Inside of a Dog…

Posted on February 17, 2011. Filed under: Postcards |

"Inside of a Dog..." Postcard #4

"Inside of a Dog..." Postcard#4

Being a dog person is easy, but being a dog owner is much more of a challenge. Making sure to carry a bag when you go on walkies, vet trips that cost more than a day at a spa, and not to mention the barking; these are the funky parts. I love my dogs, they are sassy, sweet, and best of all, and they smell like Fritos Corn Chips.

 I have to wonder, how did I become the part owner of two dogs? Dogs that steal my seat when I leave, that terrorize me with their toys, snore so loudly that I shut the door so I can sleep, yet they are two dogs that I love so much.

As most things do, becoming a dog owner began innocently enough: My husband and I had cats all our lives but it didn’t take long for us to come to the realization that we would like to add a dog to our zoo. Things get blurry from there- I wanted a Westie and he wanted a Boston terrier. I did some research and learned that Westies don’t get along well with cats and having three in the house already, we were forced to go another way, so Boston terrier it was.

Within a week, we were at an older couple’s home in Sun Valley looking at a cardboard box full of fat, wiggly puppies. The people who had the puppies also had three adult Bostons- Major Boo, Miss Reno, and Missy- obvious members of the family. In the end we took home Lucille, a roly poly pip of a pup. I wanted the chubby boy of the litter, but John had grown up with dogs and he told me that girls don’t whizz all over your house, they just kill the lawn and that seemed to better evil of the two. It took some adjustment having a puppy in the house; getting up twice a night to let her out was hard, especially when it was freezing outside. Teaching her how to walk on a leash was traumatic for the both of us.

Two years later, we decided that Lucille needed a buddy. She got along well with the cats, but she needed more- a friend that she could really play with. I found an interesting ad on Craigslist which showed the side profile of a brindle Boston terrier and the only details were her age and that she was AKC papered. We drove to Silver Springs, Nevada, a suburb of hell, to see the dog. The place that we found was completely different from where we got Lucille, the people that were  “rehoming” the dog were backyard breeders and if we didn’t want the adult dog, we could buy the cute puppy instead (we passed).

The dog we saw had never been walked on a leash, she was unsocialized, aggressive with other dogs, and she liked to bite. We decided not to take her, fearful of what might happen to Lucille if we brought this new dog into our home. But it wasn’t an open and shut decision; something kept us from completely forgetting Libby from Silver Springs.

We knew that we needed help bringing the dog home so I asked Kim a woman who I knew could get the job done. She was perfect; she called about the dog, made an appointment, and even made the hour drive to Silver Springs to get the dog. At the beginning, we were going to get the dog fixed, take her to the local SPCA and let someone else adopt her. Looking back, I realized that was never going to happen; she was our dog the minute the growling beast came through the front door. Maybe it was her inner Boston terrierness that attracted us. We quickly changed her name to Lillian and even though the process of socializing her has been long, it’s been worth it. Lilly now knows how to walk on a leash, she’s a regular at the dog park where she plays and chases other dogs, and she’s Lucille’s best buddy. She loves cookies, the heater vent, and rubbing her back on the ottoman. Lilly is a wonderful dog, so different from the beastie we first saw.

I consider myself a very lucky person because even though I might not be able to afford a day at the spa and I have to go on poop patrol, I have two friends that are always happy to see me, that dance when I come home and who always want to share their toys. In the end, I have learned that having and loving dogs is one of the best things that I have ever done. Yes, I am a dog person, but more importantly, I am a dog owner.

Like dogs? Like books about dogs? Try these:

Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz- insightful book about why dogs do what they do (I haven’t looked at my dogs the same way since I started reading it) http://insideofadog.com/  

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein -fantastic book about a dog who wants to die so he can come back as a human- I loved it! http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/3003070/the_art_of_racing_in_the_rain_review.html

List of children’s books about dogs: http://pbskids.org/martha/parentsteachers/activities/books.html   

Recommendations for great reads for adults:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/22/AR2010062204354.html 

Lucille at the beach

Lucille loves the beach

Lillian loves the beach too!

Lillian loves the beach too!

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