Thursday, February 22, 2007
After the unexpected passing of my husband, my children wanted a dog. We could never have a dog while my dear husband was here because of his allergies to dog hair so now that their Dad was not with us; they really wanted their chance at raising a puppy.
Week after week went by hearing them ask for a dog. I would always tell them that we had to wait for the dog to find us. Several dogs did find us in the past. Strays would wander into our yard and we would take care of them for a couple of days and then take them to the pound. We just couldn’t keep them. But this time I knew that the next dog we found would find a home with us.
Three months later, after no stray came by, a friend of mine told me about her dog having puppies. I kept that thought to myself until two months after that, I ran into her again. Two puppies were left. Two adorable black lab/golden retriever dogs were left from the original eight and were I still interested in taking one? We went for a look and they were adorable. My daughter, going back to school wanted one and we would take the other. So there I was carting back a car load of happy children (six) and two puppies we named Maximus and Jackson.
At that point, life changed for us drastically. Not only were they not potty trained, they ate everything in sight. My shoes were no longer safe on the floor. The kitchen trash can had to be put up on a stool. We had to have round the clock watch on what they did and made sure they were taken out every hour. It was a long month but we made it through and they started to tell us when they needed to go out.
After that, the children seemed to lose interest. They said they would help (they always say that) and promised to clean up their messes. But of course puppies don’t always stay puppies and their welcome was worn out and no one wanted to take care of them anymore. I threatened to give them away and they didn’t seem to mind. “Okay Mom” was their answer so I called around to see who would take them. I couldn’t find anyone. Besides I couldn’t give them away, as a mother, I needed to follow through on my children learning to be responsible for more than a month. What was surprising was that the dogs were actually loyal to me. They knew I was the boss and would lie at my feet to sleep. How could I get rid of such loving dogs? They didn’t even bark much. So I had to crack the whip and make my children take turns taking care of them.
One day, while I was looking for something in my teenage sons’ room, Maximus came up behind me with something sticking out of his mouth. My son, Eliot had left a tube of superglue on the floor and Max found it. I pulled it out of his mouth and inspected the damage. There were puncture marks in the tube and glue all over his mouth. Max kept licking his chops as if he had peanut butter on his tongue only it wasn’t peanut butter. The superglue had dried and made a sandpaper surface on the top of his tongue. His lips weren’t sealed together but they had a layer of superglue that would not come off. The poor dog. I felt sorry for him but all we could do was let it wear off on its own.
Then one day my older daughter let them out to go and they ran off. She could not find them anywhere and called their names over and over again. They finally came back but were full of mud. She had no idea where they were but had to give them baths before they could come back in.
It has been almost a year now and they are wonderful dogs. My daughter ended staying at home with us instead of going away to school so we have both dogs at home. The younger children have learned to take responsibility for the care of their pets and Maximus and Jackson love us as if we were a part of their pack. I’m glad we kept them even though they have ruined several pairs of shoes. There is something to say about having a dog around. My children learned responsibility and we have two loyal friends.