Dogs Are People Too!
For our son’s 4th birthday, we got him a dog. And by that I mean, we decided that his birthday was a perfect excuse for us to get a puppy. Rather than visit a pet store or track down a breeder, the hubby and I visited the Humane Society in search of our new pup. I highly recommend that anyone looking for a new pet go this route; these pets are in need of a home and probably come from less than loving situations.
We looked at rows and rows of dogs of various ages and sizes, including some adorable pit bull puppies that I fell in love with but who probably weren’t too kid-friendly. We finally came upon a set of cages with 4 puppies each; 4 girls and 4 boys, tiny 8 week old bundles of cuteness! They were a hound and black lab mix; daddy lab left mommy hound after realizing he couldn’t take care of 8 kids, so mommy hound decided to give up her babies.
One pup stood out from them all, he was bouncy, VERY whiny, and eager to give us kisses and nips on our hands. We knew right then that this was our new dog. The adoption process took about a week and cost a little over $100; it was well worth it.
Fast forward to now. I keep having to remind myself that we chose the whiny pup, we knew what we were getting into from day one. Ripley is very intelligent and very stubborn. He knows what he likes and he will do whatever he can to avoid things he doesn’t like. After an ice storm, we endured almost a week of Ripley refusing to pee because he didn’t like his paws wet or crunching through the ice. If it’s raining, he’ll stand outside and look up at us as if to say “Surely you guys don’t expect me to pee in these conditions!” This morning it was drizzling, and our evil dog patiently waited until I was out of sight before coming back inside from the balcony and taking a dump on the carpet, right inside the open door. I’m pretty sure he also had a good laugh at my attempts to stop him.
Our Ripley dog is the definition of attention whore. With him and our son, it’s like we have 2 children, both fighting for the total attention of their parents, both whining and showing off when the attention isn’t on them. Heaven forbid my hubby and I try to show each other affection when the pup is around. A simply hug or even a touch on the arm receives barks, play bites, or if we’re let off easy, a 70 pound dog wedging himself in between us and a face full of slobber.
Ripley is old enough to know right from wrong, but he’s also smart enough to know when he can ignore it or manipulate it. One day when I was too busy to play, he grabbed my ipod from out of the office and paraded into the bedroom with it hanging from his mouth, daring me to chase him. Lucky (for him), he was in play-mode, not destroy-mode, and nothing was damaged. He also does this with laundry, books, remotes, our son’s toys, and really whatever else is available that he knows is off limits.
Ripley is a handful and he drives us up the wall sometimes. But he’s also one of the sweetest, most gentle dogs I’ve ever come across. He’s definitely a member of the family and I love him to pieces, even if he does steal my blanket and pillow every single night.