All my life I’ve been a cat person. I lived on a dairy farm until I was in kindergarten and we had scads of cats. I remember eating cat food back then because I wanted to grow up to be a cat. I used to dress the farm cats in doll clothes. I loved all things cat. Still do.
You remember our feline child, Gray Cat, right? She’s a great cat. Getting up there in years – she’s 11 – but still going strong.
Kid #3 has been begging/bugging us about getting a dog ever since she had the ability to construct a coherent sentence. She checks out books about dogs, buys dog books at the school’s Scholastic book fair, stops people walking their dogs past our house to chat. The girl is dog crazy.
I’ve been hesitant, because if we got a dog, it would mean more work for me. We tried dogs before kids. We had a collie and a sheltie. Those two were lots of work. I didn’t want 4 kids plus a fur baby.
One day back in September, a friend posted a local animal shelter’s pictures of adoptable dogs. I looked. Yes, you know what happened next. I fell in love.
I was looking at the pictures of the golden retriever/yellow lab mix puppies. They were fluffy and little and cute and I wanted one. I was clicking through the pictures when this made me stop and blink:
Wow. Not fluffy or cute and I certainly didn’t want it. I don’t know if you can see it, but the eyes are glowing green. I quickly clicked past and kept looking at the canine equivalent of the in-crowd.
And then the photos cycled back around.
I read the description: just over 1 year old, 7 lbs., Yorkie/Shih Tzu mix. I looked a little closer. I liked how his ear cocked up and his tongue hung out. He reminded me of that third hyena from “The Lion King”…Ed. Remember Ed? The crazy one? Yeah – this looked like the local canine version of him. Immediately in my mind I dubbed him “Senor Crazypants,” and at that moment, the world of dog ownership became a reality. This might be the dog for us.
I talked to Hubs about getting Senor Crazypants, but he was playing video games, so he didn’t participate much in the conversation. The next morning (a Saturday), I brought it up again. Know what he said? “It’s obvious you want this dog more than I don’t want a dog, so go ahead.” Wow. What an endorsement.
I didn’t say anything to the kids, but went to the shelter by myself. As soon as they brought him out of the back, he ran to me. You know the story: girl meets dog, girl falls in love with dog, girl takes dog home to surprised children.
So he’s ours now. His shelter name was Trevor, but we renamed him Pepper. We’ve had him 3 1/2 months now, and he fits in well.
- He makes messes on the floor like #4
- He tears stuff up like #1
- He harasses the cat like #3
- He’s sweet like child #2
- He brings in gross stuff from outside to eat like the cat. To clarify, he doesn’t eat the cat. He, like the cat, brings crap in. Literally. He’s started bringing in frozen poo to eat. I think it’s the cat’s and/or my mom’s poodle’s from their Christmas visit.
He won’t go to the bathroom in the morning unless I go out there with him. Not a problem in the beginning, but now that it’s -2 degrees with snow on the ground, I’m not so keen to participate in this. But I have to, otherwise he leaves little presents on the floor under the piano.
He’s managed to eat his way through several pairs of the kids’ undies, socks, and shoes, he chewed the bow off one of my bras, he destroyed a (very, very ugly) doll that #3 brought home from an after-school club, and he’ll eat anything he finds on the floor. Especially paper. I should have named him Shredder. Poor Spa Barbie now only has one hand, and any stuffed animal within his reach is fair game.
But other than that, it’s all good. I took him to the groomer again this week and he’s looking mighty stylish.