I'd be lying if I told you I never entertained the idea of sending Dix-d to the pound. In fact, in the beginning, I experienced some real I think I must be losing my mind moments. Moments in which I felt myself at the brink of a major breakdown. I was tired, worn out, and had grown weary of the repeated cleaning, scrubbing, and sanitizing urine-soaked floors, carpets, walls, baseboards, sliding glass doors, rugs and curtains. My indignation emerged as I became cognizant of the fact that every time I turned my back, mysterious tootsie-roll like treasures began materializing on my rugs and carpet throughout the house. Even when I had him on a leash for constant supervision, he defecated behind my back while I was making Ruby a sandwich. I was tired of walking in my house - a house which at one time perfumed of fresh linen, Clorox, and Pinesol - only to be overcome by the redolences of stale pee, wet dog hair, fresh doggie stools, and bad...I mean really bad, breath.
And I haven't even mentioned the crying at night. Oh, the crying at night. We decided that if we were to ever go out of town, and leave him with somebody, he would need to be trained to sleep in his crate. We had been told that he may cry for a night or two, but that he would soon learn to sleep through the night, and also acquire a love for his crate. But after being kept awake during the twilight hours - for two consecutive weeks - as the cries, the wails, the yaps, the howls, the barks of desperation...resonated through the walls and into my aching eardrums, I decided I had had enough. I even tried wearing earplugs at night, but then was worried I wouldn't hear Asher if he were to wake and need my assistance. Quite funny to note that night after night of incessant clamor, there my sweet John lay in a deep, deep, uninterrupted, and very peaceful slumber...bless his heart. I finally declared to this sweet husband of mine that Dix-d was coming back to our bed. I had lost too much precious sleep because of this animal, who was not even one of my children, and I wasn't going to deal with it another night. I'm glad he consented - (did he really have a choice?) - because ever since we gave up on the crate thing, my life has been so much better, and so much more enjoyable. It's amazing how much a good night's rest (or bad) can directly affect your moods and attitudes during the subsequent days.
So, now that I'm in such a good mood, please allow me some bragging rights...
Dix-d has never had an accident on our bed, he always sleeps through the night, and takes up only a mere square ft. at the end of our bed.
The potty training thing has improved almost 100 percent, too. In fact, we haven't had an accident in the house in almost a week, and he has learned to hold his bladder and bowels for long periods of time when were not home. He goes on command as well, so when we let him outside, it's to do his business, and not just to play around. When he goes, we reward him with a mini Filet Mignon flavored t-bone treat...which he loves....and which we love giving to him.
He doesn't chew on anything but his food and dogie treats, nor does he shed.
And except when he's locked up in his crate at night, he never so much as makes a peep. He does not bark when the doorbell rings, or when strangers enter the premise...which doesn't make him a very good watch dog, but then again, that's not the reason we got him. We got him for our kids. For Ruby to be able to overcome her fear of dogs, for Asher to be able to develop a love for animals, and for us, to have, well, to have another loyal friend and companion in the home. He has turned out to be everything we had hoped for, and more, in a dog...he's mellow with the kids, and absolutely adores them.
Loyal, you ask? Oh, he is fiercely loyal. Truly I couldn't imagine a pet friend possessing more allegiance than Dix-d...who is, coincidentally, curled up at my feet as I type. He gets up whenever I do, even if it's just to grab a tissue, or turn out the light, or toss something into the trash...and if it's to do more than that, you can bet he is right at my heel, following me everywhere I go. It feels good to be loved and adored that much. And to think I was so close to throwing in the towel.
I'm so glad we didn't.
I, just this morning, finished reading the book Marley and Me, by John Grogan. I would recommend that book to any dog lover. You will be guaranteed to cry your eyes out, and then, as promised by my sister, Kim, if you have a pet dog of your own, you will grab him, and wrap your arms around him, and hold him tight, as if to never, ever let go. That's what I did with Dix-d this morning as I concluded the final pages of the book...I just held him, and pat him, and kissed the top of his head...and then thanked the good Lord for blessing our family with such a perfect little treasure.