In Which I Reveal Myself to Be a Big Ol’ Softie

I like to think of myself as a bastion of reasonableness in a rather large morass of emotional thinking that makes of my household. My wife (who I love dearly) is a big mush who loves animals and is a sucker (and I use that word affectionately) for a big pair of brown eyes below bushy brows and set off with a wagging tail and a pink tongue and a wet nose.

My son is the same way. He tends to select dogs on the criteria of “Oh he’s so cuuuute!” Sometimes I worry about that boy. He’s 13. But I won’t get into gender models and the ridiculous prejudices my father saddled me with right now. Suffice it to say, appearances tend to be at the top of the charts for both of them.

Now with me, I tend to look at more practical matters like temperament. Is the dog going to get along with our other two? Is it going to be easy to take for a walk? Is it going to be good with the grandkids? Is it going to be easy to housebreak? Can we train it without too much trouble? Is it going to be a yappy little monster that will make my life a living hell because it can’t stand the fact that it get left behind when my wife left for work and insist on barking incessently until I’m ready to throw it through the plate glass window, broken leg or no broken leg……Oh wait, did I type that out loud?

What I meant to say is that I like to think of myself as a more rational person when looking at the whole idea of adding a new member to the family. I would be wrong however.

We went to the shelter and walked through the large dog and then the small dog room. A little black dog of uncertain parentage peered out at us out of the top cage. Something about the way he looked at me made me notice him. Maybe it was the look in his eyes that said he wasn’t feeling too sure of much right now that made me take notice, or maybe it was just that he was the only dog that didn’t look like he’d be a yappy hot mess, but when we went out to the reception room, I asked to see him. Again, I had no intention of taking a dog home right then, I just wanted to see what he was like in person mind you. I didn’t really think we had any business adding another dog to our household. Famous last words.

I’ve never understood the whole concept of love at first sight. Never believed in it. Never thought I’d ever feel it. Don’t think I felt it with this dog either. What I did feel was a sense that this dog needed me, and maybe just maybe I needed him too. I needed someone to really pay attention to me in ways that neither my wife or my son do. My son is too old to feel that I’m the center of his world any more, and after 15 years of marriage, I think I quit being the center of my wife’s world a while back. That’s not to say we don’t love each other and pay attention to each other, but it’s not quite like it was when we first got married by any means. So having someone who thought I was really important to them was pretty attractive. And in a lot of ways, I needed the same thing, to take my mind off of a lot of things that were bugging me. So before my brain could hit the breaks I heard myself say “What’s the adoption process like?”

One application fee paid and dog bowls and suitable name picked out, and Barney joined our family.

He’s a poodle something cross.  We were told he was 1 or 2 years old, but we found out at the vets today that he was more like 7 or 8.

He does NOT like shots, getting his temperature taken, or baths.  He DOES like cuddling (His response in the above picture was “Move?  You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.”  Generally he gets an hour or so of lap time at night which means he’s in my lap and I get to pet him for as long as it takes for my legs to fall asleep.  He DOES like to take walks, and to my surprise I find myself getting off my fat ass to take him, which I’m hoping will help manage my pain issues or at least improve them.

Welcome home little buddy.