Thursday, June 2, 2011


Last March my husband did a project at the animal shelter and came home declaring we needed to adopt a puppy. His name was Sammy (at the time). I had just learned I was pregnant, and was in my zombie pukey stage. We were going to have a baby. We lived in an 800 sf apartment. We weren't allowed to have another pet at our apartment complex. There were many reasons not to do it, but I gave in. Because my husband is such a dog person, because I have a weakness for shelter animals, because I love a challenge, and because I met him. It was all over after that.

Training him was hard. I was exhausted and sick and there was this crazy rambunctious puppy eating everything and testing limits. I played referee all day between him and the cats. 

We persevered, and got a place with a backyard and things started getting better. But then he hit his teenage years. Right when I had a big belly he started jumping on us, getting mouthy and not listening to anything we said. He got aggressive with some dogs over food and toys. I got very worried about bringing a baby into this situation.

We had a dog trainer come to the house a couple times and help us train him in a positive manner. Pretty soon after that we felt we had our good dog back. He also started going to doggie daycare a couple times a week. He got in a few scraps that first week, but apparently the other dogs taught him well. He's been nothing but a good dog for months. 

As soon as Annabel became more aware of her surroundings she zeroed in on the animals. Conan got a look, then a smile, then a laugh, and now she does an elaborate dance and screech when she sees him, or her signature, insistent grunt which I translate to mean "look at that, look at that, i want that, i want that." She loves this dog. And he loves her. Mostly because she usually has sweet potatoes or oatmeal on her hands or dried behind her ears. He learned quickly that underneath the highchair is the place to be. 

Here are the two of them, hanging out in the morning:

Annabel also loves our cat Ookie, who surprisingly keeps coming around despite the ear and tail pulls and loud screeching. Annabel never moves faster than when she sees Ookie across the room. 

If Ookie needs a break from the baby she has learned to take the high ground. Ookie is in for a surprise in a few months, I think.

And just when I think there is too much sweetness, can you believe that Conan and Ookie get along?  Our other cat Daphne has refused to even acknowledge him and is now much happier living outside. But Ookie tolerated him in the beginning and now has warmed up to him. They lay together on the floor, and she rubs her head up against him. They were giving each other baths the other day. Adorable. 

I am so thankful I gave in and let our husband bring home a puppy at the worst time possible. He has been such a joy, and I just love watching Annabel grow up with him.

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