Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D- Dogs of Christmas Past

Up until recently, I was a confirmed ‘Dog Person’.  I only ever had dogs growing up, and cats remained somewhat of a mystery to me. (Yes, I was one of those people that approached cats like you would a dog- ruffling the hair on the top of their heads with vigorous motions and yelling ‘Hey kitty kitty kitty kitty!!!!’.  Needless to say, most cats never did take to me.)    But then Grizzly came along.  He’s the most affectionate, cuddly, smart, clean, funny cat on the planet.  If he could talk, I think he’d be the gay best friend I never had.


Growing up, I had a black lab-collie mix named ‘Buster’.  He was that dog.  The one we got as a puppy when I was five and died of old age when I was 19.  He chased us around the house when we were little and always seemed to find us when we were feeling down so we could cry into his fur.

In seventh grade, I wanted one of those cute smaller dogs I could ‘take with me everywhere’!!  So as a Christmas surprise, my parents came home with ‘Buffy’- a black baby shitzu puppy.

'Buffy' turned out to be a fluffy-haired demon spawned from hell. 

Forget about taking her anywhere.  She yapped after everyone’s ankles, her teeth were like mini razor blades, you could never see her eyes (which I’m pretty sure glowed red when we weren’t looking) and she got more high maintenance with age.  When I went off to college, I ended up giving Buffy to a good family who took in foster kids and I like to think she lived out the rest of her life getting the love and attention she needed.

When I got back from a wedding in October, my husband had a ‘surprise’ for me.  He’d agreed to take in a Cane Corso puppy.  A friend of the family’s dog had a litter- pretty much pure bred except for a bit of lab on the mother’s side. 

I tried to warn my husband when he showed me the picture of our newest member of the family. ‘ The dog’s going to be huge.  It will shed.  It will smell bad.  And we’re going to have to take it out on walks several times a day.  It will destroy our back yard.  It will cost ten arms and legs in vet bills.’ 

My hubby wasn’t havin’ it.  This was his dream dog- man’s best friend!  OH- and he showed me this photo:
Yeah- I know.  How the hell do you say 'no' to that?

‘Rudy’ will be seven months old mid April.  He’s getting huge.  He sheds like you wouldn’t believe.  His odor is indescribable.   We finally got him to do his business on our three walks a day instead of doing it in the backyard, which, as you guessed it- he totally demolished.  It cost more then ten arms and legs between vet bills and obedience training (the dog will end up weighing more than I do.  If he didn’t learn ‘heel’- his force would have me defying the laws of gravity behind him as he did what he wanted to do, regardless of his five-foot-three owner’s wishes)

Despite it all, I don’t regret my (okay fine, my husband’s- because, you know, he totally guilt tripped me into saying yes) decision.  Like my ol’ dog Buster, Rudy is ‘one of the good ones’.  He’s loyal, intelligent, loving and obedient and having him for my kids to grow up with is worth every ounce of money, manual labor, and stench.

What domestic animal shapes/ed your life or childhood?

36 comments:

Siv Maria said...

I grew up with both cats and dogs. My mother could never pass up a stray and sometimes I felt like we were living in a zoo. Our house certainly smelt like it! At one time we had 3 dogs and 9 cats. Shivering just thinking about it...I do love both cats and dogs, they have their unique qualities that make them both loveable.

April said...

Aw, fun post! He's adorable! I always thought of myself as a dog person. My first husband bought me a huge, playful, un-trainable Golden Retriever. But when we split, I couldn't take him with me to a tiny apartment. Good thing, because my husband now doesn't want dogs. He doesn't want the responsibility, and I don't blame him. The way we live our lives would make it very difficult to care for a dog also.

My husband would actually be happy without any pets. But we have 2 cats - 1 which I adore, and 1 which I hate (and happens to be locked up in our bedroom...long story). We also have some fish and a hamster.

Growing up, we had a miniature collie. She was THAT dog - the one we got when we were all young and died after I moved out of the house. She was a good dog.

Sometimes, I wish we had a dog. I see pictures of dogs and just melt. But it wouldn't be fair to have one, and I promised my husband we'd never get one. haha. There are few things he puts his foot down on. Dogs would be one of those things.

Gina said...

I've always been a cat person. I've only had two cats in my life, but I swear they were the smartest, most lovable cats ever. You're making me get all misty over here!

Jessica Bell said...

that little doggywoggy in the photo is SO cute! I was a cat person growing up. My first ever dog I've owned is the dog I have now. I'm a new woman! ;o) lol

Cheree said...

Aww, fantastic post. That's a cute dog. I grew up with a couple of dogs. My sister has a dog now that's big and has to snuggle up in bed. When I visit home I just love waking up with the dog sprawled over me.

Catherine Lavoie said...

Rudy is so cute!!!! Seriously, how could you say no to that face? My childhood dog was Billy and he was the most awesome dog ever! Have fun with Rudy! :)

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Who could have said no to that adorable picture?? Loved this post, Katie, very funny! I'm a cat person, all the way. Dogs are great, as long as they're at a safe distance. Problem is, dogs LOVE me. Their idea of a safe distance is on my lap, no matter what size they are!

Jen Daiker said...

We had both dogs and cats. We lived out in the country so the dogs would bring up the skunks (not exactly the sweetest dogs) and our cats would roam the fields so we never took a liking to either.

Now that I'm on my own we own two cats and will eventually own a dog for my husband sake. I'm a cat lover, they're indpendent and feel free to speak their mind, much like me :)

Charmaine Clancy said...

He is gorgeous!
We have 3 dogs (at least 1 too many), one is a boy and I think they are generally more sookie and better behaved than the girls. We also have a beautiful Border Collie, but our third dog, the one we've had the longest is... a small fluffy evil demon. Ugh, this dog is horrible to everyone except our kids (who adore the smelly little rat). We can't even let the other dogs near her because she starts fights she can't hope to win. She also snorts, snores awake and groans a lot. She's inspired my next story: My Zombie Dog.
So... You're pretty lucky with this boy :)

Old Kitty said...

Yay for Rudy!! Awwww what a cutie!! What a sweetie!! What a character!! What a doggie!! Awwww Rudy so ROCKS!!!!!!

Almost as much as your Grizzly!!! LOL!!!

Take care
x

Angela Felsted said...

Katie, you're funny. We don't have a dog because I have four little kids. And as far as I'm concerned they make enough messes already. I don't need to clean after one more living thing.

Jaydee Morgan said...

I grew up with dogs and they've always been my favorite. I'm not a fan of cats but the three we have are good mousers. Right now, my house is full with 3 kids, 3 dogs and 3 cats. Obviously, I like 3's.

Talli Roland said...

Oh, SO cute! I grew up with cats from my uncle's farm.

Ricky Bush said...

Obedience training's a scam. When they decide that demonlishing the grass in the back yard is fun, regardless of the scoldings, then all bets are off. My cat, Yoyo Meow, has more influence on my dog than I do.

L.G.Smith said...

Who could say no to that adorable puppy face?

Of course, you get to use the dog as an excuse for new shoes now. Lots of new shoes. Just tell your husband the dog chewed your old ones.

Bob Scotney said...

I'm the man who talks to dogs. Thats my 'D' post today.

Tamara Narayan said...

My sister found our dog wandering around the neighborhood--a white spitz/everything else dog. Even though she was a girl, she was christened Benji. Hey, it was the late-seventies and the movie was popular.

She loved to grab our shoelaces in her mouth (while the shoe was on our foot) and race around in circles until she pulled us off our feet. She would also chase us off our dock in the summer, screaming with joy.

There's no happy ending to such a pet's life, but ours was especially hard. Someone poisoned her on Christmas Day when I was sixteen.

Matthew MacNish said...

There is a reason they're (wo)man's best friend. Because they're worth all the trouble. I've had four main dogs in my life, and every one was like a family member. I've had lots of cats too, but they were just renting a room.

Áine Tierney said...

Such a gorgeous dog, those eyes are incredible! I'm glad he's been worth the trouble.

Laura Marcella said...

Awww, this is so sweet! I live in an apartment so my hubby and I can't get a dog which makes us sad because we both grew up with big dogs.

When I was little we had two dogs: a german shepherd/collie mix named Noodles. He was the sweetest, gentlest dog ever. We also had a rottweiler named Shelley. She was the runt of the liter, so she only ended up being the size of Noodles (thank goodness!). While Noodles loved everyone, Shelley pretty much hated everyone except the six of us, lol. She was waaay too protective. It drove my mom nuts because we'd have to keep her in the basement or put her on a chain in the yard when people came over. But we loved her anyway!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

We always had animals when I was growing up--always. My husband never had a dog, though, and was a bit phobic. He absolutely refused to have a dog for the longest time. He finally caved last summer and we now have a wonderful and perfect labradoodle. The kids love her!! :-)

Nicole L Rivera said...

Snickers! <~That's his name. He's a Shitzu. But he's nice. He never bites. He cuddles with me all the time. He knows all the names of his toys and will pick them out one by one. He's an avid gift opener. On Christmas he opens all of our gifts, but he won't touch the ones under the tree until we let him. He's the puppy I always wanted and dreamed of having. I didn't get him until I was 16, but that was perfect timing because, in my opinion, I got the best :) I <3 Snickers.

Caitlin said...

Right now we only have cats, but growing up I lived in a dog-only household! We got my dog Jake, a fat cocker spaniel, from a family that was moving overseas and couldn't take him with them. He was so lazy he'd let you use him as a pillow. As he got older he started to get gray hair under his chin and in his ears and he looked like a little fat old man. I still miss him so much!

roxy said...

This post was great, Katie! It made me laugh out loud. I love the dog we have right now. She's a puggle named Matilda, and with six kids who love her too much, she's more neurotic than I am.

LTM said...

First, BAH!!! at you attacking the cats that way... :D But awww... that big, smelly dog sure was a cute puppy!

I grew up in a dog family, so we had Rusty and Pete, who make up many memories for me. Then my older brother started buying dogs he couldn't keep and giving them to my parents. Bluh.

I'm a confirmed old cat lady now. But I do appreciate the canines~ :o) <3

Dafeenah said...

I was so like you. I always thought when a cat looked at me that he was somehow stealing a little part of my soul and then I got adopted by a cat who decided to make me his guardian. I wrote about him for "C" obviously lol

Thanks for stopping by

Dafeenah

Hart Johnson said...

Look at that face! What a cutie! I am a solid cat person, though I LOVE LOVE LOVE the dogs we've had. Hubby ends up the primary parent, as he's home a lot more, but still, I do love them.

I liked hearing your dog tales!

Melissa Gill said...

Wow, what a dog. I've mostly had cats, and mice, because they're so easy. I always say that people who don't like/understand cats have never had one.

But that's a good looking dog. I can't imagine what it would be like to walk him though. Oh my.

Laura Maylene said...

My family adopted a 4-week-old kitten when I was in the first grade. Yes, 4 weeks is super young, and I think it might have been why she was so incredibly shy for her entire life. She liked women, not men, and when I was a young child, she bonded most strongly with my mother. When my mother passed away and I took Whisper full-time, she became entirely "mine." (Or maybe I was hers.) I even briefly brought her to live at college with me. Aside from the year and a half she lived with family friends, I had her the entire time, through various moves, including one 450 miles away.

Whisper lived to be 21 years old. I'd had her since I was 7 and knew her longer than anyone save for family members. I don't care who calls me a cat lady; she was a true friend.

I know I should be embarrassed to post such a sappy comment about my dead cat, but you asked for it. And I'm glad you have the big stinky dog. :)

Murees Dupé said...

Cute Dog! I am also a dog person, who also recently became a cat person (weird). Thank you so much for following my blog.

India Drummond said...

I've always been a cat person, but seriously, that is one CUTE dog of yours.

Medeia Sharif said...

I've always been a cat person. But I'd like a dog some day. Right now I take enjoyment in other people's dogs.

Kristin said...

The animal that shaped my life the most was a cat named Tika. I hated cats until my husband bought Tika with him when he moved in. I fell in love with her. Sadly she died of a rare disease not to long after that, but she has changed my life forever

Carla said...

I love dogs too...I just cannot take care of one right now! (sad!)

Carla

Tracy said...

When I was a little girl, my dog's name was Beast. She (yes, she) had a big impact on my life, which I wrote about in the A-Z Challenge on the B Day - B is for Beast...

www.ihaveabackbone.wordpress.com

Her highness, Samantha Vérant said...

We started with cats and then moved to dogs. Now I have a cat, a Bengal by the name of Bella, who is 1/2 angel 1/2 devil.

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