Saturday, April 26, 2008

Our New Addition

I've posted before about being an animal lover, even as a small child. I also had a very direct way of asking for what I wanted. I went straight for shock value. My dad still tells the story about finding me laying in the middle of Gatewood Drive, pleading, "Please dad. I neeeed a dogggg." I guess I figured that if a car came by and ran over me it would be better than having to live without a canine companion. Shortly thereafter, we got a little black poodle puppy from my babysitter. We named him Choo Choo, and from what I'm told, it's because his mommy was Chi Chi. Very original. Choo Choo was an escape artist and my mom was constantly having to fetch him from the pound. My dad would be filling a hole under the fence on one side of the yard and Choo Choo would be digging a new hole on the other side. Some time later, I was given a sheltie. Some family friends had a teenage daughter, Nancy, who died from leukemia. Auggie was her dog and I would always visit him. I guess after she passed away, they knew that I would love him as much as Nancy did. He was the best dog a kid could want. I have fond memories of Auggie and Choo Choo waiting at the bus stop for me after school. They were there every day, without fail, waiting for the bus to drop me off. I think I was in about the 3rd grade when Choo Choo ran away. Auggie disappeared a day later, maybe to go look for his buddy. Neither dog ever returned. It was my first broken heart.

About a month ago, Olivia started asking for a dog. "We have a dog, Buster" I reminded her. "No, a new dog" she retorted. This went on for about a week, and each time, her request stayed the same. A NEW dog. I'm surprised I didn't find her laying out in the middle of Hay Field Lane, pleading, just like I did so many years ago. After a few days of throwing the idea around, we decided to visit the local shelter. George had seen a picture on their website of a female german short-haired pointer that he was interested in. George's Lady (a female german short-haired pointer mix) died the year after he was married. I think he was hoping for a replacement. We were disappointed when we arrived that the shelter would only adopt her to a house with a fenced yard. "She's an escape artist," they told us. In fact, she even escaped the 6-foot fence at the shelter. All the other dogs were too big, or not housebroken. I took one last lap around the kennels and saw the cutest, scruffy muffy face staring back at me.

We took him out in the yard to play. He was very timid, and particularly afraid of George, but he was gentle with the kids and warmed up to me right away. We brought Buster in to meet him, and in typical Buster fashion, he totally snubbed Charlie. He allowed a few sniffs, then wandered off. It was a few days before our application was approved and we got to bring Charlie home. It's been an interesting 2 weeks, but Charlie seems to be making himself right at home now. He loves to play ball in the yard, even entertaining himself by tossing the ball up in the air and catching it, then running back and forth from one end of the yard to the other. He's learning to play fetch too, and will bring the ball 3/4 of the way back to George now.

He really likes to help clean the highchairs. You can see, he's Johnny on the Spot. He doesn't even wait for Olivia to finish before he starts the cleanup process.

Nate's highchair is always full of little nuggets of deliciousness, and Charlie's the perfect height for the job.

We are all enjoying Charlie. Often we'll find Olivia with her arms wrapped around Charlie's neck saying, "I love you Charlie," or "Charlie fluffy" or "Nice dog. Good boy." He's very tolerant of all her attention. I look forward to seeing our new addition grow with our family.

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