Thursday, August 26, 2010

Emily, Your Childhood Wish Has Been Granted

What town kid, or any kid for that matter, doesn't wish for a puppy with a red bow around its neck at Christmas? I know that as a kid, I hoped for a pet to love, any pet for that matter, and was certain that a dog would be a wonderful fit for our family. We killed goldfish (not murdered, just killed), disliked cats because they walked all over my dad's pristine vehicles, and detested rodents, as they were too close to the mice that Mom declared war upon once a year. So, I knew that a dog would be perfect.

Well, my parents, both farm-kids-turned-town-folks, never granted this childhood wish of mine. They believed a dog belonged on a farm, where he or she could run free. Thus, I was left to enjoy the neighborhood dogs, if you could call chasing after a neighbor's dog as he "walked" me while I "dog sat." I was also able to listen to the neighborhood "barky" dogs who always seemed to bark at night, right when I was trying to get to sleep. I guess the lack of experience with dogs as well as the neat freak, perfectionist that I became made me less and less of a pet person of any kind as I grew older.

Fast forward twenty five years, and my childhood wish has been granted, three times. . . sort of. Joe is an animal lover, and grew up with loyal farm dogs that went with his dad everywhere. And, when he began full time farming, we (well, mainly he and Anna) decided that now all our farmstead needed to make it picturesque was a dog. With the promise that all other parties would take care of said dog, I begrudgingly agreed to get one. We lost Mabel, tragically, and even though I desperately wanted her to quit jumping, chewing, and getting my white pants dirty, I could hardly talk to the babysitter who came the night after she died. I was so sad.

Next came Pepper, and she was truly a gift. My father-in-law found a breeder with the exact same kind of dog that our first one was, and surprised the girls with her on a visit to their farm. She was so cute, and we tied a red ribbon around her neck for our Christmas picture that year. However, she met the same fate that our dreadful, dirty gravel road provided for Mabel. Again, I was so upset, I could hardly explain to the preschool teacher that day why Anna might be upset. Ironic, huh?

I swore off dogs after that. My childhood wish was not to have to bury two dogs and explain to my little girls about death. My childhood wish was to have a puppy forever: one that didn't jump, bite, run out in front of cars, or chew up my lawn furniture. Seriously, was this too much to ask?

Like I said, I swore off dogs, and when the utterance of the "d" word started this spring, I ignored it. When Joe started talking about adopting one that would be a herding dog, one that would go with him everywhere, I still ignored it. Then the kids got in on the deal. I couldn't ignore that. I would find Joe and Anna looking at potential adoptees on the Internet and even though they were both excited, I was not. My childhood wish was twice not fulfilled. My heart was twice broken, and I wasn't about to shoot myself in the foot again.

However, I was overruled, and Sadie, our rescued Australian Cattle Dog was brought home this summer. She was the epitome of man's best friend. She loved Joe, adored Anna, allowed Josie to rub her belly, didn't bark, didn't chew, didn't jump. I was in doggie love. Childhood wish: GRANTED!! Third time was the charm!

Until this week. . .

My farm dog that was supposed to be with Joe at all times has been hanging around the house, and has wreaked havoc on my outside decor. Items affected are: one landscaping light, one glider seat board, one watering can, and a few deck boards, not to mention her dog bed, a towel, Anna's Cardinals hat, and some random seed corn hat.

Seriously, what happened to my childhood dream? Why isn't she being the perfect dog she once was? Why the DECK???

Regardless, Sadie is a part of our family, whether she chews, jumps, barks or whatever. She's part of the family farm package. It's some unwritten rule that in order to be a farm family, one must have a dog.

All I'm saying is be careful for what you wish for as a child, it just might come back and chew up your landscape lights.

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