New Dog

Brian and I could not decide what to get our girls for the holidays. We have some smaller gifts for them but nothing too big or earth shaking.  Things like a toy teacup pig I picked up on a whim, and on clearance, a few months back at Target and a couple Groovy Girls that were at Once Upon a Child back in September. 

The girls haven't asked for anything reasonable either.  It's either everything they see (Stella) or "I don't know" (Sandis) or else something completely inappropriate like a Nook or an iTouch (both kids.)  Hello children, I got my iTouch for my FORTIETH birthday (Brian bought it with his fantasy football winnings - isn't that sweet :)  My Nook I got this year with the birthday money from my parents and in-laws combined with the gift card I won in the summer library reading program.  Brian has neither device.  Kids, guess what?  1) we aren't handing one of these to you for existing at ages 10 & 8 and 2) I've seen how you take care of things by strewing them about your room and stepping on them.  Electronics don't hold up well to that kind of care.

Combine that with the fact that they've both recently had birthdays where they both received loads of gifts and cash & neither has outgrown any major item (such as a bike), and you have two stumped parents.

Soooooooo, well, Brian's friend takes dogs from Animal House out for runs and there was a dog, Zorro, that he liked.  Brian was wanting a dog he could take on longer runs with him.  You see, Sirius, our current dog, can't go more than 2.5-3miles.  Soon after we adopted him, we took him for his free vet checkup where they said that he had broken one of his back legs and it had re-healed without being set.  Because of that, when Sirius runs too much, he limps around in pain for a day or so.  Sirius would be more than willing to do that in order to go running with Brian, but we are unwilling to let him do that.  Brian regularly runs 10-30 miles in one run, hence the looking at Zorro. 

Well, Brian and I talked and talked about another dog.  I thought it would make a good family gift.  When we finally decided, we talked to the girls.  If we took the plunge and got another dog, it would be a holiday gift for the whole family.  There wouldn't be a big gift under the tree, the dog would be that.  Of course, they agreed! Another dog is the best thing EVER.  Zorro was no longer an option, he'd been adopted (yeah for Zorro!)  We told the girls that we would go look at the shelters but we would only get a dog if it was a perfect fit.  The dog had to be one that could go running with Brian, be large enough that Stella can't pick it up (she gets a bit obsessive,) be less that 3yrs old (because Sirius is 8yrs old and we'd like to not lose them both at once,) one that doesn't need clipping at a groomers, and is reasonably well behaved.  If that dog wasn't there, we would come home without a dog, no matter how cute they were (because, let's face it, they're all cute.)

We headed out on Monday to the Animal House shelter.  Closed on Mondays.  On to Larimer Humane Society.  They had 2 dogs we were interested in based on the above criteria.  Neither was anywhere close to well  behaved.  One jumped all over the girls to the point where these dog-crazy, animal-loving freaks were asking to have him be taken away.  The other ignored us completely, even ducking away from being petted so that it could jump up and look out the windows.  Bummer.  On we went to Longmont Humane Society.

There we found many dogs.  Brian added another criteria, no pit bull looking dogs.  He doesn't want people to be afraid of our dog on sight.  That narrowed our choices, but there were still 4 or 5 dogs we visited with.  We narrowed it to two, a lab mix and a doberman mix.  The dobie won out as she was obeying commands to 'sit' or 'lie down' from Stella in the visiting room, plus she knew 'heel' when Brian took her for a trial walk outside.  So, a mere 7 or 8 hours after we started, we arrived home with our new dog.

Upon arriving home, we took her and Sirius outside because, well, they might need to pee, right? She tore around the yard like greased lightning.  She was FAST! When she came in from outside she was limping.  We've experienced limping dogs before, even taken them to the vet.  Usually by morning, their twisted paw is healed.  Not so this time.  She was still refusing to put weight on it the next day.  Called a vet for our free visit after adoption, figured they could look at the paw then, sure it was just a sprain or something.  Nope.  A green-stick, spiral fracture of one of the bones in her foot.  She now has a cast and we are $300+ poorer.  Poor girl.  I told Brian it's because we named her "Tonks."  I mean, she's lived up to the clumsiness of her name-sake, did she not?

A friend did suggest small increment gift cards to multiple fun locales as a holiday gift.  I think that is a great idea that we may employ next year.  The girls would love to have their very own shopping cards, movie passes, ice-cream on-demand, etc.  And it will probably be less money than our new dog ended up costing.  Still, A dog is a gift that will be remembered and loved for many, many years.  Long after toys are forgotten and clothes are outgrown, Tonks will lie at our feet, run alongside us and greet us at the door. The best things in life are not things, and the holidays are the perfect time of year for that lesson. 

Blessed Yule to everyone!


  • Wendy | December 21, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    Awwwww, she's so sweet, I'm sorry she got injured so quickly! Love the names, especially as I just finished re-reading the Potter books this evening. Now you need a cat named Ted :)

  • Deanna | December 21, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    Wow! Your dog cost almost as my much as my dog!! We can't wait to meet Ms. Tonks with the $300 foot :). Perhaps she and Sam will be friends...

  • Anonymous | December 22, 2011 at 7:13 AM

    she is adorable! i agree a totally way better present than a toy or thing! Hope she mends soon!

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