Friday, March 13, 2009

Two dog years


I know I shouldn't be here, but...
London, ON, February 2008 [Click all images to embiggen]


It's been two years since we brought our dog, Frasier, home. Eight months old at the time, he had spent the previous six months since being adopted from a breeder in the home of a family that either couldn't or wouldn't properly care for him.

We rescued him, hoping mightily that the experience hadn't damaged him in some way. Luck was on our side, because he's the sweetest thing we could have hoped for. He's helped our youngest son go from absolutely fearing dogs to loving the very ground his pooch walks on. He's added to the wild mosaic that is our family life in ways we couldn't have imagined when we brought his bedraggled, dirty little self home that first night and watched him wander through every room in the house.

He jumps on the couch, hogs the bed, eats garbage, barks too much and often smells like the proverbial smelly dog. But at the same time, he's helped us meet all the other dogs - and their families - in the neighborhood. Angus, Jewel, Simba and Zeus know when their bouncy new friend comes sauntering down the sidewalk, and it always seems to invite fascinating moments with our neighbors. He goes on playdates, too, and often rides shotgun when I pick the kids up or drop them off at school. He's become best buddies with his groomer, Jean, the kindest lady you could ever hope to meet. Indeed, it's difficult to remember what things were like around here before we had him. He's made himself at home and in the process, made our home whole.

I like to watch our kids play with him. Or not play, as the case may be. Often, they'll simply work alongside him, focusing on their homework, a book or a game while he sits quietly next to them. He brings them a sense of comfort, an unconditional kind of relationship that kids and dogs seem to form with innate ease. I'd like to think that his joining our family is helping them become better, kinder, more empathetic people. And as I watch them talk to him with a true gentleness that has to be seen to be believed, I've got to believe that he's helped them as much as they've helped him.

Thank you, furry little man, for allowing us to bring you into our family. I hope we have lots of happy, charmed years ahead of us, because you really have become an irrepressibly sweet part of our lives.

Now give me back my pillow, please.

Your turn: Pets, kids, families. Please discuss.

28 comments:

Mike Althouse said...

Your account brings back fond memories of the dog we had when I was a child. He passed many years ago, but for my entire childhood and even a little beyond he was an integral member of the family. When we gather for family events, stories about him are still lovngly shared. Thanks for reminding me

Tanya sent me,
Mike

Breeze said...

He's adorable. We adopted a 17 month old cockapoo named Sneakers on Thanksgiving last year. He is the sweetest, most patient, cuddliest, loving, annoying, smelly, pain in the butt mutt a family ever had...how is it that they can endear themselves so completely and so quickly? Happy second forever home day Frasier!

Breeze

kcinnova said...

I've been debating getting a dog. We will get one, the debate is all about "sooner" vs. "later." In the meantime we have our rescued kitty who is very sweet, well-behaved, and has an extra-special relationship with my ADD son. I think pets (esp. dogs) always know who really needs them most of all.

Cloudia said...

A great post!
Non-pet parents listening??!!
Aloha-

g said...

This is a lovely tribute to a wonderful pet. I am a total dog sentimentalist. I've loved two dogs, and we've sheltered at least three others that came to us from other people.

They give so much. They love unconditionally. They are also messy, stinky, conniving, vomit-eating, garbage rooting pains in the ass!!

We lost our last dog in August. We're waiting a year to invite another one to live with us.

LadyFi said...

What a sweet furry little thing!

kenju said...

The love of a pet is a beautiful thing to experience, isn't it. Whether through your heart or watching them with children.

Your photos of him show a much beloved and loving dog, Carmi, and I know he has been a wonderful addition to your family. I've had many dogs over the years. There's nothing like them for unconditional love.

carli said...

Frasier is adorable. I've enjoyed watching him become a part of your family for the last few years. (I think you know that if this entire blog was about the dog, I'd be here every day. Twice on Wedensdays.)

I am always amazed at the bonds we are able to form with members of other species. The little annoyances--it's 6:22 in the morning and the cat woke me up because he didn't want to be alone--are far outweighed by the benefits of having a furry little buddy.

Hilary said...

Oh Carmi, he's just adorable! I think every child should have a pet in their lives if at all possible. We all learn so much about loving and caring for them.

Hopefully Frasier, JJ and Benny can meet up one day soon. I bet they'd have a blast.

NJ said...

It is amazing how resilient dogs can be. A co-worker took in a dog that was rescued from a puppy mill. Zoe had spent most of her life in a cage having litter after litter. At first this dog would go crazy if my co-worker's wife was not by her side. I've been to their home several times and seeing this sweet little dog is always a treat. She is so happy to be part of a home. I'm glad she got her chance at happiness.

We don't have any pets any longer and our nest is also empty but I think having dogs and cats over the years really enriched our children's lives.

bobbie said...

Such a sweet dog! And he has obviously found the ideal home.

Our Charlie was our best friend for many years. He came on the scene just before the birth of our youngest, who is frequently quoted in our family, saying a few years later, "We get a lot of use out of that dog."
We did indeed. He made it clear he was always my husband's dog, although he was very kind to all of us. When his master died, he grieved a long time, but remained loyal to the rest of us.

jinksy said...

Childhood lived in flats meant pets were a no-no. Then I grew up - and kids were better than pets, anyday! x

sage said...

What a wonderful post and such a beautiful dog. We too have a "rescued dog" and although he's getting older, he's still wonderful and brings much joy to the house.

Wordnerd said...

What a sweetie! We adopted our 'baby' around the same time as you, and we are constantly wondering why someone could have given him up -- he's provided us countless hours of joy.

Thanks for sharing Frasier with us. The photos are incredible, by the way.

colleen said...

That's perfect name for him. What a handsome dog. We have a dog we inherited from my son when he left home. Her name is Jasmine but should be Aslan. She looks like a rasta haired lion (chow).

Hey it's Amy Shipp said...

Your doggie is so cute! Our dog Ruby is like a member of our family, I love her so much! It is amazing how attached you get.... Great post Carmi!

Vodka Mom said...

he's adorable! We rescued both of our dogs- and even though they can be LOUD and CRAZY, we love them.

Daryl said...

Aw ..

Mojo said...

You can't do better than a dog for a friend. I've said this for years to anybody that will listen -- and some who won't.

Your average dog, unlike your average human, is perfectly content just to be close by. They ask for almost nothing and give everything.

One of Tonka's favorite pastimes is photo hunting with me. Obviously he knows nothing about shutter speed and aperture, he only knows that it's time for a r-i-d-e when the blue leash comes out, and if the strange black backpack comes out along with it it's gonna be a long one! And it's comforting to know that when I'm out getting those shots of the urban jungle -- day or night -- The Tonka Unit's got my back.

I don't even like to think about what life would be like if by big black buddy wasn't around to bring some caninity to it.

margie said...

so cute. every house needs a dog.

Teena in Toronto said...

Aren't dogs great?!

Pearl said...

That's sweet. :) Wonderful that that individual is adding so much to your home.

Bob-kat said...

I cannot conceive of not having pets. Animals have always been such a big part of my life. Bob often sits next to me while I work or do other things, just as you describe with Frasier and your kids. It is comforting :)

Pamela said...

my sis had one of those - she named him Kaiser -- he was so much fun.
When she moved away, her daughter wanted to keep Kaiser. She caved in.

Well -- when Kaiser came to my house to visit once - he thought I was my sister. He cried and jumped all over me and acted like we were lost friends.
I adored him

Evey said...

He really is too cute for words. Our dog is a big part of our lives and I love seeing and reading about others who love their pets as much as we love ours. They really are part of the family.

lissa said...

There's no question of how much the furry friends add to our lives. It will be two years for us that Theo came to live in our house (June is the anniversary) and to this day - just this morning, in fact - the kids still remark on how much he has brought to our household.

Frasier's life with you was a destiny for all of you; his gifts are many, and that is on the giving as well as receiving end. Just from the descriptions you post, along with (or even without) pictures of your family with the pup, it is obvious that he was just born to be with you.

Happy Anniversary to you all - hope he got an extra special treat this weekend! (though if he's anything like Theo, he's already spoiled with all the toys and chewy things a dog could wish for)

I just have to add - you mentioned that luck of his personality. While it has a lot to do with it in Frasier's case (having been lost that way in his first - formative - months), I was told by someone just recently that luck isn't the only force at work. As with Theo, Frasier's personality comes from the family he belongs to, and there's no doubt in my mind that he is being shaped by you and your family's good humor, calm demeanor, and upbeat attitudes.

And by the way - the pillow's his. Gotta live with that fact, as we all do. ;-)

Protege said...

Life is just so much better with animals, their unconditional love and devotion is one of a kind.;)

sealaura said...

h Carmi, you know how I feel about animals! Especially my Norman Alexander. Your Frasier is a sweetheart, so beautiful. I am so glad he has brought so much joy into your life. I know Norm, along my other little critters that I have had have been there for me through thick and thin. Can't imagine life without them.