Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pucker Up Furry Friends...

Boudicca (aka Boo, Booty, Boosie) is half Golden Retriever, half Border Collie. She is "my" dog. I had a bad car accident when we first moved back to the States after our stint in London. My neck, back, and shoulders were really sore, and so to cheer me up Tonio took me to an animal shelter near our house. I saw 13 little black and white puppies pouncing around, and one more huddled in the corner, scared of all of the big dogs barking. I am THE softy for underdogs (I'm an ESL teacher and a Cubs fan, what can I say??), and this time the under"dog" was Boudicca! I asked to hold her, and told Tonio he needed to go to an ATM and take out cash because we were taking her home. I sat there and cuddled her- she was trembling either from the cold (it was January) or because she was scared and I put her in my jacket and fell in love.

For the next couple of weeks she warmed me up on the sofa while I recuperated from my accident. I remember our first house's windows were single pane, metal framed, cheap 1950's windows with ice on the INSIDE of the house. The curtains blew in the breeze sneaking around the metal frames where sunlight shone through the cracks that opened our living room to the outside elements. Seriously. Boudicca and I would wrap up in an afghan and watch TV together while we waited for Tonio to come home from work. Fast forward 7 years and kids have taken Boo's perch on the top of the totem pole. She is the most loyal, obedient, hoping-to-please-you dog. She is terrified of storms and is our own personal barometer, letting us know it will rain in the next couple of hours by hovering in the corner and shaking tremendously. Tonito is her protector when it rains, Vivi likes to play vet with her, and Maya dresses her up. She drives Tonio crazy with what our vet calls "submissive urination" (I'll let you google that). She sheds like crazy and sneaks onto the couch when we're not around- but she is a very good guard dog and does not like when any strange man comes near us. At the same time she is SO good with the kids, and lets them crawl all over her and dress her up, or lead her around the house pulling her collar.

Mingo is a Heinz 57 dog: part Husky, part German Shepherd, part Collie?, part Lab? (this is what the shelter told us, but who knows about the last 2?). She is "Tonio's" dog. We went to the same shelter maybe 10 months later and saw a litter of *white* and grey puppies (husky colored). One of the dogs had "weird" blue and brown eyes, German Shepherd coloring, and was jumping on all of the other puppies and biting and wrestling with them. Tonio immediately saw this frisky dog messing with the other ones, and fell in love. I tried to convince him to get one of the cute white ones cowering in the corner, but he was already leading Mingo out the crate towards the exit. Mingo is almost completely blind, but has an amazing sense of hearing and smell and can tell that someone is walking past our house even if she is inside in a far room. She adores Tonio, and does not leave his side when he is home- sleeping on his feet if he's working in the office, or waiting outside the bathroom for himwhile he showers. Mingo's personality is the opposite of Boo's: if they were people, Boo would be a nervous tax account on April 14th, startled at loud noises. Mingo would be a surfer dude with long, sunbleached hair. When I yell at Mingo to get off the couch, she lazily stretches, moans, does a couple of yoga poses, and then slowly gets off the couch. I am definitely not her alpha male, nor am I remotely dominant in her world. Mingo is a very good guard dog, and would give her life for any of us. She also has her vices, such as digging in my yard, anxious chewing (though plug-in phermones have changed our lives and eliminated destruction!:), and at times she doesn't seem potty-trained. And she eats grass, which might end up revisiting us. And she sheds like crazy. But she is a very good dog with the kids, and nippy or aggressive behavior is the one thing I wouldn't tolerate.

Our dogs get a LOT of love (from the kids). It balances out the times they get in trouble for doing things dogs do. I hope that they live a long time- and Tonio's hopes to clone Mingo for the future...hehe.

1 comment:

Ann said...

Many yrs ago I also picked the most active and frisky puppy in the litter, he turned out to be very agressive and a one person dog, please be careful. This is a sign of agression and wanting to be the leader of the pack. You may have to train him and put him in proper pecking order. K