January 03, 2010

Dogs (and other pets)

Griffey Rose

Nine 1/2 years ago my DH asked me if he could get a puppy.  Our dog, Lady, had died 2 years prior.  We had two cats at the time and lets face it, cats are easier to care for.  I had pronounced our family a "cat only" family.  After a couple of months I decided that I was ready for a dog too.

We picked up our black labrador puppy in late June.  I remember when we went to pick her out of the litter that I wanted to pick the puppy that was sleeping.  But no, my DH chose the puppy that kept stealing the toys from the other puppies and running around.

DH named her Griffey Rose.  Yes she has a "male" dog name.  My DH is a Cincinnati Reds fan and he is a fan of Ken Griffey Junior and Pete Rose.  I was surprised that he didn't try to add Bench to her name for Johnny Bench. 

The summer of 2000 was rough for me.  That dog terrorized me.  She used my legs as a chew toy, was constantly biting me and jumping on me all the time. I hated to be around her.  She chewed on anything and everything and her energy was boundless.  I thought that we had made a mistake.  We took her to puppy training and she was pronounced the feistiess (sp??) lab that the trainer had ever seen.  I should add that the trainer raised lab pups.

When I was home alone with Griffey I kept her leash on her as she was constantly grabbing somethng and running through the house.  At least I could grab the the leash and reel her in. 

Griffey was 7 months old when my DH went on a trip to Kentucky to help Habitat for Humanity.  He was gone a week.  I got up every morning early before work to walk that dog in the cold.  I walked her at noon and at night.  About the 4th day into this routine I was walking the dog and she looked up at me and it was as if she was thinking "He must be dead so I must be nice to her."  Everything changed and she became a good dog.

Oh, she has her bad habits of eating paper out of the trash can, stealing any food from the table if you are not looking (she lulls us into a sense of security) or she runs the fence barking at people and scaring them.  We call this BBD security (Big Black Dog). She is my companion now.  Her age is showing.  Her face has gray on it as do her paws and belly.  She sleeps the majority of the day but comes to life when it is time for a walk. 

I would have given Griffey away in the first few months that we owned her, but I stuck it out.  My main reason was that my husband loved that dog and I love him.  Now we think occasionally about what it will be like when she is gone someday.  The immediate response is that we will get another dog.

Pets can be expensive.  It costs money for the food (we buy Iams), the annual trips to the vet, the medications for heart worm and flea control, the operations to have them spayed or neutered and more.  Griffey takes Proin pills twice a day at a cost of $20.00 per month.  I now make her dog biscuits but I purchase her rawhide bones.  When we go on vacation we board her at a nice kennel where she is treated well and they know her.  This costs about $9 per day. 

Sheircon and me

We also have a cat, Shiercon, and she is now 12 years old.  She is fed veterinary food and she is in remarkable health.  But again, she goes to the Vet once a year for a checkup. 

The bottom line, pets cost money and they can put a dent in the budget which may not be frugal.  We own the number of pets that we can afford.  IMO pets add more to our lives than anything I could purchase with the money I would save by not having a pet.


Tammy said...

I long for the day that I,too can share these feelings of love and compassion for dear old Buddy that you share with Griffey Rose(cute name!). He is the only dog in the world that I know of who has been "released" from the vet's care for biting and acting up! He is supposed to belong to my SON, but somehow he has become my sole responsibility. If I didn't take him for a walk each morning AND afternoon, who knows what kind of trouble he would get into! He whines at he door each morning and will even gets dirty socks from the hamper and bring them to me so that I will put them on! Unbelievable! He eats Benefuls, which is also expensive. He is also big time into TREATS!! He will run to the door, go outside, lift his leg (as if!), then beg for a treat. Over and over and over and over...............You get the picture! Spoiled. Just like the rest of them. Stole our hearts from the get go.

Martha said...

Dogs train us instead of the other way around. They behave badly many times yet they look at us with those eyes of love and steal our hearts. I'm rooting for Buddy.

As my husband told me 9 years ago, who wants a dog that just lays around and doesn't do anything? (Well, I did.) He wanted a dog with personality. Well, we got one but thank goodness age has caught up with her and she does spend her days laying around.

Tammy- frustrated in Alabama said...

Buddy just ripped the head off the teddy bear on Alex's bed. It was from Build a Bear Work Shop. We had a party there on Alex's 3rd birthday. There is white foam filler stuff all over my office floor. Buddy might not live to see his 3rd birthday..................

Martha said...

We kept the doors closed to our kids' bedrooms for a long time. We also trained Griffey to be in her kennel during certain times of the day. When she was a pup it was from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and then 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. We were told that since dogs are "den" animals that it is something they will learn to like and she did. It was also great to be able to put her somewhere if she misbehaved. I'm not sure if this will help, but I want you to know that I totally sympathize with your situation.

BTW - what breed is Buddy?

me said...

He is a Rat Terrier. We have a kennel for him, and at first he(we) did really good with it. Well, as the case may be, we became lazy(go figure)and he now sleeps at the foot of our bed. He pees all over the place at the WORD cage! Whenever he does escape "from Alcatraz" the first thing he does when he finally comes home is to run right into his cage and go to sleep. Rotten- through and through. BTW- if we leave the doors closed, he CLAWS the wood-over and over and over........ His "den" is this entire house!

Martha said...

We had a rat terrier about 20 years ago and she was aptly named "Sparky." She was white with some little black marks on her. I remember how high strung she was and when our son would play his toy harmonica the dog would start to cry and howl.

I would walk Sparky until I thought it couldn't go any further so it would be tired and nap. Kind of makes me think of when I would try to wear the kids out when they were little so they would fall asleep.

We had to put her down because she became seriously ill and there was nothing they could do. I cried for a couple of days.