Thursday, June 25, 2015

Raising the Wicked

As many of you know, we lost our sweet pup, Nali last year in June.  It was a terrible blow.

I'd wanted a dog for years...and I've always loved large breeds.  After the divorce, I went through a super anxious time.  I mean, wake up multiple times in the night, barrel roll out of bed and snap into a ninja my pretty pink pajama pants, thank you very much.

During the separating time...the time when my ex would leave once...come back to us again for a short time...and then finally leave for good...I got us a puppy.  She was an itty bitty Labrador, 6 weeks old, we named her Lucy...He had left the first time, the night before we brought her home.

I'm not known for sitting still when I'm sad.

Thankfully, she cried ALL.NIGHT.LONG...and so did I.  Thankfully again, I have some friends who told me that I really must not have a puppy right now...really MUST NOT...REALLY!  Thankfully, the place I got her was willing to take her back, we just had to drive for it, but they would take her and find a place for her and it was all okay.

She was ours for about 72 hours.  My kids still talk about her today.  I found out that even without a dog, I would cry all night, every night, for quite awhile...and it was way easier to cry by myself than with a puppy.

Fast forward a bit.  We'd been on our own a couple of was pretty clear my ex would not be coming back...things were settling into a new normal...I was getting REALLY good at that barrel roll.  When I started thinking about another dog.

I still wanted one.  My friends were still definitely positive that I didn't need a "puppy" right now.

A friend of a friend found themselves moving to the eighth hole on a golf course.  Of course a golf course does not really invite dogs to live in the yards that share a site line with the golfer...twould be poor-form to say the least.

That's how we got Nali.  He was 9 years old, and the most polite dog I have ever met.  He rarely barked and if he did it was ALWAYS appropriate.  He never snatched food.  He sometimes ate stuff if it was on the ground and he growled a big scary growl when we played tug of war with him.  He loved us and was a big old giant licking comfort to us all.  We were blessed to have him 2 years when, while at a friend's house he came across a chicken leg.   In the end that chicken leg damaged his guts beyond what we could repair.  It was awful.

But, again, I don't really sit still when I'm sad.

I'd been sorta looking around for a puppy pal for Nali when he died. So a friend of mine who knew this, and knew that we'd lost Nali forwarded me a post of free German Shepherd mix puppies out in a rural area near us.

I didn't think about it...not really...The girls were with their dad...I got in the car and went and picked up this tiny little black puppy with salt and pepper paws, a shield across his chest, a heart on his tummy, and the prettiest brown eyes....

I played with him.  He pretty much slept that first afternoon, and he cried that first night.  I spent the few hours I had with him showing him off to the neighbors and letting my literary mind run free while considering names like Atticus and Gilgamesh for him.  I knew that I had to let the girls pick the name, after all, I hadn't asked their opinion on getting a puppy.


When the girls got home, I tried to exert some sophistication in his name...Reginald, Oswald, Simon.  "THEODORE," someone shouted.  I nodded.  I wasn't really GOING for the chipmunks when I said Simon, but Theodore was acceptable.  It IMMEDIATELY became Teddy.  I mean, I don't think they called him Theodore twice.  REALLY?  Total bait and switch of da momma.

This little guy WAS adorable.  And he did the absolute cutest little puppy things...

But it wasn't VERY long before we discovered puppies don't come pre-trained...and this little guy was growing fast...and naughty.  He was 9 pounds the first day we brought him home...he'd gained 2 pounds in a 4 months old he was too big to weigh accurately on my home scale cuz it was big and he wiggled...but somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 lbs and he LOVED to chew stuff...all sorts of stuff...and us with those nasty pointy little teeth.

He kept growing at that rate.

Ever bigger, ever stronger, still wanting to be with us, wanting to play, still being simply a GIGANTIC puppy a huge portion of the day...still wanting to sit on my feet to eat. The last I knew how much he weighed was back a few months ago during the ehem, snipping...he was 72 lbs.  At the time his feet were still a little too big for him, now a couple of months later, his feet look almost right and my GUESS is maybe 75-80 lbs.

I'm not sure when I started calling him Teddy the Wicked...but it stuck.  He continues to be far too much for me to handle a lot of days.  He still jumps too much...He still uses his mouth FAR too much.  I'm still bruised all the time from him just not knowing his own strength and being excitable.  I'm still not comfortable leaving him with very many people because he's a handful and a half.

But there are glimmers...

For instance, see that screen?  He's only knocked it off one time...and it was a moment of puppy terror...his feet were wet and he sliiiiid across the tile.  So far he lets it hold him back.   He gets into his crate pretty happily MOST of the time.  He hasn't had any accidents since the first couple of weeks that he was with us.  

A month or so ago, after a storm knocked down fences all over our neighborhood, we rescued a little chihuahua mix.  She was shaking and all alone with no collar, no tags and it turns out, no chip.  We searched for her family for several weeks, but it looks like she's ours now, chip and all.

She's been kind of a blessing in disguise.  For one thing, I had to finally take my friend up on the offer to get a little ME-training with Teddy and take some advise I'd sorta been putting off for awhile.  I had too, because Chloe the Courageous is so very teensy and Teddy the Wicked is so very huge and I had not be afraid to let them play together.  They LOVE to play together.

Teddy has needed someone to play with in this house.  He needed someone who would bite him and make him behave...and strangely, this little 10 lb chihuahua has his number.  

He still has salt and pepper paws, a shield on his chest, a heart on his tummy, and the prettiest brown eyes.  And for all that he has become an almost regal looking dog...he is still adorable...

How's that for a Throwback Thursday,

See ya around.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Cry in the Dark...


Scary title, huh?  I'm impressed with it myself, especially considering my topic today, which isn't actually scary at all.  Nope!  Totally delightful.

See, in the last few weeks, I got a roommate.  Well, I GOT her (them) last week...but we've been chatting about it for awhile.  I'm not telling you about HER right now, I'm not even going to talk about her 3 kiddos right now.

This one is about weird ol' me. roommate is working early this morning.  She left like a half hour ago.  Total Wee Dark Early.  As she left, she said to me, "Just get the biggest girl to change the baby, give him a bottle, and take him over to Mimi's when he wakes up."


Biggest girl is 10.  She is fully capable of taking care of her baby brother.  Mimi lives JUST across the street.  Roomy wanted to give me the chance to sleep in because she is awesome and considerate like that.

BUU-uut...I have the monitor and I can make a bottle...and can change him...and he likes me...and he is a smushy baby who grins and giggles...and I haven't had a baby to smush in my very own house in the Wee Dark Early in such a very long time.

So here I sit, in the dark, watching the monitor for those lights that bounce when there is the teeniest noise.  Nothing.  He's sleeping.

I'm not gonna lie, I kinda wanna poke him.  But then, I kinda dozed off.  Just a little.  It's dark and cozy and those lights are soft and kind of soothing.

I think it's funny how life changes how you feel about things.  I remember having to wake in Wee Dark Early with my own babies.  How I dreaded it.  I mean seriously, different place in the world, different couch, looking at slightly different lights, but same position, waiting for them to wake.  I remember the moments that I DIDN'T wake up before one girl or another cried.  That hot and cold startle that brought me out of sleep.  I also remember waking up just a little bit too early and watching those lights so that I could grab that KID before she really got wailing.

I don't think I always considered the joy of snuggling. Mostly, I could NOT believe I was awake again...hadn't I just been awake?  I remember wondering whose big idea the whole "cherishing" thing was and building extremely cogent and eloquent arguments about how it was not possible in the moments of sleep deprivation to actually "cherish" the baby...there was feeding and burping and cleaning completely unromantic stuff up going on before my brain was fully functional.  And I remember being just a little bit crabby, all the time.

Something startled me awake.

And then the lights jumped...and there was the swishing sound of a baby rolling over...and the little, "I might be awake" noises.  I LEAP to my feet...turn off the monitor...go and scoop him up.  He's a baby soft and cozy and I hug him a little closer and sniff his sweet little neck.

And then I change him and go wake up the biggest girl.  She turns over and I see her grin, and he reaches for his favorite big sister.  She plunks him down beside her and stretches.  In a few minutes, down they come, on their way to Mimi's.

As I watch them go, I realize that it is wonderful to have a sweet baby in the house, but it might be even more wonderful to have a sweet Mimi JUST across the street. ;)

See ya around...