Monday, March 28, 2011

The Goat

I’m not exactly sure when, or how even, but it happened to me too; I fell in love with her.  Maybe it was her impossibly cute good nature, or her endearing mischievousness (she has a knack for getting into things).  In the 9 months we have had her she has chewed up:
6 pairs of shoes
3 remotes
6 spatulas
13 pens
4 refrigerator magnets
3 Dramamine pills (no ill effects, thank goodness)
3 of the ends of our coffee table
2 pair of kitchen scissors
2 couch pillows
2 wallets (including a $100 bill)
7.5 ounces of raisins (which landed her in the hospital for 2 days)

But instead of getting mad at her, I am amazed at how clever she is.  Just as I think I have found a way to outsmart her and hide a coveted item, she manages to find it, destroy it, digest it, and poop it out without any trouble.  She eats things we couldn’t fathom she would want.  If it is within her reach, she eats it.  We started calling her, “The Goat,” and a nickname has never been so well suited.  I secretly envy her gusto. 

How could I not love this face?

The reasons I fell so madly in love with this dog stretch farther than that, however.  Coco, in all her crazy, yet loveable ways is ours.  The only being that probably will be ours.  Bill and I walk her and feed her and decide on her toys and care together.  We communicate in ways that we didn’t before.  Coco has added a dimension to our relationship that I enjoy. 
We recently celebrated Coco’s 1st birthday.  We had all her family there, and even though Bill was not thrilled to celebrate a dog’s birthday, he did.  He supported me in my silliness and we all enjoyed watching The Goat eat her cake and her Kong popsicle. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How it Began

I’m not a dog person.  There, I said it.  The truth can be brutal sometimes.
 My reasons for not liking dogs are about as simple as dogs themselves.  For time’s sake, I’ll be short.  First and foremost, they stink.  An awful, impossible to get rid of, mid-summer pond stench.  They get fur everywhere. They slobber.  They are noisy.   They require an incomprehensible amount time and energy to train and take care of.  They are not unlike children in this way. 

So you can imagine my protest when my boyfriend of 7 years started talking about getting a dog.  We had just bought a house with sufficient room for a foul smelling puppy and he was determined that we needed this addition.  After all, he reasoned, we had a cat, and he was not a cat person. He wanted a dog; it was only fair.  Against all better judgment and completely out of ammunition, I went with him to the animal shelter to see what we could find.  The first visit was fruitless.  I foolishly got my hopes up that maybe we wouldn’t find one that would be good enough for him and his discouragement would get the better of him.  I had seen this happen before; what once was so important would turn too difficult and become a distant memory.  Weeks passed and we said nothing of a dog.  Then one weekend he decided we would try again.

He wanted a puppy, one that we could have for his/her entire life, who would grow up knowing only us.  I wanted one that was already housebroken.  There were a lot of puppies, but they were very small.  He wanted a man’s dog.  I didn’t want something too big.  After all, we didn’t have much of a yard and what we did have wasn’t fenced in.  We walked slowly down the hall of rejected dogs until we came to little brown dog with a big scratch on her face.  She was leaning on her cage with one of her ears flopped up and one flopped down.  I was impressed that she wasn’t howling.  This seemingly well behaved 20 pound, 4 month old puppy was to be ours. 
As a puppy
I had to admit, she was pretty cute.  But that was never the problem.  And although Bill loved her from the moment he saw her, I was less than enthused.  I was determined, however, to make the best of it.  I had always put our relationship at the top of my priority list, and I didn’t want a dog to come between us.