Friday, February 17, 2012

Finding The Perfect Dog

Angel our dog
Hey my Beauties,

Angel is an amazing dog. We are truly blessed to have her in our lives. When she first arrived at our door step it was a bit touch and go, but over the years she has proven herself worthy to live in a Cat lover's house.
"I don't do dogs!" that came from your dad the first week she was dropped off at our doorstep. You see, he never grew up with dogs only cats as pets, and the only experience he did have with a dog, was Sasha; when she lived with us for a few weeks until Tante Bina found a dog friendly apartment.
Sasha sitting on top of your Tante Tasha and Tante Bina
Sasha, was as well behaved as Marley (from the movie 'Marley and Me'). She was as undisciplined and dense as him as well, and she looked just like him. In looks and actions, they could have been twins, (you know she actually jumped out of a moving car like Marley too). Okay, she was a little stupid and uncontrolled, so I could see why your dad didn't want a dog if she was his only experience to base an opinion on. I on the other hand, came from a home where we had both cats and dogs.

Sherry(the dog lying down), Sherry's friend (forget his name)
Tante Bina and Oma and Opa
Sherry was my family' Irish Setter when I was a child. She was beautiful and smart and loving. You know, she waited every day for us at the top of the stairs, by the front door, when we returned from school at 3pm. She was a good dog. At least from what I remember as a child (you would have to talk to your Opa and Oma for more details).
I loved hugging her. I loved telling her all my problems, because she really listened. No judgements... just love. I wanted that experience for you as well. So I went on the hunt for the perfect dog. At least the perfect dog for our family.

What does the perfect dog look like? I had no idea. So I did some research...
It took me 2 years. TWO YEARS? Yes, 2 years... Why?...because I wanted to make sure we had the perfect dog for Cat Man.
Your father and I made a list:
- No hyper dog.
- No Labrador Retriever
- A dog that can sit in a canoe calmly.
- Must like swimming.
- Must listen well ("I don't want to be one of those crazy loud owners yelling and chasing after the dog!" that was one of your dads prerequisites).
- Medium to large size dog ("I don't want a small yippee dog that gets carried around in a purse!" My prerequisite).
- Must like Cats!

Our Dog of choice narrowed down to two options, a Golden Retriever and a Newfoundlander. Since a retriever can still be a little hyper, we opted for the Newfie. Besides, my cousin Ellen had a Newfie named Beau and he was the sweetest and most behaved dog I knew.

"$1800!" that was the going price from a reputable breeder.
"Forget it," your father said to me, "we don't have that kind of money for a dog." But, I couldn't forget it... You see... I love dogs. So I looked on line for a cheaper Newfie.
"Here I found one for $800 dollars," I said to your dad one night after 2 hours of searching. We called the number. It was for a 3 month old Newfie puppy and we would have to pick it up at the Metro Town Mall parking garage out of the back of a truck the following Saturday. Can you say Puppy Mill? Needless to say, we opted out of that option as well.
So, I went back on line and checked out the S.P.C.A. It took a few months to find 3 year old, Obi, a Newfoundlander cross with Chow Chow in Vancouver. He looked so cute and fluffy. It was meant to be, I figured, because we already had a cat named Yoda. He had just arrived from a reservation in the Bella Coola area. We have no pictures of him because he only lasted two weeks. He was the opposite of everything on our list except the big dog part.
"I'm not saying this in a hurtful way Anuschka, but I'm your friend," Krista began one morning as I attempted to walk Obi beside her. He was bouncing around and pulling me along. He was too strong and hard to hold on to.
"He seems too much dog for you guys... if there is such a thing? Do you get what I'm saying?" I did get it... I did feel it, but I didn't want to own up to it. I didn't want to give up on him, because so many people already had. What would happen to him if I give up? Then the unthinkable happened... he ran away.
"I swear Anuschka, it's the dog or me... I mean it! Take him back!" your dad said to me after spending a half an hour yelling and chasing after Obi, who had run off after some bikes on the dyke.
"Well?" he asked. I guess I had paused too long.
"Okay...I know... I will."
"I'm a cat person honey." he stated, "I just can't do dogs... I'm sorry." Reluctantly, with tears in my eyes I drove Obi back to the shelter, because Krista was right, he was too much dog for us.
As I drove the hour back into downtown Vancouver, I cried, "You know how much I love dogs," I blubbered to God, "I spent 2 Years! 2 Years... Waisted time!... For NOTHING! Now I don't have a dog and I never will." I was feeling quite sorry for myself. Eventually, I did realized that it was the best decision. He was not the dog for us. But because of my inability to find the perfect dog... I now had missed the opportunity to get one. Cat Man had closed the door.
You see, I had tried to do it all myself. I mean, for the past 2 years I had done all the work and all the research. I never once let anyone help. I never once asked God for help. I had relied fully on me.
"Okay... so it's no dog for us... if that is Your will God, and Rene's. I will have to be okay with it," and I really did, totally let it go. Honest truth.
When I got back, your dad gave me a big hug.
"No hard feelings?"
"No... I'm okay with the decision... It was the right thing to do," and I really meant it. Honest. Besides, I love your dad more than I love dogs.
A few days later Angel arrived on our door step, hand delivered... right to the front door.
I had forgotten about the conversation I had had with the neighbour a couple weeks earlier. He had just received a $20 dollar dog off a farm in the 100 Mile House area. At the time, I was frustrated with the Newfie development and disappointed with how much they cost, when I asked him if they had any more $20 dogs left. Oooopppsss... My bad...
"Your dog has grown." Rene said to the neighbour, who had come up behind him one day in May 2007, as he was fixing the brakes on our VW Van.
"No... this is your dog." the neighbour smiled,
" dog?"
"Didn't Anuschka tell you?" he said as he handed over the dog to Rene. "My Misty is in the house. This one's yours. Anuschka asked for one a few weeks ago."
"ANUSCHKA!" your dad yelled. He was quite unhappy with me.  For a moment, he sounded just like my dad, when I was a kid and late for supper.
I found him outside, beside the Van with a cutsie little puppy in his greasy hands.
"Ohhhh, has Misty gotten bigger?" I cooed and picked up the neighbours dog out of your father's arms.
"No..." he paused and cleared his throat, "apparently this is our dog." Daggers flew out of Cat Man's eyes and steam out the ears. I heard a low-pitched 'grrrr' deep within him... and he wasn't purring. He was ready to spit and hiss at me at any moment. I backed away.
"Really?" I said happy-go-lucky, "Cool!" Then I smiled and cuddled my puppy.

Stay Tuned for Part Two "Angels Do Fall Sometimes"... Can Cat Man and Dog Woman co-habitat?
Love You
Mom (aka Dog Woman)

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