Friday, October 22, 2010

Jackson Meets Cujo

If you've been reading along, you'll remember that we recently added a golden retriever puppy to our home.  When he arrived, he was nine weeks of fluffy, adorable puppy, looking something like this:

(Right now you're saying awwww.  Yeah, that's what I said.)  When we went to check him out, no one in the family had the capacity to say no to that face.  What an adorable puppy!  Oh my God, we've got to have this puppy.  My three kids were in love - even my eighteen year old son who rarely emits much of an opinion on anything right now said, "I want him."  Enter Jackson.

I brought the dog home with slight trepidation, but he seemed harmless enough.  He only weighed about ten pounds at the time and oh, he was just so gosh darned cute.  He wasn't, at the time, bigger than our largest cat, who weighs somewhere in the vicinity of twenty pounds.  Certainly this wasn't anything we couldn't handle, right?

I counted on two things.  One, the kids said they would help me.  (What the hell is wrong with me?)  Two, the dog wasn't going to be so big that I couldn't handle him.

I didn't know that golden retrievers are actually considered big dogs.  Someone forgot to tell me!  Not ever having owned dogs before, I figured it would pretty much be the same as, say, bringing home a kitten.  You show it the litter box and where the food is and then it ignores you most of the time, unless it's, say, really cold outside and the animal is looking for warmth.  In the middle of Justin's back.  In the middle of the night and he's trying to roll over.

Aside from starting this blog, I am also trying to launch a career as a children's book writer and one of my ideas is to do a book about Jackson's personalities.  This dog has more personalities than Sybil.  Jamie and I sat around one day trying to list them.  We came up with sleepy dog, sorry dog, hungry dog, messy dog, vent dog (because he thought the air conditioner vents were a great place to hang out when it was 100 degrees outside) get the idea.  There are more, but I don't want to spoil the ending.

There were two dogs I had no idea were going to show up.  One was Farting Dog, who I described in an earlier blog entry.  Farting Dog has no social graces whatsoever, doesn't care who is in the room (because he's going to clear it) and has very strange noises and smells coming out of his back end.

Then there is this dog:

Somehow, I don't think this dog is one that I can put into my little book for three year olds.  I call this personality Humping Dog.

Humping Dog showed up somewhere around four months of age and decided that his bed was actually of the feminine persuasion.  I have to admit, I'm totally grossed out.  The first time he did it, I ran to the phone to call the vet and find out when, exactly, I can have this dog neutered.  Justin thought it was hilarious...until he did it for the hundredth time.

Unfortunately, Humping Dog seems to show up every night around 8:00 or 8:30, along with Cujo.  (If you haven't read the Stephen King book, please, I beg you, stop reading this and go read that.  If you're not a Stephen King fan, you aren't going to get anything I write.)  About the time we are settling down to watch our favorite sitcoms every night, this wild creature begins to stir and come alive.  This dog is driven.  He thinks his bed is not only female, but also something that's attacking him and he needs to get it before it gets him.  He picks it up, shakes it, tries to tear it apart, carries it'd think it had done him an injury at some point because this dog obviously does not like this bed between 8:30 and 10:00 at night.  Thank God it's not the new furniture I haven't paid off yet.

This is not the dog I adopted or the one I envisioned.  I had this idea that when he grew up (conveniently forgetting all the stages a dog must go through before they grow up), we would have peaceful Sunday afternoons by the fireplace, reading, with the dog snoozing lazily at our feet.  This is not yet that dog.

I have hope.  Sometimes he'll let me pet his ears and his belly.  He's learned that "nite-nite" means lie down and put your head on your paws (for a treat), which is really quite cute.  I've taught him to sit, stand, lie down, shake, stop, wait, and get the fuck on your bed!  He's really a very smart dog.  But there's still every evening, when our now five month old puppy becomes a demon from hell and acts like a tired, cranky two year old who needs a nap.  He bites at our feet, our ankles, our wrists, our clothing, pretty much anything he can get his teething mouth around.  You have to hope you have a chew toy handy so you don't become one.

Thank God I have Justin, because Justin grew up with dogs and is pretty much rolling with the punches.  Jackson is never going to be his match, no matter how much he weighs, because Justin is strong and he's a big guy.  No matter how big Jack gets, Justin is going to be bigger.  Jackson now weighs about fifty pounds.  I've been informed by the vet (who has stopped me from making a shelter run on more than one occasion by listening to me cry that I can't take it anymore and then promising me that he will, in fact, outgrow this) that he will probably end up weighing in around eighty pounds.  Hey wait.  That isn't the little puppy I adopted.  That's a big freaking dog!

I guess the moral to this story is be careful what you wish for.  But when he does finally outgrow his puppyhood, around the age of two I'm told, I'm still hoping for those peaceful Sunday afternoons with my well behaved, gentle golden retriever at my feet by the fire.  Hopefully he won't be grabbing burning logs out of it.


  1. Hilarious! Of course, I'm not in the room when he's doing Farting Dog and I don't have to witness the degradation of that poor dog bed. :)

  2. Thanks Nancy. :o) I wish I had a camcorder because the dog that shows up in the evenings won't hang around forever. Thank God, but oh how funny it is while it lasts!


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