Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spoiled Dog

Throughout the 9 years Ward and I have been together, we've had several pets. Abby was the first dog we had as a couple, and he got her the week we started dating. She was 9 months old when we got her and a very skiddish dog. To this day, she is still very skiddish, but she's changed a little through the years. We wanted her to have a playmate when she was younger, so we brought in Marley, a yellow lab. They were buddies for about 2 years, but we had to get rid of Marley because she kept jumping over the fence and digging holes in the yard.

When we got married, I got rid of my ragdoll cat, Beau, but I kept my Maine Coon, Punkin. She stayed in hiding most of the time, so it was like she wasn't there. She stayed with my mom for a while when I was pregnant with Wally, but when we brought her back home, she kept getting in his crib and we were afraid of something happening, so we gave her away.

We moved to the Big City for 2 years and took Abby with us, but when we came back to the town we live in now and got our new house (the one we live in now) we felt (again) that Abby needed a new friend. The previous 5 years we'd had her, she had slept outside alone and never ever came in the house. Well, something changed when we moved into this house. She started scratching at the door to get in the house. So, we started letting her sleep in the house on the couch in the formal living room. We ended up getting a big black lab that was 6 years old, Lexi. She was very overweight and bulldozed her way into the house every time we opened the door. She was so big and heavy that she was constantly knocking over chairs, lamps, and anything left lying around, so after just 5 days, we gave her back to the owner.

Around Christmas of 2009, a cat showed up on our doorstep. She was a long-haired black cat and the sweetest cat I'd ever seen. She just "talked" all the time and purred and loved to lay on your chest. We kept her and named her Dixie, but soon found out that Wally was allergic to her. We had tests run and sure enough...SEVERE allergies to cats. We tried to keep her away from him, keep him out of his room, and made her sleep outside at night, but it wasn't enough. We ended up having to give her away as well.

Last summer, Ward talked me into getting a puppy, a black lab. I did NOT want to try out another pet since they never seemed to work out, but he'd been begging for a puppy for years and thought the boys were old enough to train one. Well, the owners talked us into taking sisters, that we named Daisy and Ruby. After a few days (even though they were only tiny puppies) we realized that we could not handle two, so we gave Ruby away. After a month of Daisy waking up in the middle of the night EVERY night yelping, I didn't think I could take much more, but she finally was able to start sleeping outside and we made Abby sleep out there with her. Abby had been an inside sleeper for a couple of years, so she did NOT like this new arrangement, but they grew to be friends.

Well, sure enough, Daisy did what most labs do, and started chewing up EVERYTHING in site. She chewed our wooden door frames, the grill, lawn chairs, every toy that was left outside, the pipe covers, water hoses, sprinkler system, and even the privacy fence. To make matters worse, she was so "excitable" that when you opened the door to feed her or spend time with her, she mauled you and knocked you down. It got to the point where the boys stopped playing in the backyard all together. So...you guessed it...we gave her away.

Lessons learned.

Here we are, 9 years later, with just Abby and she's sleeping inside again. She's gotten to the point where she only wants to go outside to eat and use the bathroom and wants to be inside the rest of the day. Even though she is still a little standoffish with people and cautious of everyone's motives, we've been spoiled by such a low maintenance dog and I don't know if any other pet will ever measure up.

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