So this year I let my kids talk me into adopting a dog.
I'm not what you would call a "dog person". I like dogs okay, but the ones that steal my heart have to be a very special kind of dog.
(Please give me all the cats though!)
I've put off adding a dog to our family this long because I knew it would mean a lot more rules--both for people and pets.
And in my mind I pictured a small, energetic lap dog sort of thing with tons of patience and not too much fur. Grown and housebroken, thank you very much!
Things don't always go as planned. Quite by accident, I opened Facebook one day and saw where a friend had shared a post from the local animal shelter. They had some new arrivals in need of a home.
The best dogs I've ever seen have been mutts. And no offense to those great dogs, but they were usually the "ugly" dogs no one else wanted.
And when I saw the ridiculous, freckled dogs at the animal shelter, I knew I had to take a gamble. Less than two hours later, my husband was bringing a new puppy home to a houseful of really surprised kids! (It was their early birthday gift).
And yeah. I said puppy. Yikes.
Poor guy didn't even have a name.
After some tense negotiations, (everyone placed their ideas in a hat and we drew the winning name) the dog was named Freddy. (He was very lucky. Some of the names included "Stinky", "Sonic Hedgehog" and "Squid".)
Freddy was about three months old, as far as the people at the shelter could guess. He had never had any training whatsoever.
Luckily, he is smart. Stubborn as heck, but smart.
Now, all those dog-things that other people think are "cute" really get on my nerves (like dumping the garbage can and carrying trash through house). But I'm patiently sticking it out, because he has a lot of potential, and he sorta decided he is my dog (oh the irony!).
So far, I've housebroken him (mostly), taught him to walk on a leash, taught him basic commands, and got him where he doesn't mind being groomed. He still chews on everything...including people, when he plays.
We bought a remote collar that has a loud beep to remind him not to bite. So far, that is working pretty well...but he thinks the beeping noise comes from his butt!
Hilariously, he likes hanging out with the kids. But they got mad at him for chewing one of their toys, so now he won't let them play with his toys either.
They go put their toys up to keep him from touching them, and he goes and hides his toys in his crate so they can't touch them.
My floors have never been so toy-free! :D
So far, I'm not regretting the decision to get a dog. (But don't ask me on a day when I have to clean up shredded garbage!) He does the basic things I wanted the family "kid dog" to do.
He barks when people come into the yard, he licks up the fallen Cheerios, and he gives the kids that squishy animal love that the box turtle just can't provide.
Now that he has been fixed, he is incredibly calm for such a young dog. He is almost Garfield the Cat when it comes to napping like a boss.
In fact, he acts more like a doorstop/footrest/bookholder than a dog most of the time!
And when everyone else is in bed at night, he stays with me in the office while I work. After all, someone has to watch me carefully to make sure I don't snack too much. :D
So remember kids, there are some really cool dogs out there in the world, but some of the best can be found in shelters for just a small adoption fee.
And don't think of them as mutts.
We prefer the term "mystery dog" in this house. ;)