More Pictures, and Why I'm Not a Dog Person...

P-2 Jacob is this guy's "official" name from his former owner. We've been calling him Jacob, since he's very confused about life right now, having been an owner-surrender to the shelter just a few weeks ago. Apparently, his former owner inadvertently moved somewhere that wouldn't allow dogs, and he was asked to get rid of him, shortly after moving.

Our kids want him to be called Bob, and Glen thinks that Frankie is a good name. I agree, he looks like a Frankie.

He doesn't like being crated at night. I'm not sure if it's because he wasn't crated before (he seems to have lived a rather spoiled life), or if it reminds him of his cage at the shelter. Regardless, he barked up a storm for about a half hour or so the first night, but then settled down to sleep the night through. That first night he spent in his pet taxi. Last night, I set up the crate that I got for him, which was narrower than his pet taxi. He didn't like it, and he didn't have to stay in it for long--he escaped! So, he ended up back in his pet taxi. This brief bit of freedom served to ramp up his barking, and after an hour of it, I put him in the basement exercise room. To help calm him I gave him the tee shirt I'd worn that day, which worked wonders. (Why didn't I think of that before?)

Yesterday morning, Jacob wasn't sure about where he was. Glen had let him out of his crate, so Glen was the only one he remembered. It only took him a few seconds to remember me, but he was initially scared of the kids when they came downstairs a half hour later. Glen stayed home from church with a bad back, so when the kids and I returned Jacob thought we were intruders and he sounded the alarm! :) Glen was making jokes about Jacob having short-term memory issues.

Thankfully, today he remembered that there were more people here than just the one who released him from his crate! I took him upstairs and he began running around looking for everyone else.

He loves his chicken-flavored Nylabone. We call it his chicken bone. It is beautiful outside this morning, so we ate on the patio. Jacob chewed his bone, but he was on alert in case we decided to share any strawberries with him.

Those of you who know me are thinking, "What was she thinking?" because you know I am not a dog person. Well, here's the answer to that, and the scoop on why I don't favor dogs.

First, here's our Aiken, the old brown fossil that we had to say goodbye to last summer.

Just like in all the Land's End ads, Labs are the kind of dog that tugs at the heart strings of dog lovers. But he was such a pill. A sweet pill, but a pill nonetheless. He would shed a pound of hair a minute, chew up everything in site (Glen replaced wooden steps two different times because he chewed them up), and bark--oh, how he could, and would, bark!

Anyway, I told Glen that after Aiken died we most certainly were NOT getting another dog, because I'm not a dog person.

Yet, we have another dog.

Okay, Kyla IS a dog person. Dog lover. Since Aiken died last June, she has read about 40 dog chapter books (or more), and she still can't talk about Aiken without getting choked up. So that's the main reason I agreed to bring Jacob into our home.

The second reason is that I'm the only one of the five members of our household who is NOT a dog person. I tried to discuss my objections (shedding, chewing, messes, etc) with my friend, Liz--

"I'm not a dog person!" I would say.

"It's not about you," Liz would reply. She said Kyla needs a dog. (All she would draw or write about in Liz's art and creative writing classes were dogs).


So, that is why we have Jacob. Plus, he reminds me of Copper.

Copper was an adorable beagle that I found by the side of the road when I went to get the mail one day, when I was fifteen. He had been shot in the snout by a bb gun. Instead of the mail, I came carrying this sweet little beagle back to the house.

Of course, my first words to my parents were, "Can we keep him?"

They looked at each other and said, "We'll see."

We took him to the vet and he got better, but he always snorted when he would bay (as beagles do). He would go, "Awooooooo.....snort......awooooooooo....snort..." over and over again.

Long story short, we ended up keeping him, and I named him Copper because we'd just seen The Fox and the Hound, and the hound's name was Copper. He was my buddy. Everyday I would take him to the field across the road and we'd run and run and run. I never put him on a leash, because he'd always come when I'd squat down and hold out my arms. My mom kept telling me that he was going to get run over by a car if I didn't leash him, but I didn't agree.

She was right, though.

One day, I had unhooked Copper from his doghouse and we were headed toward the road to go run in the field. I heard a car, so I squatted down and called to him, holding out my arms. Instead of coming to me, Copper darted in front of me and then out into the road. He couldn't have connected with that car at a more precise moment. I can still hear the "yike!" bark that came out of him as I watched the car run over him. I just screamed over and over and over, "Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!" Everything seemed surreal, like one of those slow-motion scenes in a movie.

Remarkably, the person driving the car didn't even stop.

I was in a funk for quite some time, and I never really liked dogs after that. In fact, the emotion behind that is still fresh, having thought about it for this post. I really loved that dog. It didn't help that during that same year I'd gotten a concussion at church camp, had surgery on my leg, and came down with mono. Losing my dog on top of all of that really pushed me over the edge.

My next dog-owning experience was a horrible one. It involved a Rottweiler name Baron, and he turned vicious. It's a long, miserable story not fit for this blog. But it only reinforced my growing dislike for dogs.

Then, I married Glen and Aiken came into my life. For a long time, I kept calling him Baron by accident. But, gradually I grew to like him more when he started living in the garage and the hair situation in the house got better.

With Aiken gone, there was a void. While everyone else was grieving the loss of our dog, I had to face my own selfishness, and think about all the mean--sometimes hateful--things that I'd said about him.

I started to search the listing for shelter dogs, and when I saw Jacob's picture, my heart went out to him. He looked so scared. So, we drove over an hour and a half (one way) to pick him up, on Saturday morning. He seemed to quickly bond with me and the kids, and he's adjusting well to being in our home.

Ironically, of all the people in our home, Jacob prefers me. Maybe I am a dog person, after all. :)