Friday, July 16, 2010

Boy's Best Friend

Every kid needs a dog.  And every parent needs one more thing to clean up after like they need a hole in the head.  But, kids and dogs are a magical combination.  So, with that in mind, we set off on the road to adoption. 

Oh, what a road we have traveled.  Deeming ourselves ready for an addition to our family we found our perfect puppy at a shelter home.  She was a tiny, black lab and blue heeler mix, with a shy personality.  It was love at first sight.  We named her Jessie and brought her home.  Jessie is intelligent, sweet and quiet.  Content to be by our sides, she is as loyal as they come.  If only everything continued on in the same vein, this is where the story would end. 

But, there was this afternoon when my son and I headed into the local grocery store,  only to be waylaid by a cart full of fur balls.  Abandoned by their owner, they were hard to pass up.  They needed homes.  We kept one for ourselves and named him Echo.  It wasn't because his constant bark echoed throughout our house either.  The dog is very vocal.  He likes to bark.  At everything.  When he is not barking, he can be heard snorting, grunting, panting, and snoring.  The nonstop noise machine isn't terrible though.  It's become a white noise in the background of our lives. 

Echo has far worse habits than that.  He eats everything.  Whether it is food or not.  And we have the large vet bill to prove it.  That wasn't even for the time he swallowed a glue trap with a dead mouse stuck to it.  Downed it in one gulp while I was running at him, shouting, "Echo, no!  Drop it! Gross!!"  Jessie understands "Drop it".  Echo hears it as, "Eat faster".  No food left laying around is safe in our home, and that includes the food on our plates at dinnertime. Once he tangled with our grill as it was loaded down with steaks.  That only happened the one time.  Apparently, hot charcoal briquettes can get through to him in a way that months of dog training classes never could. 

The great thing about Echo is that he never seems fazed by anything.  The dog goes around with a perpetually happy look on his face.  Tail wagging, he is always looking for attention and a good belly rub.  The dog is hopelessly devoted to our son.  The boy doesn't make a move without Echo by his side.  Doesn't sleep a wink without that dog laying by his bed.   If Echo can't be outside with his best friend, then he will sit at the window and keep an eye on his young master.  And never move an inch until they are reunited.  That is the real reason we have persevered with this canine.  Because, all the chewed up furniture is replaceable.  The five trees he ripped out of the yard were disposed of and upgraded.  At the end of the day you can find my boy and his dog laying down with their arms around each other.   No matter how annoyed with Echo I may get, and it's quite a lot at times, I cannot deny my son the special bond he has with his dog.  The connection between a child and pet isn't something that can be measured or even understood.  It's a bond that may leave one baffled, if having never felt it before.  All I know is, somehow, somewhere along the way this dog has become a member of our family.  And family members never give up on each other.  Even if there is a dead mouse involved.

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