I love dogs. You’d think I wouldn’t, having been flattened by a German shepherd
We had a revolving door of strays and rescues in our house growing up. Each dog came with his own dysfunction, some personality defect that, sooner or later, was deemed intolerable by my father, Mr. Clean, and off he went. Poop on the rug? Dad’s not happy. Ate the birthday cake off the table? Really not happy. Scratched a hole right through the door?
And then there was Beagie, the foster beagle, who showed us who was in the HOUSE. He had it out for upholstery: chewing it here, puking on it there and lifting his leg to it everywhere. He’d wait until
Oliver the airedale, restored my faith in canines. He was BFF material – at your side, head on your leg, patient eyes -- but he was stubborn like wet denim. When he decided he had walked enough in the snow, he cemented his hind legs in the bank.
At home, he kept one eye on the door, never missing an opportunity for a prison break. We spent half his life scouring neighborhoods and corralling him back into the car.
The one thing Oliver taught me was to never back down. The kids and I have been holding our ground all these years in a campaign to adopt a dog. Hubs wasn’t having it.
Then one day we saw him on Petfinder. His name was Charger -- 15 pounds of marshmallow curly, face like a polar bear cub.
We showed Don the photo, fully knowing he’d say no. And he did. But what we didn’t expect was the faint smile that made its way across his face. There was the crack in the door.
I presented my case: kids are 15 and 13. They have waited long enough. He doesn’t shed. We’re getting a dog.
Before he could take back the, “Do what you want,” I had an appointment with Bichon FurKids Rescue. Charger was available.
For years, we told our friends that we wanted a dog that didn’t bark, bite, beg, jump, growl, whine, drool, lick, shed, eat your shoes, scratch the door, pee in the car, chase the repairman, drink from the toilet, poop in the house, sniff your crotch or hump your leg.
They laughed and suggested a stuffed dog.
Apparently the order we placed was well received by the doggy adoption gods, because Charger is all that. One hundred percent sweetness. Better behaved than anyone in this house.
Every day, my kids fight over who had the dog first, as if there aren’t enough hours in a day to share him.
My husband says I have crossed over from dog admirer to crazy dog lady. I don’t think that’s fair at all. He says I talk about Charger to family, friends and anyone who has ears. Hey, people seem very interested in seeing the Charger photo album. And then there’s the video collection.
What my husband won’t admit is how his heart has doubled in size. I caught him saying to Charger, “Do you know how much I love you?”
It’s been 7 months since Charger became a part of our family. And we realize now, that we needed him even more than he needed us.