Friday, May 6, 2011

A Blog About a Dog

This is Jake as a puppy... 4 or 5 months I think.

Jake the dog is a 4 year old Malti-Poo (Maltese/Toy Poodle).  He weighs in at about 10 pounds, has one blind eye, and is just about one of the cutest dogs alive.  This dog has character too.  Loves people and wants to please you... or at least he used to.  Something has changed for me in my relationship with Jake.  This blog will be my verbal process about it.  Please allow me to explain.

How I used to feel about Jake:
We got Jake about 2 months into our marriage.  We were at church  and Joann Davis was praying for me.  I had been having a really hard time stepping into the world of "infertility."  I was sad.  Really sad.  If you don't know Joann, she needs a little blurb here:  Joann is the wife of the man who married Felipe and I.  She is in her 60's and is one of the people on the earth who may just be masquerading as an angel... a really quirky, saucy, make-you-laugh-til-you-cry, love-you-to-pieces kind of angel!  When I first started dating Felipe, she said, "Bring him to me!  I will look at the whites of his eyes!"  She's a woman everyone wants to know, and if you do know her, you feel very special for the privilege!  A true saint for sure!  I love that she loves me!  And that particular day, she was praying for me.  In the middle of her prayer, it hit me and I exclaimed, "I want a dog!"  Joann got so excited and looked at Felipe, "That's a great idea! Can she have a dog?"  She prayed for our dog right then and there... that he would bring joy and that he would be a "Christian dog!"

That's the day we got Jake.  I knew that I wanted a malti-poo and we found him online that day.  Went to pick him up in the Walmart parking lot in Burnet, TX.  He weighed 1.4 pounds and was 7 weeks old.  And we fell in love with him! Blind eye and all.
Look how little!  He was adorable and couldn't get up the one step into the house by himself!  We would put him in my purse or Felipe's pocket and carry him everywhere.  

I was so excited to learn about training him.  And we did really well for that first year or so.  He was pretty good.  He got attacked by a golden retriever when he was a puppy and he changed a little after that.  He became... nervous, a little quirky.  He stopped wanting to socialize with other dogs and became a "people dog".  And he loves people!  Usually all people, big and little.  He has always required some maintenance, as dogs tend to do. We've considered Jake to be one of the "home responsibilities" that fell on my plate.  He has hair instead of fur... so no shedding, but it grows, becoming cute, shaggy, and matted!  So, I've been the one to groom him, give him his heartworm medicine, feed him, cut his nails, etc.  And he has to be walked... something Felipe and I have tried to share.

How I currently feel about Jake:
So, a year ago, a new little person entered our lives.  And we fell in love more deeply than we ever could have imagined.  And my "home responsibilities"... they increased substantially.  And Poor Jake... the only honest way to put it is that he has been neglected.  We play with him less, he gets far fewer walks, I think I've even forgotten to feed him a couple of times.  In no way is he starving... he reminds us for sure! He's pooped in the house a couple of times since the baby came... probably b/c he really needed to go out!  And discipline... well, it's hard to find the energy to be consistent with him, so his behaviors have regressed.  I can tell he's frustrated.  He is wondering what happened to our little family utopia where he was the center of our loving affection!  My whole day-to-day view of him has changed.  Instead of being cute and shaggy, I see a 2 hour hair cutting project that will have to be done during nap time!  Uggh!  It takes away a most precious nap time!  And he smells b/c he usually needs a bath.  I see him as one big barking, jumping-on-all-our-visitors, needing-to-be-walked responsibility!  And a fury friend for Lucas!  Lucas LOVES Jake!  But now that Lucas is mobile, he can go get Jake.  Jake, the dog, isn't sure about this little creature who pulls his hair and pats him over and over, a little too hard I might add.  They usually play pretty well together, but the more mobile Lucas gets, the more agitated Jake gets.  I'm trying to teach Lucas "gentle touches."  But it's a slow process.  Jake has yelped and even growled at Lucas a couple of times when he's being grabbed in a way he doesn't appreciate.  And, I saw Jake run away the other day and hide under the bed!  Lucas followed him and tried to look under the bed, but he couldn't figure out how to get under there.  He looked at me and cried!
I imagine when Lucas is a little older and learns "gentle touches" that they will be good friends. But there may be another little one here who hasn't learned it yet.  And then another!  Who will walk him then?  I say that like he really gets walked now.  His walks consist of a 5-10 minute outing with repeated commands of "go potty, Jake."

I got up really early this morning and spent time writing this blog post.  When Felipe got up, I read it to him and we had a little talk about Jake.  We've previously discussed giving him to a loving home :( A tear wells up in my eye just thinking about it.  My mom has said that she would be thrilled to take him. But this morning, we decided to renew our commitment as pet owners... we really do love him.  And we are not ready to part with our little fury friend.  Felipe committed to help me groom Jake on the weekends, so it takes half the time.  And I'm committing to walk him a lot more often.  I started this morning and it was lovely (not yet 90 degrees at 8am).  Me, Lucas and Jake went around our little lake!  And Jake was soooo happy :)

Lucas and Jake playing in the crib!  Jake wasn't sure, but Lucas thought it was a hoot :)

1 comment:

Andrea and Jason Farrell said...

I can totally relate. After the birth of our triplets, our hiperactive lab mix became a dog to us and was no longer my "baby". We also got her in the middle of our infertility and she fulfilled a great need I had to nurture someone. We still love her (but in a different way) and I know very soon she will have three little people throwing balls for her!