Until that ONE day becomes today, David and I play "Mommy and Daddy" to four very spoiled dogs. Okay, they aren't as spoiled as some dogs that I know but they pretty much get what they want. And I will say that, for the most part, they are very well behaved. Well, at least Kya and Goose are. Bella has some manners and well, like most babies of the family, Tank has little to no manners at all. But, he is pretty stinkin' cute.
Hold on-- I need for you to understand, David and I did not go out and adopt four dogs. They just kind of accumulated over the years.
Kya is David's lab/weim mix from early college. She was adopted from the J and J flea market and lived in a house with five freshmen college boys. I should say a,"Bless her heart" is definitely in order. I am surprised she doesn't have permanent damage from all she witnessed in that household.
Goose is our next "child." Goose entered my life about 3 days after I met David at the Great Southland Stampede rodeo. But, that is a totally different story in and of itself. I got Goose (the Moose) from a farm down in Quitman. I had just moved back to Georgia from Arizona and was living in the Reproduction Facility (it was a barn, facility makes it sound a little cleaner) on South Milledge and was working for the UGA Beef Unit. I lived in this barn by myself and I needed some company. Thus, Goose was purchased. He is a standard Collie/Australian Shepherd cross and could do some basic herding. Also, he was so cute that my boss would let me bring him with me while I fed the cows and sheep every day.
|Goose "The Moose" on Christmas morning being ridden by my niece, Addie.|
David and I dated through our junior and senior years of college. During this time, he had Kya and I had Goose. After we graduated and started working, David and I moved in together. David had purchased this cute little house out in the country of Madison County and I needed a place to live. So, I moved in and we became a unit of 4.
During this time, I got a job at Fowler Drive Elementary School. I was working as instructional support for students with disabilities. One day, it was raining and cold. I was driving home towards Madison County when I spotted this pretty little silver pup on the side of the road of North Avenue. I stopped traffic to get out of my car and pick up this pretty baby. Her six week old tummy was swollen and she was very scared. I took her back to Madison County. When I got home, David was so upset with me. He said, "absolutely not! We will NOT be keeping her." It took five minutes before she walked over, laid her little head on David's foot, took a long ragged breath and fell asleep. She knew she was safe and home. David never mentioned finding Bella (our baby number 3) a home again.
|Sleeping on the way back from South Georgia and making her "old lady face" while dreaming|
We were done. No more dogs. At least, you would have thought that we were maxed out at three LARGE dogs. But, no. We weren't done. About a year later, we were still living in our little Madison County country house. A nice lady and her (rebellious teenage) daughter had moved in. The teenage daughter and her boyfriend brought home an American Bulldog/Pitbull mix. The pup was about 8 - 10 weeks old when she got him. However, despite her new pup at home it didn't deter the girl to run away for a time with her boyfriend. The lady, who hadn't wanted the dog to begin with, left the dog outside. For several weeks, the pup would travel down to the edge of our property and just sit and watch us play with our three dogs. He would never get close, but he would sit and watch, his tail wagging all the while. Another neighbor and her child nicknamed the pup, "Wheezy" because he had trouble breathing. They would leave food and water out for "Wheezy" because the mother of the rebellious teenage daughter did not. We noticed that "Wheezy's" body condition changed and he was sick and starving. David and I would get so angry that the owners were not taking care of this precious pup. But, it wasn't our job either, was it?
It all became clear one afternoon. David was home and cutting the grass in the front yard. I was at school. "Wheezy" had found something intriguing in the road. He had found something edible for him to eat. As mentioned before--he was starving. David stopped to watch "Wheezy" trot out into the road when all of a sudden he heard the growl of a large semi-truck heading Wheezy's way. My husband has a huge heart and couldn't stand to see the pup suffer a moment longer. David ran into to road, grabbed "Wheezy" and placed him in the back yard with our other 3 babies. When I arrived home that afternoon, our family of 5 had just gained another member. This time I told David, "No, we cannot keep him. We cannot have 4 dogs, it's ridiculous." And so I found "Wheezy" a new home....only when the time came to give him away I couldn't do it. And so "Wheezy" became our youngest baby, Tank aka "Tinkerbell,""Stink," or "Winky."
|"Wheezy" the day David saved him from the road.|
|Tank now. Fat and Happy.|
I feel very fortunate that my husband is an animal lover like me. I know that sometimes people look at us like the crazy "dog" people but I don't care. Dogs are so excited to see you when they wake up in the morning and are always there to greet you when you get home at night. They are patient, kind, loving and loyal. In fact, I think we, as humans, could all learn a thing or two from the love and loyalty of a dog.
So, at this time, David and I are unclear as to what our future may hold for children. But, until then, I plan to continue to learn from my pups. And I hope one day that I can become more like them-- the person worthy of their loyal wagging tails and wet kisses....
** Please get involved with your local humane society or animal shelter. Even if you cannot have a dog, you can always donate wet or dry food, old blankets, toys, money, or your TIME. Volunteering your time to give a pup a kind moment is often times the only thing they need. For more information on how to get involved in the Athens area please visit: Athens Pets. **