My children started life terrified of dogs. I suppose they come by it honestly. I was terrified of dogs as a child, and we never had one growing up because my mom was never a fan either. We just weren’t really animal people at all. I had the odd goldfish and a couple of hamsters in middle school, but that’s about it. But boy, I loved those hamsters until they died in my hands while I sobbed. It actually turned into a pretty funny family story, though. My dad buried them in a shoebox in the backyard shortly after their passing but the next day at work was informed that the rodents might not actually be dead. He called my brother at home and convinced him to dig up the tiny bodies, who discovered that they were, in fact, deceased. Possibly from spending the night in a shoebox buried in the garden.
I ended up with a couple of cats in college, one of whom lived until the ripe old age of 16. After her passing, we vowed to stay animal-free. I was totally fine with that. I definitely didn’t want another cat (George is allergic, and quite frankly, Stinky wasn’t the most lovable of felines so it’s not like I was in a rush to replace her.)
We got used to a house where we could keep doors open and cords unhidden from sharp feline teeth. No more litter box, no more clumps of hair in the corners (except possibly my own.)
And then my coworker found a dog. I think maybe the cutest dog in the world.
But I didn’t want this stray. A dog? No way. They stink and you have to pick up their poop. And they have to be walked. Cats at least are self-sufficient. Dogs are like babies that never grow up.
But that face.
And George had long been saying that he wanted the boys to grow up with a dog, so they’d get over their fear.
“Over my dead body,” I had said.
Later, “maybe when they’re older.”
Until one day not too long ago, it was, “George, can we go look at this dog? You know, just look.”
I think he was too stunned to say no, and to make a long story a little less long, Ziggy is now ours. The boys are mostly loving the new addition. (1/3 thrilled, 1/3 happy, 1/3 still needs to be convinced.)
He’s a pain in the rear, to be sure. He’s chewed up the corner of my favorite pillow and the loop off Oliver’s stocking. He came to us with hookworm and still needs to be neutered. Everything is covered in dog hair, and I’ve become a pro at scooping poop.
But that face.
Welcome to the family, Ziggy!