Day 9 of 30 Days of Gratitude: I am grateful for the Dog

So for those of you who haven’t heard, our family was blessed with a dog last month. We named him George, after the Bugs Bunny skit based on Of Mice and Men. He is a black lab and pointer mix. He is hyper, chews everything, and chases his own tail. He is awesome. We love him.

During the first decade of my life my chief companion was a white german shepherd named Mitzi. She was terrified of lightening, like me, and together we would jump into the safety of my parents’ bed during thunderstorms. She was very loyal, and would jump with excitement whenever she saw me coming home from school. I would take her for walks and play with her, feed her and brush her. When we had to move from Duxbury to Plymouth, it broke my heart that we had to keep her at my grandparents house. I ended up being at my grandparents house every day after school so I continued to see her everyday, but it wasn’t the same.

In November of 1982 we had to put Mitzi down after a urinary tract infection. She wasn’t able to recover and I am sure she had a host of other issues that would have caused her great discomfort if we kept her alive. Our family vet at Kingston Animal Hospital kindly put her to sleep while I was oblivious to her passing at school. When I came home my mom was waiting for me to tell me that she had died. She held me as I sobbed into her shoulder, devastated that I lost my friend. For years I didn’t have a pet and ended up being allergic to animals anyway.

When I was 27, my ex had a cat that had a litter of kittens. Elizabeth wanted one and in spite of our landlady telling us that she didn’t want any pets in that apartment, Elizabeth was able convince her that a kitty was an awesome idea. We took PuffBall home and he became part  of our family for 13 years. He slept on Liz’s bed, was an excellent mouser and loved being around people. He was all of the good qualities of what a cat should be like. We lost him this past summer to a quick illness that overtook his body within days.

My husband is a dog person. I kind of am too, but had a cat for so long I allowed myself to be open to the idea of having one. We emailed a few shelters asking to view some of the pets we were interested in but didn’t hear back from anyone. It didn’t help that every time Addie or Izzie were around dogs, they both freaked out. A puppy would be better than a full grown dog. They would all grow together and hopefully it will make a great addition to the family.

George is awesome. He could be so much more hyper but he isn’t. His excitement about seeing people he enjoys can get a little out of control, but overall he is pretty easy going. The girls love him. Izzie is getting better about him giving her kisses, and she likes to sit next to him patting his head. He is great with any food that has fallen to the floor and has proven to be a great running partner. Addie enjoys him too and has learned how to get him to stop jumping on her. Now when there are dogs around she doesn’t bat an eyelash. It’s awesome.

George is a great member of our family. Liz sometimes keeps him in her room when she wants him all to herself. I feel like I am 10 again when I go for walks with him. It reminds me of all of the walks I went with Mitzi playing in the fall leaves. I do wish we could train him a bit more but we have made progress in keeping him from jumping on every person who comes through the door. Mostly. He just can’t help himself. He loves his new pack very much and it’s his way of saying “I am so happy I’m here with you guys!”

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