Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Joys of the Family Dog

The Joys (and Frustrations) of the Family Dog
I am finally feeling ready to post about my beloved Guinness.  Guinness was our first baby...well, okay he was really a dog.  But he was the sweetest dog you will ever meet.  That being said, after we had Munchkin Girl, I was about to kill him.

Let me back up a bit.  Our story goes something like this.  Boy meets girl.  Boy and girl move into small apartment that doesn't allow dogs.  Boy and Girl get dog anyway and he becomes the most treasured creature ever to walk the earth.  Boy and Girl decide they love animals so much they move into a house and then get Cat #1, Cat #2, and Dog #2.  Fast forward a few years to Baby #1.  All this adds up VERY full house.

After Baby #1 was born, everything went downhill.  My beloved dogs became my arch enemy.  Here is why:

1.  They barked and constantly woke up Munchkin Girl after it took me an hour to put her to sleep
2.  They constantly knocked her down (on accident when she was learning to crawl and walk)
3.  They were always getting up on the counter to eat food
4.  They snored.  This wasn't a problem until night time, at which point they would keep me awake and I resorted to throwing shoes at them.
5.  Just as I was sitting down to have 10 minutes of time when no one was touching me or needing me, the dogs would come and pester me to pet them, feed them, take them for a walk, etc.  I found that I suddenly only had so much love to give.

There was a period of time that I swear I would have paid a nice stranger to "kidnap" them.  But forward a few years and suddenly Munchkin Girl is three and Little Buddy is 18 months...and...things are fun again.  The kids and dogs play together peacefully.  Everyone is sleeping well so they don't wake anyone up.

Then, one day Guinness couldn't walk anymore.  He started falling down constantly....we tried lots of different things, but he was just old and had bad legs to begin with...I won't get into details...we had to put him down.  I never thought I could cry so much.  I was suddenly heartbroken to lose my first baby.  Even as I'm typing this, I am finding tears in my eyes.  He was the sweetest boy I ever knew and I will miss him forever.

This brings me to my I said, there was a time that I couldn't believe that I had to live with dogs for years.  Life would be so much easier without dogs.  But now that time has passed and life is normal again, I realize how much dogs bring to our lives.  Now we just have one dog left, and I vow to treasure her.  Well, maybe not treasure every moment of every day, but at least I vow not to plan a kidnapping of any sort.  And I can now truly appreciate her.  Dogs really can keep kids busy and I have read that they can even improve self-esteem.  I'm not sure about that, but I'm sure that they do love her.  She lets the kids MANHANDLE her.  Here is how a dog helps a family:

Dogs give someone for the kids to pester and "Mother".  Here is Lola. obediently staying in her "bed".  She was told it was time to sleep and was strictly told not to get out of her room.  The covers were then tucked under her chin and she was even given a Teddy Bear to keep her company.  This Teddy Bear's name is now "Lola's Bear".

toddler spending time with dog, reading books

Dogs give kids someone to talk to.  When Munchkin Girl has friends over and Little Buddy gets lonely, he always has Lola.  Plus, she encourages reading skills!  See how she patiently listens as he "reads" his favorite book.

Dogs provide hours of entertainment.  Lola has worn sunglasses, hats, scarves, dresses, you name, she's worn it!  They both spend hours getting her decked out and then giggle at the final result.

joys of the family dog, dressing up the family dog, golden retrievers and kids

That's the Tinkerbell skirt from on Lola's head

dog dressed up, dog wearing a hat

That's a beret...along with Tinkerbell wings being precariously perched on her back.

And those are snow boots...

Lastly, can you imagine the skill it took to get this book to balance on her head!  It took at least 15 minutes of concentration and teamwork to make this happen!

PS...Lola also does a great job of picking up any food that drops to the floor.  I adore not having to get out the broom every time we have a Goldfish explosion!

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  1. Oh, I'm so sorry. We lost our dog when I was pregnant with number two. I cried so hard I worried I'd go into labor. I still haven't gotten over it. Someday we'll get another one, but for now, I still just want my old doggy back.

  2. OK are you happy now you made me cry at 6:00 o'clock in the morning ;0) I am so sorry it is so hard to lose a pet because they are our babies and part of our families. I have two golden retrievers and I was LOL when I saw Lola in all her outfits looks allot like out house. My GG is growing up with the doggies and they just love to have fun together. They are a pact. My house is always chaotic but you know what I would have it no other way. Sending you hugs (((())))

  3. Awww! Love this post. I know how hard it is because my dog died too (Sweet old boy. He was attacked in a doggy day care. On the day of my wedding ...) and I cried and cried. Its good to remember them and we got another dog because to me it seems empty without having pooches around :)

  4. Losing a family dog is so hard! We have always had dogs. By the way dogs are great reading tools. There are programs that bring dogs into school to help young readers.(The picture of your boy reading to your dog is so sweet!)

  5. I'm sorry about your dog. :( We went through a very similar progression with our dogs, then kids, then chaos, then finally a whole happy family. Dogs definitely hold a special place in your heart.

  6. So sorry to hear about the loss of you furbaby.

    We have cats, and before Taylor, we treated them like they were our children. I now find them to be a nuisance more often than not. I'm glad to hear that things will likely turn around. At least I hope so.

  7. This post is just what I needed. I have a similar story, except I'm a single mom. I'm living in a house with two dogs, a cat, two roommates, and a baby. I can't take it anymore, and I'm about to get an apartment. No roommates. I can't keep the cat because he has always been an outdoor cat, and my uncle is going to take one of my dogs. I have been struggling with whether I should keep Lucy, a hyper badly behaved mutt with special needs who tries my patience every day. I've been leaning towards keeping her, but I didn't know if I could do it until I read this post. I think if I can just stick it out through the baby phase, it will be awesome when he is a little older.

  8. I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. They become like members of your family. It's so hard to see them go.

    This was a beautiful post and I love all the pictures. Lola is very

  9. I have a love/hate relationship with "my" dog...He was my husbands before we even started dating, but somehow he's become MINE. He gets jealous if he doesn't get enough attention that the weathers nice it's easier to play with him, which means for now he's stopped popping all over my floors!!

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  12. Your post makes me want to run out and get a dog right now! My husband and I have three cats that were our babies. That of course change when child 1, 2 and 3 came along. I understand your feelings. My poor cats were neglected. I can relate you not wanting your dog to touch you during your rare 10 minutes of no one wanting you and your "kidnapping" thoughts. Things have gotten better now that the girls are older (6, 5, 3). They play with the cats when the cats let them and I have time to love the cats. Someday we want to get a dog but we might have to wait until the cats are gone. I don't know if we can wait that long.

  13. We lost our first dog, before my son was born and I mean like a week before he was born, it was heart breaking. And now our current dog and our son are best buds! I wonder what will happen when baby #2 comes....

  14. I don't know if you read my blog post ("Second Fiddle") but we lost our Pomeranian when I was pregnant and after the babies were born, Lucky, our other dog took a back seat. Lucky looks so much like Lola! They look like they could be brother and sister. Like Lola, Lucky lost his companion dog. I am sorry about your loss. Guinness is a really cute name for a dog. Lola is adorable and, yes, she should be celebrated to being such a great friend to your kids. : 0 ) Theresa

  15. beautiful post Katie!
    Thank you for sharing on our World Animal Day Bloghop!!

    With Love,

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