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.