While I still had those two dogs though, I had acquired another pup. I was working in a lumber treatment facility and this stray had been running around the yard. Well one day as I’m moving this big pile of telephone polls, I notice these fur balls scurrying away. Turns out what I thought were rodents were puppies and one had gotten killed by accident in the process. I felt horrible!
Before the SPCA could get there, I had chosen one to take home; thanks to the peer pressure of the office staff, and the guilt I felt. Needless to say, my honey was none too pleased that I had brought him home! I started out telling her that,” I killed something today!” You know, going for the sympathy vote!
Well, that was around October of 1996 when Max became a part of our family. He is the top of my list for short hairy kids. I know we are not to play favorites, but there was something about that guy that just did it for me. Maybe it was the way he ‘smiled’ when I would come home. Some would call it a sneer, but when your dog is wagging his tail at mach speed…it’s a smile! Or maybe it was the way he would just ‘be there’, not too pushy but right close at hand.
When I had to put him down in February 2012, after 16 1/2 years of friendship, I learned this…It’s OK to lay on the floor and cry with an old friend; they understand your pain when it’s their time to go!
My wife has a dog named Maggie who we rescued from the local shelter about 13 years ago. She’s a Terrier/Cocker Spaniel mix. She’s an OK dog, she’s not mine, but I do kinda like her, except when she pokes me in the back while I’m sleeping or snores in my ear!
She’s also got issues with riding in the car, so I’m the one who shaves her a couple times a year instead of a groomer. She doesn’t try to get away from me. We just go out to the front porch and get it done. She’s the ‘old lady’ of the bunch now and acts like an evil gremlin when she’s irritated with the others!
What I’ve learned from her; even if you’re small and funny looking, you’ve still got a lot to offer to the group, just don’t mess with me!
Ah yes, the others!
In December of ’05, our youngest was a Sophomore in high school and working the FFA tree lot. As we are headed in to pick out our tree and pick her up, we get this phone call…in essence she is pleading with us over this puppy that was part of a litter someone found. He was the last one left and she really liked him. She pulled the pouty face, “Please, please, please Daddy?” crap with me, which has never worked with any of my daughter’s! I tell her that she will be going away to college in 3-4 years and then who gets stuck with this do-do head…that’s right ME!
Well, you guessed it…Murphy became part of the family that day…BUT…he was her dog!
The day she moved over to the coast for school; we got home late, went to bed, Murphy’s moping on the end by Deena’s feet, and about midnight we get woke up by this terrible ruckus! He’s having a seizure!
Turns out the 75 pound moose is having separation anxiety along with some liver problems and he has to take phenobarbital twice a day! This has been going on for almost three years now. Throw in his depression with Max being gone for the past year, Maggie who doesn’t like to play, and what do you get? A 75 pound do-do head moose dog who has adopted you as his surrogate person, who doesn’t sleep well at night and doesn’t let you sleep through the night either!
What have I learned from this guy? Even though I’m jacked up and have some issues, just look at me, you gotta love me, right?
Well that brings me to the latest family member…Tekoa. He’s a 9-ish month old, Staffordshire Terrier mix. Yes, a pit! A “bully dog” as some would DARE to call them (that’s another blog for another day!).
I was ready for a new friend who was mine. Murphy could go to the coast anytime our daughter finds a house where she can have him, so where would I be? We had taken a trip to Santa Barbara at New Years, and everyone has their dog with them there. There was this couple with a Boxer on the pier, so I went up to them and asked if I could pet her. She was a beauty, and I had researched the bread for consideration of another dog some day.
Well right on cue, as Boxers do, she reciprocated the love I had given her by jumping up in my face and giving me a kiss! That was it, I was ready for another dog!
We get home and the local shelter is running a $20 adoption special that ends that week. This includes shots, wellness check, fixing, chipping, the whole sha-bang! And on top of it; they have as the pet of the week this “boxer-mix”.
I stop into the shelter just to look, while Deena is home sick with a cold. It’s the last day of the special, so I’m just looking around. I walk all they way through the place and in the second to the last kennel is this handsome little guy who is just laying there. All the other dogs in the place with the exception of a couple older ones, are barking their heads off at me. Not this guy! No, he yawns, stretches, gets up, walks the four feet to the front of the kennel, sits down and looks up at me, tilts his head as if to say, “Well, we gonna do this or what?”
I was hooked; Deena was going to kill me; it was 30 minutes before closing time; how would Murphy do; I’ve got to bring him over to see; it’s only twenty bucks; he’s just four months old though; I’m not ready for a puppy; I was thinking an older dog; he’s looking at me pawing the fence; OK, I’ll just see!
Tekoa, named after the town where the prophet Amos lived in the Bible, is not your typical puppy. Deena thought he was broken for the longest time. This dog will take a nap just to rest up for another nap! He will get off the couch and make it four feet across the floor only to lay down again!
What am I learning from this knuckle head? When it’s time to get a friend, there is one already picked out for you by Someone else, you just have to go look around a little!