Thou Shalt Not Covet...Thy Daughter's Dog???!!!
My daughter adopted a dog from The Humane Society nine months ago. She had been begging for a dog of her own for years, but when she was younger, she was not very responsible when it came to pet care, and I just wasn't up for caring for yet one more pet. A friend decided (with my permission) to get her a dog from the Humane Society. Morgan wanted a small dog that she could bring everywhere with her. She really liked the Chihuahua breed, so I assumed that was what she would come home with.
They went to look for dogs one particular day. She called me all excited about this great dog she had fallen in love with. She told me it was about 25 pounds and she really liked it. I was disappointed that she hadn't found the Chihuahua of her dreams, or some other type of small dog under ten pounds as she had been talking about for years. I asked her to wait a few days before deciding, to make sure this particular dog was what she really wanted and that she wasn't just settling since there were no Chihuahuas available. She was disappointed but agreed.
She came home that night and showed me the dog's picture on the Humane Society website. Although it did look somewhat like a large Chihuahua, I was shocked at how large this dog was, and I didn't think it was even attractive. I am ashamed to now admit that I told her the dog was horrendous looking and I thought she should hold out for the Chihuahua of her dreams. The dog was also six and a half years old, so I knew it might come with some bad habits. But I realized at least we wouldn't have to break in a puppy. She asked if I could at least go with her to look at it in person. She was quite determined, so I agreed.
The Humane Society Visit
We arrived at the Humane Society, and she took me to the back room to see the dog. It looked the same to me as it had in the picture. I thought the dog was too big, and that she would become disillusioned with it shortly after she got it because it wasn't small enough. It stands about fourteen inches to the shoulder. The staff asked if we would like to see her in a visiting room. We agreed, and they let us visit with her. She didn't warm up to easily to anyone and seemed to bounce around from one person to the next sniffing and seeming anxious. One of the female staff popped in and the dog went crazy around her, hopping all over her and climbing into her lap. I realized that she must have some bonding potential.
The staff told us that her owner had died. That bit of news tugged at my heart strings. They said the dog is partial to women, and is afraid of men, so it takes her some time to warm up to men. When we were allowed to take her outside, with a staff member tagging along, I found she was very well behaved on her leash and didn't tug or pull like the large dogs I had when I was growing up. And she had already been spayed, so we didn't need to worry about her having puppies. She was definitely growing on me.
As we left the Humane Society that afternoon, I told Morgan that if that was the dog she really wanted, it would be okay with me. The next day, she and her friend went to pay the fee and pick her up. I had to give the okay to staff members that they could adopt the dog since Morgan was under 18. I gave verbal permission over the phone, with a heavy sigh after I hung up. I wondered if my daughter would maintain her commitment to this dog once the newness wore off. The rest of the afternoon, while I was at work, I received a series of pictures of the dog looking very cute as she curled up in the back of the car on the way home.
The Rest of the Story
Well, this story has a happy ending which you might have guessed from the title. Not only does my daughter love her dog, I now love this dog myself. She came with the name, 'Reeses" probably because she is the color of the inside of a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. She has the sweetest personality in a dog I have ever seen. She is attached to both my daughter and me, and follows one or the other of us around the house.
She is affectionate very happy and loves to play Frisbee. She loves to go for car rides, and I often take her with me when I just need to run errands because I enjoy her company. She learns new tricks quite easily and has an assortment of toys that we call her "babies" that she will run to go get whenever we ask her where her baby is.
She alternates who she sleeps with, and lays very unassumingly at the end of the bed. She is just so happy to be with someone who loves her. She is very smart, and has learned commands quickly, including which door she needs to go to when we ask her if she wants to go, "out back" on her run, or to "take a walk." She has her own signals which tell us when she needs to go outside to relive herself.
Speaking of taking a walk, she is great company for me on daily walks around the neighborhood, and I find myself taking longer walks for health with her along. Walking the dog is now one of my favorite habits each day. She is a fantastic watch dog and lets us know by some very aggressive barking if someone is approaching the house. When she has done something wrong, she knows it and hangs her head, slinking toward us with shame. Sometimes she cuddles right up to us, with her nose and little face pressed right up against our cheek and a wagging tail as a way to ask for forgiveness.
Speaking of wagging her tail, sometimes we can just look at her and tell her she's a good girl, and without even being able to see her tail, we can hear it thumping against the floor, or a piece of furniture because she is happy! She has three different looks, including her alert look, with her ears straight up in the air, her "Yoda" look where her two ears stick straight out on either side of her head, and her happy look, where her ears are back against her head, and she is wagging her tail. She sometimes has her bottom teeth showing when wagging her tail, like she's smiling at us. She usually has the cutest look on her face, as though she is telling us she's glad to be here. And she will happily wag her tail with just a look or a greeting from either one of us.
My daughter will be moving out within the next year and taking the dog with her. I am sad that the dog and I will be parting ways and that I will no longer have her presence with me on a daily basis. Yes, I guess I do at times "covet my daughter's dog," and wish that she was mine so I could keep her in my life for the rest of her doggie days. But she loves my daughter, and the feeling is quite mutual, so I am glad they have each other. I am the back up "Grammy," and in the long run, that's how it should be. But I will miss her when they eventually move on.
Every morning when I say my prayers, I thank God for this dog who has brought such joy and love to our lives.
Do You or Your Family Have a Dog?
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