Sunday, May 16, 2010

All dogs go to heaven

(If you are a dog lover, this post is not for you.)

Yesterday our dog ran away. He returned, so don't get all weepy on me. If you know me at all, you know how I feel about him. And if you don't, let me give you a quick update. He's Spike. Our English Bulldog. The biggest pain in my arse since Lost decided to come up with parallel worlds.

So yesterday Brianna went out the door to play, but the door did not remain shut. She and I were both unaware of this, so until I came out into the living room a few minutes later I didn't know he had left.

Do you know one of my weaknesses? Swearing under my breath. So be aware that it might get a little PG-13 around here. I'm just say'n. (and it's totally okay if you want to pray for my swearing-soul right about now, too. i really don't like this nautiness of mine)

So here I am....running out the door while my son is asleep on the couch.....yelling Spike's name.....calling Rowdy to get home quick.. searching all over for him...swearing under my breath.

Did you say that you wanted a little history in the making? You got it.

I could not get pregnant. Brianna was a three year old all alone without a friend in the world. Rowdy wanted a bulldog forever and a day ago and he said that getting a bulldog would be a light in our dreary life. She needed someone to play with. It just wasn't fair to her. And that bulldogs don't shed, or bark, and just sit lazily all day long. I caved.

I got pregnant 1 month later.

We left the South and drove across the country to live in the great Northwest. I was very pregnant and very uncomfortable on that journey, but it was Spike whom we were desperately worried about. "Is Spike okay back there?" my husband asked. "Is he too hot? We better pull over so he can stretch his legs!" Uhm. Ya.

Cue dog smell. Because did you know that Bulldogs have the worst flagellant issues of any breed of mammals? Including my brother?

He was cute most of the time....sitting lazily at your feet... asking for nothing but a belly rub here and there. But then I started to notice that he had a very distinct whine. One that makes you ponder if he is in fact dying. A scratchy throat coughing hacking shrill scream sort of whine. In fact, he sounded an awful lot like Chewbacca. And he barked. And he smelled. And he ran. He was a normal freak'n dog. I was TRICKED.

He is super ugly, so people are often scared of him, but he is truly a wimp and really friendly, and apparently so ugly he's cute. If you walk in the door and give him any inclination of attention, be aware that he will now expect non-stop physical love. Overall though, if we were to have a certain type of dog, he would fit the bill. He does sit around most of the day, and he is very gentle with children, and although he is actually a wimp.. he's a good guard dog because no bad man wants to mess with him. So many plus-es, no?

But there are a few teeny tiny gigantic problems.

He has peed and pooped on my carpet. Just writing that makes me LIVID. And he runs away. As many times as he can.

A few years ago having Spike in my house was like eating the same leftover egg salad every day. Eventually, it doesn't taste so great anymore (and you have to wonder, did it ever?) The doorbell would ring and he would immediately run for the door. Because he is so heavy, you could only crack the door open a little to say hello while your feet and legs were left fin-angling and pushing the huge beast out of the way to keep him from bolting outside, at which point, if you mastered that plan you can look a little normal and open the door the whole way.

Unfortunately, most times he got through my leg wedge and ran. And I would leave whoever was at my doorstop (stranger or not) with a "Could you keep an eye on my kids while I chase this blasted dog?"

Sometimes I would catch him immediately. Sometimes I wouldn't. Sometimes I would have to go to the pound to pick him up. Sometimes they told me if it happened again they wouldn't let me pick him up. Sometimes I called Rowdy and screamed. Sometimes I said unhappy words. Sometimes I cried and wailed and sounded like I was a dying Chewbacca myself and made ultimatums.

Finally, one day Rowdy said that he couldn't see me cry any longer so he had found a co-worker that wanted to buy him. He said I was worth more to him than the dog. Really? I had no idea.

So we said our goodbyes and I stopped swearing under my breath. And then it happened. The worst drama in Stroud family history. The crying would not stop. It was like a funeral in my home. Friends would come over and ask what was wrong. Brianna cried to her daddy, "Why did you give my baby away?!" Rowdy lamented (in a very MANLY way, of course), "You see those hot dogs that Kai threw down from his high chair that remain on the floor? Those wouldn't be here if Spike was around!" and "it's one thing if he died, but we gave him away. How could we just give a family member away?"

Oh for Pete's sake. Get the dog back.

And he has been here ever since.

We have made some new adjustments. We have baby gates for a dog rather than children. I have learned to count backwards from twenty to reduce my heart palpitations. One time when Rowdy was gone working for 2 months he sent me a present-- permission to get Spike neutered to calm him down. It was the nicest gift I had ever received.

It all helped a bit.

And yet.. I am still often found driving my car around the neighborhood yelling his name and hindering my eternal salvation by swearing under my breath.

Hopefully he'll end up in dog heaven one day. He certainly has enough people who think he's great and adore him. But does the fact that he makes my life a living hell mean anything to the angels above?

I'm counting the dog food on it.

(seriously though... he's a good dog, and if we have to have a dog in our family, he is surely the one. he and i just have some issues. i'll be attending a "start to like your dog" seminar next month. followed by a long walk in the park.)


Mo said...

HA! I laughed through the whole thing!

Tara said...

LOL! I have felt this way about my dog sometimes too!

Liz said...

You totally had me dy-ing while reading! I am going to share this with my husband - who desperately wants a dog and is leaning on me, along with two of my kids. I'm so glad I read your post!!

carlisle clan conversation... said...


Meichelle said...

I found your blog from your guest post on MMB. I seriously peed my pants while reading this post. You are hilarious!

Lynnae said...

I relate to that! The first year with out dog was so hard. I regretted it so much. At first. Now I love her so much...but there are those days.

Carol said...

As a dog lover and owner you have my sympathies and total understanding.
My hubbie has complained about loose long white hair (not mine) almost every day for 7 years now AND when darling doggie escapes we all have to hustle double time towards the nearest busy street on her walking route, or if we're really lucky whichever neighbor happens to be out in their yard at the time :)

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Haha, I'm not particularly an animal person but I sure loved reading this!

Evelyn @ Hanging by a Silver Lining said...

Who knew that losing your chops would make the best present ever? LOL! He is so ugly he's cute, but I'm just saying that because I get to just look. I don't have to deal with all the rest of it.

The Rowdy Orator said...

"It was Spike whom we were desperately worried about. "Is Spike okay back there?"...We better pull over so he can stretch his legs!" Uhm. Ya."

That is just not true and in fairness Spike couldn't speak for himself. Also, Bulldogs overheat very easily. With that said, Is there really any doubt that Carrie would speak up for herself ...really?! Thanks for putting up with him Carrie (: I know you loathe him like the chicken pox or McDonalds...

iamwoman said...

Oh dear husband of mine, you KNOW that car ride experience was true. And everything else. Memories.

Sarah loves it all said...

Oh I love this!! So many things remind me of the way I feel about my dog. It's definitely a love/hate relationship. You are so funny. My husband always says "pain in the arse." it drives me nuts. :)

Pasion Family said...

This is great! You love your dog!

jeana said...

I think I wrote this (about our big dog)...grrr. I know how you feel. Totally.

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