Wednesday, September 19, 2012

going to the dogs...

Warning: another long, random and rambly post...I've been stuck in the house with 3 boys with fevers and bronchitis for 4 days now...I'm getting a little nutty...

Isn't it funny how some people are just animal people and some aren't? I've given some thought to the 'whys' of this, and frankly, I just don't there are are any. You might think that it has to do with whether you grew up with animals or not, but I don't even find this to hold true. Growing up, we always had animals...dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs...heck, we even had a pet calf. (Yup, true story...we had a little shed it lived in just down the winding driveway from our house. He would bellow every morning, til we came out to him, and would literally have big tears that would run down his face. I kid you not! We would feed him and let him loose in the yard, and he would leap and jump and follow us all around. One time we forgot to put him back in the shed before we girls went in the house for lunch, and he followed us right in the back door. Mom drew the line there...)

Anyway, we had lots of pets, and yet my one sister is so not an animal lover. In general, they're just not her thing. I think it's more like something you are born an appreciation for art, a skill for math, or an ear for music.  Some people simply are animal people, and others aren't.  I don't think that we should argue about it, or make one seem more 'right' than others...I think God created animals, gave us humans the responsibility of caring for them, but obviously, just like we don't all have the same jobs or talents...we won't ALL be caring for these particular members of creation.

Personally, I love certain animals...particularly big ones. Big dogs, horses, cows...I think they all seem very intuitive, and I actually believe God created them this way. I think they have a sense of purpose, and thrive when they are being able to live to their potential.

However, I'm not an animal rights activist, or someone who goes 'overboard' with my thoughts on it all, nor do I expect everyone to have the same appreciation for the furry friends of the world that I do. When we got our current dog, Maggie, it was mainly because our old dog, Casey had died right before we moved here, seven years ago. The kids begged and pleaded for a new dog, but at the time I had one elementary aged child, one kindergartener, one preschooler and one infant. I was in pretty deep, and my decree was, "Until everyone in this house is potty trained and wiping their own butts, we will have no pets that poop!!" That pretty much narrowed it down to a pet rock, or nothing. There were multiple requests..."Mom, can we get a fish?" My response, "Does it poop?" "Mom, can we have a rabbit? They're just little!" My response, "Does it poop?" The eventually caught on..."Mom, everything poops!!" Tha's right, got it now...

Well, eventually the last child was potty trained and wiping his own butt...and the pleading resumed. Todd and I weighed the pros and cons, but decided the pros won, and we gave in.  We also took note that the lone voice in the crowd of our offspring was Bryce, who was saying he didn't want a dog, he didn't care if we had a dog, he didn't want to deal with a dog.  Interesting, and duly noted.  We told the rest of the family that since we were going with the majority who wanted a dog, but in order to honor Bryce's feelings as well, he would be required to do less of the dog care than the others.  This has stood, and it's pretty much just accepted that Bryce isn't the animal lover that we are.  Todd and Bryce both have an 'affectionate tolerance', shall we say, of our four-legged family member...but that's about it.

We searched all the animal finder sites for quite a while, and finally settled on a yellow lab puppy.
I have always had mutts, and loved each of them, but I have to say, I think Maggie is the smartest, most personable dog we've ever had.  I had heard this about labs, but having one has surely convinced me.  Now granted, I've already admitted to being a dog-lover to begin with, but seriously, this beast, for all the work and annoyance she can be, on a daily basis makes herself really hard not to love.  She dutifully watches for the kids' buses every day (and expects to be rewarded with food after each one leaves, like her watching accomplished some big task...).
"They are safely on the bus.  My work here is done..."
She follows me around the house all day, from room to room.  I love the fact that when I play piano, she is insistant about laying right with me, usually under the piano bench against my legs or on my foot.  I mentioned yesterday what an obstacle course it currently is to get TO the piano, but she is willing to work her way through it to lay dutifully at my feet...
"I know I can squeeze through this space..."
"I MUST get as close as possible..."
" rightful place...all is well..."
At night, if anyone at all is on the floor, she thinks it's an open invitation for snuggle time. 

And she has no idea that she's a whopping 100 pounds...she still thinks she's a lap dog.   (Even though this pic is old, before she hit the 100 pounds, it should have been an early inicator of the issues she would have...)
What do you mean I'm too big to be held??


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