My furry kids are bad. Really, really bad. I think Santa is bringing them coal for Christmas.
I've loved dogs all of my life. As a kid, I begged for a pet dog. Nope, Dad wasn't having an animal in his house. They lived outside. So no surprise when my parents started having troubles when I was in junior high my momma made the decision to "breed dogs". Hee hee. I am SO totally like her! But she didn't breed dogs. Not per se. She bred POMERANIANS. No folks, those aren't dogs. They are YIPPERS. Ankle biters. Crumb crunchers. Icky. I can't imagine owning a dog that fits in my purse. I'm not following that fad. These dogs were NOT pets. To the contrary, we were to respect them as breeding animals. No playing for me - they were penned outside and had specific tasks. No, momma wasn't Michael Vick or anything. She did make a profit but she also loved her dogs, every single one of them. I can't tell you how many litters I watched my mother personally sit and deliver. Eww.
When I got divorced, I got a dog. I thought it would be a great idea for Bubba. At 18 months old. Yeah, he wanted a dog. Sure. I picked up an American Eskimo from PetLand. Paid a fortune for that damn dog. Named it after the cigarettes my parents smoked (yes, weird.) 6 months later, Winston found a new home on a farm. Epic failure as a pet owner.
Hubs and I had good friends that had a chow. They bred her, so they said. Maybe that's true, but their chow was also notorious for getting of her lead. When Bubba was six years old, Abigail "Sweets" Davis joined our clan. She was an awesome dog. Part chow, part border collie. Protective and loyal to Bubba, she would bite someone in half if she thought they were messing with him. But oh, the grace and energy of a border collie just about killed us in the end. She jumped every fence we could get. Fearful she would run away, we tethered her when she went out. I hated doing that to her but it was the only way to not lose her.
Flash forward 5 years, another friend had purebred lab pups she needed to find a home. Sure they are. We drive a zillion miles away to the middle of nowhere on back country roads in driving rain to meet Jackson "Cranky" Davis. Beautiful kiwi butt. Again, joined our clan.
It wasn't until January, 2008 that I realized what these animals truly meant to me. Abbey was always Bubba's dog and Jack was hubs dog. Sure I loved them but if you know dogs, you know they pick ONE primary person to be theirs. On a cold, late Friday evening in January, I held Abbey in arms as she left this world. I stroked her fur, reassured her it would be okay to go and watched her take her last breath. I was astounded at how incredibly sad I was. And then to tell Bubba.
Luckily, daughter in law was over with him when I knocked on his door to deliver the news. He was beyond devastated. Watching the impact it made on my son reaffirmed how incredible a bond can be between a dog and their best friend.
3 months after moving in our new home later that year (and after Bubba moved out), I watched Cranky move through the house in a sullen manner. It broke my heart. Although he wasn't necessarily best friends with Abbey, I could tell he was seriously depressed that she was gone. I BEGGED, BEGGED, BEGGED hubs for a new dog. No way. We just moved into our new home!
One cold Saturday afternoon in late November of 2008, I drug hubs to Wayside Waifs "just to look". Yeah, don't ever fall for that. It is impossible to visit there without falling in love a hundred times. I met Bella "Bellisima" Davis and it was an instant love. SHE was my dog. She came home with us a few weeks later.
I spend a great deal of time complaining about the fur kids. Ugh, the vacuuming, the bathing, all the food, the costs! But I sincerely can't imagine one single day of our lives without them.
Cranky doesn't have much time left with us. Approaching his 13th birthday, he's tired. He has arthritis. He's almost ready to turn it in. I just hope I get the same opportunity to be with him as I did with Abbey. The thought of "finding him" makes me tear up instantly - a huge fear of mine.
And then the sassy baby of the family can finally take over the universe. She practically runs the house anyway so that will just be the final nail in the coffin, so to speak. I can't imagine her being any more spoiled than she already is - she and I will have to rival for the Queen of the House title!