Monday, February 18, 2013

he's back

Ten plus years ago, Mike brought a puppy home.  It was September 2002.  We had an 18 month-old and a three year-old and I wasn't sure about adding another 4-legged baby to the mix.  One look at Freddy, and I was a little less apprehensive.

Mike had first seen him in the bed of a truck at Sportsman's Warehouse.  He breeder was showing them off.  Mike got his number and then took Andrew to see the puppies.  He took me back to see them, and they were darling.  Mike particularly liked the runt.  He was a friendly, adorable Chocolate Lab with a tiny white dot on his chest.  We brought him home.

Mike and Andrew took him to obedience school, and Mike spent a lot of time training him.  He was such a good dog.  

We had just brought Jessica home from Africa and were getting ready to sell hour house and build a new one.  Our house sold more quickly than expected and we had to move into an apartment.  We also knew that we would be in our new house for several months without a fence or grass.  We made the decision to try to find him a new home.  Mike sent an e-mail out to his co-workers.  A woman responded and said that she and her family had recently moved to Salt Lake and had left a dog where they moved from.  She was very interested.  It was a tough decision, but we felt really good about it.  Over the next few years, we stayed in touch with her.  The kids went to visit Freddy, and we received pictures showing us how well he was doing.

Over the last year, the family's circumstances have changed and they are unable to care for him.  We had microchipped him, and he still wore the tag.  We got several calls that he was found by concerned citizens.  Mike picked him up once in December and we kept him overnight.  We decided that if it happened again, we would keep him.

Well, on Valentine's Day, Mike got another call. Freddy had been found.  Mike left work and picked him up.  He stopped at my Uncle Gill's for a leash and took him to Grandma and Grandpa Peel's.  Courtney then took him home with her and later took him to meet Mike at the vet.  The vet said that he had pink eye, glaucoma, toenail issues and joint problems.

Mike stopped at Costco for a dog bed, dog food and the cutest food dish I had just seen the week before.  I called to get him into the groomer, only to discover that his shots had to be current.  So I took him back to the vet to get his shots, then to the groomer.

After he was groomed he promptly went and rolled in the snow.

We got him some glucosamine and drops for his eyes.  We got a new collar and leash, some dog treats and milk bones.  It seems like it has been a full-time job over the last three days.

He is ten and a half.  He has a bunch of white hair and sad, puppy-dog eyes.  He splashes water when he laps it up and drools a lot.  He struggles standing up in the morning and is especially hesitant about the stairs because going down is hard.  He is calm and obedient and we are pretty much in love with him.  He wants to be wherever we are, so my rule about him staying on the tile and hardwood went out the window after about 8 hours.

The kids are taking turns feeding him, walking him and cleaning up on potty duty.  He slept the first night in the laundry room, but now sleeps on a blanket in one of the kid's rooms at night.

The only issue we have had is with Tiger.  The only time we have heard him bark is when he saw her.  She is interested in him, but he avoids eye contact and looks away when she is near.  We make them be near each other a little every day.  I don't see them being in one of those darling pictures on Pinterest where a dog and cat are cuddling, but hopefully they can tolerate one another.

Technically, this dog brings our pet total to eleven.  One dog, two cats, two frogs (which were raised from tadpoles and are in the big aquarium in the picture,) one hamster (in the picture,) one frog and three fish in a small aquarium in Christian's room and one clown fish in a small aquarium in Drew's room.  You know that movie, We Bought a Zoo?  Well, it feels like we live in a zoo.

I would never be able to handle this many pets alone.  The kids do most of the feeding, Mike keeps the aquariums clean, and I am pretty much responsible for the mammals.  I love a lot things about having pets.  It teaches the kids responsibility.  It teaches about death and love and kindness.  I think we now have to teach about setting limits, cause we are at our pet limit.

1 comment:

CJ said...

I'm so glad Freddy has refound his forever home. Nothing beats a loving dog to make you feel good when you are down or lets you have fun when you just want to be a kid again.