Then I didn't have a dog. But I didn't miss having a dog. I missed Davey and no one ever could replace him.

Then came Marley-Bones. Marley was a mutt and a sweetheart. She was smart and sweet and loved Brynna (who was about 2 when we got her). I never really bonded with Marley the way I bonded with Davey. Davey was, above and beyond all else, my dog. Marley was Brynna's dog.

Marley died about four years ago. We think she was poisoned. She's buried in the back yard and Brynna still leaves her presents on her grave.

I missed having a dog.

The thing is that Davey was an old dog and old dogs have a lot of issues. And Marley was just a issue-filled dog. Every time we turned around, there was something the matter with her. And there's all this responsibility and money and trouble that comes along with that. And, you know, we're not home a lot and it doesn't seem fair to a dog.

So we went without. And then I got divorced and I kinda thought how much I would like to have a dog around. Because sometimes I'm there all alone and there are creepy noises. And sometimes I would like something to bark at the big bads.

But you know, I held strong. And didn't get a dog.

So, when a dog fell in my lap, I squeed and acted like it was a hard decision and Fire came to live with us.

Fire is an eight year old English Setter. So, my affinity for elderly sporting dogs continues. And she is sweet as sugar. A couple of weeks ago, I was home sick all day on a Sunday and as I lay in bed, wishing for death, she curled up next to me and occasionally sniffed my hair. She never left my side.

When we come home, she jumps up and down and looks like we've made her day just by existing. She plays with the girls and lets them grab her collar to get her to go to their rooms and she is pretty tolerant when they get a little rough. She loves the cats. The cats hate her. Hilarity ensues.

But this dog has the worst doggy habits.

The worst, by far, is the trash thing. She loves trash. And every day, when I come home, I find the trash all over the kitchen floor. It doesn't matter what's in the trash. She is going to knock it over and drag it all over the floor.

Also, you really shouldn't leave anything on the counter.

This is what I came home to yesterday:

That's my almost full box of Cheerios sprinkled liberally into my shoes. Shoes full of cereal. That's what I got. Shoes full of cereal.

I may have cried.

I definitely was not thrilled to be cleaning it up when I was having my "pain day." I was not happy with the whole situation. Then, she scared my cat who had spent the two coldest days of the year outside because I couldn't get him to come home where the dog was. I was so mad.

I thought about all the things I'd like to do to that stupid dog. I thought about all the other places that dumb animal could go and live.

Then, finally, I collapsed on the couch and she climbed up next to me and laid her head in my lap. And, despite myself I was smitten again. I'm just going to have to get a new trash can that will fit in a cabinet, that's all. Because stupid dog has gotta stay.


Lisa said...

I feel like you just described my pet experience. We, or I, had Bear and he was the best. I really bonded with Bear. Then we recently had Silas. Ellie loved him, but I never bonded with him the way I did with Bear.

Fire sounds a lot like Bear. He also had an affinity for the trash. So frustrating.

Jessi said...

Bear was such a sweetie! The up side is that this might make better at taking out the trash. We can hope, right?