A new (temporary) family member

When I was little, I liked dogs.  We had a cocker spaniel named Liza that I thought was wonderful, and I was sad when we had to give her away.  I liked my grandfather’s dogs a little bit, but I was also a little afraid of them because they were big and sometimes rough.  One of the best dogs I knew lived next door.  She was a golden retriever, and she was always gentle and good with kids.

As I got older, however, I realized that there were a lot of things that I don’t like about dogs.  They’re smelly and hairy.  They jump up on me when I don’t want them to.  They scratch my legs or slobber on my toes.  They make me sneeze or break out in hives.  They get me muddy or dirty if they’ve been outside a lot.  Now don’t get me wrong: I like dogs a LOT better than I like cats, but that wouldn’t take much.  But in the past year or so, I started to realize that I don’t really like dogs as much as I thought I did.  In fact, at times, I don’t like dogs at all!

This feeling has been VERY strong lately since our next door neighbors have two dogs.  They keep them fenced in on the side of their house, and that side just happens to be right next to our bedroom window.  These dogs are some of the most annoying dogs I’ve ever known.  They bark at ANYTHING.  One of them is something close to a golden retriever, but she has nothing like the kind personality of our neighbor’s dog while I was growing up.  She snarls and barks at us when we’re in our own yard, especially whenever we get anywhere near our garbage can.  (Don’t ask me why.  I have no idea!)  The other dog is a little yappy mutt of some kind that is scruffy and scrappy and (to be honest) quite ugly.  But that wouldn’t bother me if she were quiet.  She’s not.   She barks at anything and everything…and nothing!  Unfortunately, our neighbors leave these dogs outside all night long, and so some of our nights lately have been even shorter and less restful than usual because the dogs are so loud.  Bryan and I have had numerous conversations about our frustration with the dogs and especially with their owners for leaving them outside so much.

A few days ago, we became worried that we might be getting even less sleep due to the neighbors’ dogs.  The husband told Bryan that they now had a THIRD dog, and it was another little one.  We usually describe little dogs as “yappy,” and we normally don’t like them at all.  This dog was kinda cute though, and we hadn’t heard a sound from it in that first day, so we thought maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.  This past Sunday as we were leaving for church, we noticed the dog running around in the alley behind our house, and so we decided to rescue him and put him back inside the fence where he belongs.  This was the beginning of our change of heart.  The dog came up to me and was SO sweet!  It was as if he was just begging me to love him.  He wagged his tail and licked my hand without slobbering, and he let Bryan pick him up and gently lower him over the fence into his yard.  When we got home from church, while the other two dogs barked and snarled at us, he came over to the fence and wagged his tail.  Later that afternoon, we heard him making a sad barking sound, and we discovered that he had gotten up on a counter by our neighbor’s window.  He was stuck up there, and ended up falling asleep on the corner with his head on his paws.  We decided at that point that we wanted our neighbors to get rid of the other two dogs and just keep him ’cause he was so cute!

The next day, the dog was out of the fence again.  This time, I rescued him after playing with him for a few minutes.  But sure enough, an hour later he was out again!  Bryan was in the back of our house, and he saw our neighbor’s children through their sliding glass door, pointing and gesturing at the puppy.  Bryan went over to the dog, and realized that the kids were trying to get him to put the dog back inside their fence again.  Their mom must’ve heard them, ’cause she came outside laughing and said, “Don’t put that dog in our yard! It’s not ours!!”  Bryan finally got the whole story: the dog had followed her husband home one day from a walk, he and the kids wanted to keep it, and she refused and said they had enough dogs.  So we kept putting the dog back into their yard, and she kept putting it back out!

We felt sorry for the little thing, and I told our renter Brian and his fiance Hannah about him.  We sat outside playing with him, and Hannah wanted to adopt him, but they needed a place to keep him for a few months until they get married.  I told them I’d ask Bryan about it, but I wasn’t very optimistic since we have such a small fenced-in area and he isn’t wild about dogs either.  We talked about it a little bit, but didn’t come to a conclusion, and the dog then disappeared for a few days.

Earlier this afternoon, Bryan came into our room while I was typing my last blog post and told me that the puppy was back.  He said he was hanging out with him in the garage.  He said he’s very skinny and wanted to feed him. 🙂 I told him if we start feeding him, he’ll never leave, and then he’s ours.  He said that might not be so bad. 🙂  I went out in the garage, and there was the puppy, scampering around and looking adorable.  Bryan got some water for him, and we started seriously considering keeping him.  He is such a lovable little dog!  I think if I weren’t about to give birth, he’d be a permanent family member and we’d finally be dog people again.  But we started talking about the expense of keeping a dog, and about if we’d have enough time to spend with him once Baby comes.  We didn’t want to be those dog owners who just leave their dogs in the yard and never pay attention to them.  So we decided we couldn’t keep him ourselves, but we’d be willing to give him a place to stay until Hannah and Brian have an apartment.

We called them, and they drove right over from Hannah’s house.  It was like the little dog knew his new family had come to get him. 🙂 He had been sitting with me in the garage, licking my hand, letting me pet him, and soaking up the love, and as soon as their car pulled up, he ran out to greet them.  Hannah picked him up, and he nuzzled up against her as a very content puppy. 🙂

So we now have a dog staying in our TINY fenced in area for the next two and a half months.  They took him immediately to the pet store to get a leash and a collar, food, a little house, and other things puppies need, and they’ll be taking him to the vet soon.  Brian will take care of him until he moves into their apartment at the beginning of November.  I’m excited about having a cute puppy around and I’m thankful that he has a home and a family. 🙂  I can’t wait to see him with a little meat on his bones, a haircut, and a bath!

Now you might be wondering why I changed my mind about dogs so easily.  I think that I still don’t like most dogs, but this one just won his way into my heart. 🙂 There’s just something so adorable about the way he seems to beg for love and attention without being annoying, and something endearing about how vulnerable he is.  He doesn’t scratch if he jumps up on my leg because he’s too little and light, he doesn’t smell, he isn’t noisy, he doesn’t slobber, and so far he hasn’t made me sneeze or break out in hives.  He’s a good little dog. 🙂  I hope I still think so a week or a month from now! 🙂

Published in: on August 13, 2008 at 5:17 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Slightly premature maternal instincts perhaps?

  2. He IS really cute!

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