It Was Time For a Puppy

IMG_5224Dear Darling Children,

In honor of National Dog Day I’m going to share the story of how Gaston Alexander Frazier came to be part of our family.

It was a warm, drizzly Sunday.  The night before I had far too much wine because both of you had been screaming, hitting and spilling your juice all over the house.  After your father put you to bed and I was sufficiently intoxicated I started sobbing about how much I missed my sweet dog, Alexander, who had passed away just a month or so before.

“I miss him. I also miss the unconditional LOVE he gave me.  These kids hate me today, they hate me because I won’t let them have 20 bags of fruit chews or watch Caillou.”

I whispered this, my voice cracking, huge teardrops running down my face.

Your father stared at me, at his absolutely stunning and wonderful wife who could do no wrong and was HIS REASON FOR LIVING and he made a decision.

If his perfect wife wanted a dog, she would get a dog.

Cue the warm & drizzly Sunday.

After we undid the hog ties we had to use to get you both into appropriate non-pajama clothing, we all climbed into the car to “visit” the pet shop.  You yelled at each other the entire ride, angry because you had wanted to go to McDonalds but I had said no since neither of you would quit picking your noses or making gagging sounds.

I ignored you both, anxious to see what kind of puppies the shop had.

Your father picked up a mini dachshund immediately.  I wasn’t sold and kept pushing a slightly older light brown puppy in your father’s face, making it speak in a British accent about tea and whatnot.

You both lasted about 10 minutes before imploding, bored, making robot noises and dancing around like a college student on crack.  I put the dog back in his cage and walked out, tears already forming in my eyes.

“They don’t even want a dog. I’m the only one who cares.  How can they not care?  It’s a PUPPY!  A FREAKING PUPPY!!!!  WHO DOESN’T WANT A PUPPY?”

I sobbed this to your father, hysterical once we got to the car.

“You’re right.”

Your father said this calmly, taking my delicate bird hands in his strong ones and gazing at me with his piercing blue eyes that see right into my soul.

“They don’t care.  I don’t care, either.  You’re the one who cares, and that’s all that matters.  So go inside and find yourself a dog.  Find YOUR dog and we will all love it because YOU love it.  This isn’t for the family.  This is for you, my perfect, beautiful wife who I love more than the moon and the stars even though you don’t cook and typically leave the laundry on the couch until I finally fold it while you’re taking a 2 hour bath.”

I’m paraphrasing, but some of that is what he said.  So I listened to him and while he took you little monsters to get some food I went back into the pet shop.

Upon my re-entry I caught sight of something bouncing wildly to my left.  Turning, I spotted a black ball of fur, peppered with tiny spots.  Was it a dalmatian/dachshund/chihuahua hybrid, a brand new designer dog?

No.  It was a mini dachshund.  THE SAME MINI DACHSHUND YOUR FATHER HAD BEEN PLAYING WITH JUST MINUTES BEFORE!

He recognized me when I came back in.  He KNEW we were meant to be!

I picked him up and carried him to the puppy play area, sure that he would do something to make or break the huge decision that was upon me.

I sat down.

He immediately crawled onto my lap and fell asleep, snoring like a drunk, overweight old man.

I realized that I was exhausted, too.

We were perfect for one another

$105,985 later I walked out of that puppy shop, rounded the corner and saw your father leaning up against the car.  He looked at me.  I looked at him and immediately started sobbing.

“I love him.  I love him.”

Your father smiled knowingly.  He had been eyeing a $400 Lego set.  No way would I try to block that purchase NOW!

Just kidding.

He smiled LOVINGLY and said, “Anything to make you happy.”

Anything.

I love him.

…and my new puppy.

Happy National Dog Day, Darling Children.

The End.

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Goodbye & Hello

 

 

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My darling Alexander Marco, my little chihuahua maltese mutt purchased over 13 years ago, passed away in April. It was horrifying and sad and took me a few months to even begin to function properly again.

No more dogs. Never again.

This is what both my husband and I said on a daily basis for 60 days. And we meant it. We were 100% convinced that we wouldn’t be able to handle the emotional burden of having another animal.

Cue this rugrat.

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Meet Gaston Alexander, the handsomest little dachshund in all the world. After bursting into tears after a glass of wine a few weeks ago and sobbing to my husband that I missed Alexander, that the children were just so mean to me and I needed something in my life that gave unconditional love we found this long eared adorable fur ball and brought him home.

Alexander left some big paws to fill. Gaston seems to be very patient with picture taking, so that’s a good sign.

That’s all.  I just wanted to introduce our newest addiction.

 

“That Dog”: First Baby -vs- Human Baby

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It was the end of my Junior year in College. I couldn’t pass Spanish because my instructor was a woman who refused to fall prey to my impeccable flirting. I was sad. So, as per the norm when sadness arrived, I took a trip to the pet store at the local mall.

Since I was young and in excellent health I wore pointy toe 4″ stilettos to walk the mall.  I carefully maneuvered past the clothing shops, the cookie cart, the handsome men catcalling me who always tried in vain to get me to purchase a steam iron…until I arrived at the front of the pet shop window.

…and there you were.

Tiny. Blonde. Sitting so still while all the other wild animals barked madly around you.  We locked eyes and it was…love.  An instant, unselfish, pure & unbreakable love.

I thrust the young sales boy my soon to be maxed out credit card that the bank had foolishly given me even though I didn’t have a job and charged the $94.99 that you cost because in 2002 a chihuahua/maltese mix was a mutt, not a designer dog.  In just a few years your breed would sell for upwards of $750.

Marketing.

Life is strange.

Together we took on the world.  The “No Pets Allowed” law didn’t apply to us because I just didn’t care and you were very quiet.  We ate together in the nicest of restaurants, people stared in jealousy at your various designer rhinestone encrusted ensembles, you traveled across America and stayed at numerous hotels illegally. You made television appearances, were almost shot by the police, cheated death at a haunted house, ate 99 cent Jack in the Box tacos for 6 months straight without complaining, fought off alligators & fell in love with Scooby Doo.

You were there for my greatest triumphs.

You were there for my greatest heartbreaks.

You never asked for anything except love and table scraps.

You are 13 and your health is failing.  I can see this.  I know you don’t hear as well.  I see you miss the couch when you jump.   I hear you coughing.

…and I’m awful.  I don’t deserve you. Because instead of showing you love, for the past few months I have shown you what can only be described as hate.

I call you “that dog” and I feel anger when I trip over you.  I resent having to walk you outside 5 times a day because our fence isn’t put in yet.  When you bark I cringe because it means you’ll wake the children.

The human children.

Because once I had those human children I forgot about my first baby.

And I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.

Everyone said it would happen. I didn’t believe them.

I don’t know how it happened.

I don’t remember when it happened.

I just know it happened.

I have been mean to you.  I have not given you the respect and love that you deserve, that you’ve earned.

Juliette yelled at me again today.  Her terrible two attitude is at an all time high and while I know it’ll pass (please, GOD, let it pass) it doesn’t make the bad moments with her any easier. When I finally got her to go down for a nap I sat on the kitchen floor and cried because…I’m a crier. I am who I am. I should buy stock in waterproof mascara.

You sauntered up to me, sniffing the whole time, probably looking for dropped chex mix.  You looked at me with your cataract eyes, listened to me sniffle with your floppy ears, laid your graying head in my lap and sighed in solidarity.

The stench from the breath you exhumed was borderline unbearable.  I just don’t know what to do about your teeth.  But the action set off a flood of memories of all the times I’ve been at the end, feeling unable to go on and you were there to make things better.

I love you, Alexander Marco Bray-Frazier.

You are a good dog, and I promise to be better, to be the owner you deserve.

I’m going to go take you on a walk.  Please don’t poop in front of our new neighbors.

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