Friday I took a photo of Evan outside with Maya. It was a sweet moment that I was trying to capture on film. Maya was sunbathing and laying next to Evan, albeit with her back facing him, but still allowing Evan to enjoy her company. Evan was drawing with chalk and chit chatting with Maya as if Maya would talk back. It was truly a precious moment.
I was thinking about a post to go along with it. I hadn't really sat down to write anything, but after reading Emily's post Friday about their dog adventure, a few things flooded my mind. You see, when she first posted about the agonizing decision to get a dog or not, even though she WAS TOTALLY against it, I was on the "you need to get a dog for reasons x, y, and z" bandwagon. After reading today's post, I empathized with her! Yes, this dog lover, empathized with the reality of having a dog in the house. A dog is not for just anyone, and it's definitely not for the faint of heart. It's a commitment and if things go right, it's a commitment that benefits everyone involved.
So I decided to give you guys a glimpse into the lives of the other members of our family! The pets:
Jeremy and I bought Maya the day after we got back from our honeymoon. I know, I know! What were we thinking? Well Jeremy was thinking I was CRAZY but I was thinking, since I couldn’t take my dog with us to our first apartment I needed a pet around the house. The only semi-decent apartment that we found (and I use “semi-decent very loosely) didn’t accept dogs, so my childhood dog Charlie spent his last year or two with my parents. I was heartbroken!
I am NOT a cat person, but I’ve been know to love on her, feed her and save her from the tortures of her two kids. And she's low maintenance, which is a plus, I feed her daily and occasionally clean her litter box. She’s kind of grown on me over the years and now that she is 11, we have a kindred bond. I mean, we are the only 2 females in the house, we kind of get each other. She tolerates Evan, but likes Carter’s company the best. And as you may recall, when I thought we lost her for good, I was heart broken (go check out that story).
Victor on the other hand. Oh man, where do I begin? I purchased Vic a month before moving out of our 2nd apartment (Another apartment complex that didn’t accept dogs). So for 30 days, I snuck him in and out of the apartment to let him go potty. Fortunately he wasn’t a loud puppy those first few months.
Jeremy and I had gone to the mall to finish Christmas shopping and as fate would have it, I convinced him to join me in browsing the pet store. And there was Vic. Oh he was the cutest puppy EVER. He was sitting prim and proper in his cage, ears flipped over, which is exactly what I wanted, I schnauzer with floppy ears. I asked to get him out, and it was love at first sight. Immediately upon entering the little room, he ran over to me and jumped into my lap. I HAD to have him.
Jeremy said, “no”. After a short discussion, we left the store without him. I cried on the way home. And I cried at home. And I cried before falling asleep. At work the next day, I was talking to my coworkers, who convinced me just to go buy the dog myself. HA! Great advice right? Nothing says husband resentment and disrespect like going and buying myself a dog after he said “no”.
I made up my mind and decided to go right after school and buy Vic. But first, I would call Jeremy one last time and inform him that I was buying the dog and hopefully he wouldn’t say “no”. I can be kind of a stubborn person, you know.
And fortunately, Jeremy loves me enough and knew I really wanted this dog and needed a dog, so he went with me and we picked up Vic that night.
Vic was my baby! I loved him dearly! I took him everywhere. I bought him cute little sweaters. He slept in our bed. He was bathed once a week. We never missed a grooming or a vet appointment. He went on vacations with us. He was my dog!
He also had a fetish with items that Jeremy and I handled often. He chewed up every remote and game controller we had during the first year of his life, he chewed up my $400 pair of glasses, he ripped a hole in the carpet, he dug a hole in our living room chair. But it didn’t matter, I was young and stupid and he was my baby!
That ALL changed the moment we brought Evan home. All of a sudden, my eyes were opened and the baby that I loved so dearly became a terrible nuisance. He barked during nap times waking Evan, he needed to be fed and let out all the time (how dare he), he was dirty and greasy because I didn’t have time to give him his weekly baths nor did I want to, he tried to sleep in our bed at night *gasp*, I missed grooming appointments and vet appointments. I HATED the stupid dog.
A few months after Evan was born, we were walking around the block with Evan in the stroller and Vic on his leash, when a neighbor came out to say “hi”. Isn’t it amazing how a stroller brings people to you? We had never met this neighbor before and never spoke with her after. As soon as she oohed and awed over Evan, she asked if I hated my dog?
I looked at her puzzled and then started laughing. She started laughing also! I admitted that I did passionately and she explained her question. She said she hated her dog the moment that she brought her first born home but assured me in about 6 months, the hatred would subside and that the dog would become a part of the family again. Little did Vic know, that that neighbor saved him that day. I was so close to the edge and had almost decided to give him to someone who would love him like I used to.
But after hearing that, I decided to give him 6 months. And sure enough, slowly Vic became less of a nuisance and more of a family member again.
But the irony of it, is that I still think he is a nuisance but the boys have grown up with him and the relationship they have with him is more important than how I feel about him most days.
Don’t get me wrong, Vic is a part of our family. I love that he is a fierce watch dog, even though he tends to be the fiercest during nap times, he is Evan’s confidant and protector. But to me, most days, he is just another thing I have to take care of and that does wear me down sometimes.
Evan has taken a liking to Vic. They are “buds” according to Evan. According to Vic? That is another story but I think Vic understands that the free ride he has in our house is due to Evan so he tolerates him. Vic let’s Evan beat on him and wrestle with him, and when he needs to go to another room and is too scared to go by himself, Vic obliges and follows him through the house. I have found Vic hanging out in the bathroom while Evan’s doing his thing, sitting patiently and wanting it to be over. I have found a furry protector in Evan’s bed during times that Evan doesn’t want to be alone. I have seen Vic, in full out watch dog mode sitting next to the playset, ears perked and eyes focused, while the boys are playing on it.
Vic, as much as he is a nuisance to me, he is a blessing to those boys. So my feelings have to be put on the back burner and I have to take one for the team.
Jeremy and I have a joke, each time Evan is bugging Vic, we say, “you’re earning your keep around here Vic.” And I think, in a way, Vic knows his place. Although, he still tries to be my number one kid in the house, and sometimes he gets lucky.
Victor is an amazing watch dog. Even though he barks at everything, sometimes those barks and growls are for good reason. I feel safe in the house with Vic on patrol, especially when Jeremy goes out of town. He has learned the sound of Jeremy’s car and never barks when Jeremy gets home late at night. But yet, the slightest sound that is not familiar, his fur stands up on his back and the growls begin. He is smart! And he loves and protects his family. Each night before heading to bed Jeremy jokes, “you’re on the clock now Vic!”
Are there times I want to throw him against the wall? Yes! But do I love the stupid thing as a part of our family. Yes! I can’t imagine our home without him. And as long as he let’s the boys beat on him and wrestle him down and protects us fiercely, I will look the other way when he chews up a stuffed animal or has his way with a poopy diaper (THANK GOODNESS we no longer have diapers in the house) and give him a loving home. Besides it’s not too hard taking one for the team when the team is this cute:
What about you? Are you a pet person? Why or why not! Share some of your pet stories - the good, the bad, the funny!