Rewind about 10 years ago and you’d find me volunteering at our local animal shelter, walking all the dogs there in a day and crying all the way home, ‘waaaaaa…if I can’t come back tomorrow…who will walk them?…waaaaaa!’ I was like the primo-super-duper dog lover. My husband and I – before kids – even fostered several dogs and for one term I was actually the president of the humane society. Who was that person?
When I was pregnant with our first, who is now three, someone told me that I would not smother, love, cuddle and otherwise obsess about our dogs (we had two at the time) like I did. Whatever lady, that was so not going to be me.
Ten weeks into my first pregnancy something terrible happened. Our beloved, wonderful, amazing, human-like Great Dane passed away suddenly. We were crushed. For many years Duke was like my child when we couldn’t have any. He actually thought he was a human, so it worked out well for the both of us as I had motherly instincts and nowhere to direct them. He was my baby. My 180 pound baby. And I do still miss him to this day. It was a great time in our lives, full of funny memories of all the crazy things this dog did. Everyone loved Duke.
After Duke passed we still had his brother from another mother, our Bloodhound, Tucker. Tucker was THE laziest dog in the history of the world. The total opposite of Duke, he would lie on the couch all day, sometimes only lifting his head and grumbling when we got home from work. He was more like a cat, needing his space, hiding in rooms we weren’t in to assure he got his 23 hours of sleep in a day. He was actually a perfect dog to have when our oldest was born because he just wasn’t needy and steered clear of the baby girl, maybe only sniffing her once a day. But, once the little babe got mobile, we had to keep a pretty good eye on their interactions together. Tucker was eight at the time she was born and had never been around kids. He would have preferred it stayed that way.
Just after his ninth birthday he developed a very fast-moving form of cancer. Still a little doggy crazy, we took him the cancer center at Michigan State University and discussed a lot of options for him. But, the cancer moved too fast and took over his liver before MSU even got the final results of a tumor that was removed. He was so tired, even more than usual, and we put him to rest as we laid with him at our local vet office.
So, now we have Moose. The Moose. The Big Dufus, Lugnut and my very large, brown and furry shadow. We got him from the local shelter when he was about a year old and our oldest was about one and a half. Now that we have two kids I don’t have much time for him. Plus, he is always in my way, or tucked behind my rear, getting as close to me as he possibly can no matter where I go. The only time he isn’t connected to my behind is when he is very anxiously awaiting my next move and gone to the next spot he thinks I’m going to (and he’s usually right). I also have a toddler who does the same thing so guess who gets priority? Not Moose.
He’s kind of like Duke when I think about it. He has to be in the mix and by my side all.day.long. But now that I have kids it’s frankly quite annoying. He is spectacular (I don’t use that word often) with the kids; a perfect pet to have in a family. But, I tell you what…sometimes I want to open the door and just let him run, hoping he won’t return. BTW that has happened on accident before. He always comes back to me.
I digress…but that’s the background to lead into The Top 10 Things I Never Thought I’d Say to (or about) My Dog. You’re earned it by your patience…here they are.
- Moose, go jump in the river. (We live on one.)
- Oh, you like this dog? He’s yours.
- How much is that doggie Prozac? Are you kidding me? How can they charge that much? We’ll take a year’s worth.
- Oh, it’s OK that you let him outside Charter repair man…he’ll come back. And if he doesn’t, that’s fine too.
- Don’t look at him, raise your voice even a half-octave or even think about him. It gets him too excited.
- Oh look, Moose was so excited he peed on you.
- Moose if you don’t get out of my way I’m going to slam my head into the refrigerator.
- Hurry, run out the door before Moose sees that we’re leaving!
- Moose, can I please have five inches of personal space?
And my personal favorite…
10. Moose, get out of my butt.
Disclaimer: Don’t call animal control on me. We do love the big Lugnut, feed him, pet him and make sure he is otherwise happy. And, I do cuddle up with him. It’s just when no one is looking.