Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"No, we don't have kids -- we have dogs."

Sandy - light brown fluff ball with an attitude. I like to say she's bossy.
Roxy - reddish brown blur. There goes my shoe.

Our dogs are two of the most important things in our lives.
I grew up with cats, and in all honesty I was quite afraid of dogs (even the small squeaky ones) for a good majority of my life. I would have never imagined that I would one day become a no-turning-back dog person. Six years ago, Tony adopted Sandy when she was a tiny puppy at the Humane Society - a few years before my time. Sandy developed an intense bond with him, and would protect him from anything. She is mostly golden retriever, but she has a little bit of Chow in her - the obvious indications being black spotty tounge, curved tail, and attitude. Don't get me wrong - she is loving, affectionate, and playful. But she likes her space, and doesn't take kindly to other dogs infringing...until she gets to know them better. When I first came into the picture, I'm pretty sure she was a little annoyed. However, after 3+ years, she has become quite fond of me as well. But if she had to choose, I'm sure she would ditch me in a second. Luckily, she gets the both of us.

Sandy was enjoying life as an only child, completely oblivious that we were plotting to give her a little sister...

Since all of our friends have goldens (or goldish colored dogs) we knew we had to keep up the tradition. We knew we couldn't get a puppy - we are gone for most of the day. What we weren't expecting was that we would get a "puppy" that weighed 65 pounds...
We went to several events at local pet stores hosted by Adopt a Golden of Atlanta. We saw Roxy and absolutely fell in love. She was reddish brown and sweet and timid - you could tell she was very intimidated with all of the people and dogs. They didn't know much about her history- other than she was not really trained, or neglected. Her owners had a baby and simply couldn't handle her. We couldn't believe that was true - she was so calm!

WRONG! We got her home, and realized what we had gotten ourselves into. Roxy is absolutely crazy and has more energy than I could ever imagine. She had no manners (not her fault, of course) and is a big fan of digging up plants and biting ankles.

We have had her since March, and she will be turning 2 in November. She has grown tremendously in terms of behaving herself and calming down. We have really tried to work with her with training (although not as much as we should...) and she is such a sweet girl when she's sleepy. Otherwise, she's a total blur as she is running laps around the backyard or finding lost shoes and carrying them off to be lost somewhere else! She is crazy but we love her!

Sandy had some transitional issues at first - I won't get into the trip we had to make to the vet for a little emergency stitching surgery... but they get along quite nicely now - and by get along, I mean coexist. At this point, that's good enough for us.

I have to agree with the statement I have heard many times - to know if you are ready to have a child, get a puppy first. You can't stay out for hours if the dogs are at home. If you wake up in the morning and the puppy chow from last night didn't sit well and now appears on the carpet, you clean it up. When perfect mud paw prints develop on the carpet every single time they go out, you clean it up. Both Tony and I have learned many lessons on how to remain calm and not lose our tempers, especially during the tumultuous months of "transition".

Our dogs truly add happiness and meaning to our lives. That may sound a little sappy, and a little overly dramatic, but it's true. They mean so much to me. Nothing cures a long day at work better than coming home to two smiling faces (Sandy smiles for real, I promise!) - no matter what, they are so excited to see you, and only want to make you happy. And they do. Of course we want to have children one day, but for now, our two girls mean the world.

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