Friday, September 3, 2010

dog owners vs. DOG OWNERS

Confession: I love my dog. She is a fantastic dog. Neurotic? yes, after all... she is MY dog (this is where Jayson steps in to protest she is "our" dog).

But since owning Adler, we have discovered there is a difference between your average dog owner and your DOG OWNER.

Now, I'm not just talking about the advice giver. Almost any dog owner you'll find can be an advice giver... even the creepy ones. Adler, being as pretty as she is, is often surrounded by people (making her cower in the corner) who tell us exactly how to get her over this. Though there are some that just stare at her, saying over and over "man, i've never seen a dog so scared of humans before," most people just ask us, "have you taken her to the dog park yet!?"

DOG OWNERS have a little something special added to the mix. The feeling radiating from them that this dog is all that they're living for (yes, i know this is sad and feel for these people; but i'm going to make fun of them first)

The almost DOG OWNER (more of a dog owner) spends hundreds of dollars every month on the most organic, and the closest to raw, food. Yes, obsessive; but the DOG OWNER skips over the dog food, and just fixes another plate of their food for the dog.

ex. We had the joy of running into one PetsMart worker who insisted that we start making Adler taco salads and steaks. "Just throw another steak on the grill for her, next time you cook out!" (she then continued to explain exactly HOW to make the taco salad and in what layers to add the ingredients.)

I like to think of us as more dog owners that love our dog and want her to be healthy (so we can keep vet bills down). We buy her healthy food, which is a little more expensive; but hopefully, worth it. She really likes the food too; so i think for now we are safe from fixing an extra helping of Chicken Kiev for her enjoyment (not that i actually make Chicken Kiev for us...)

The everyday dog lover, slowly approaches a dog with their hand outstretched (which by the way doesn't work with Adler... she's more of "i'll sit and take the pet and be nervous about it" type of dog); but the DOG OWNER gives me one of my favorite stories, and the reason that I am writing this post.

Tonight, we decided to take Adler to the First Friday on the Green (a local charity event inviting people to come out, listen to music under the stars, and buy food where the proceeds go to a charity for that month). This was a big undertaking because Adler was in a shelter for the first year of her life, and she is still learning to trust people. We've taken her to several places and socialized her quite a bit (no, we have not been to the dog park), but this was still a big night because there were hundreds of people out.

She did really well, and we decided it was probably time to go home. Don't worry though, on our way out we were found by the strangest man in the crowd (the very one who, earlier, walked by and offered his dog some of our dog's water). Sweet dog, crazy man.

Approaching Adler, anyone can tell she is shy. After pointing this out, he did something that officially pointed him out to be a true DOG OWNER. He explained to us that dogs can get scared if they see a person waving their arms about (he showed us by proceeding to do 'the robot'); so we should instruct people to back their bottoms into our dog's snout so she will feel more comfortable around them. He then proceeded to back into Adler's face at least two, but i'm pretty sure four, times. The rest of our conversation went on to include "have you taken her to the dog park?" and to Jayson, "sorry my dog peed on your leg. it just happens, you know?" (we're pretty sure it didn't happen, but the jeans are being washed right away... just in case) We soon escaped, but with very important knowledge...

Adler doesn't like it when people back into her face, we won't be allowing (much less telling) our friends to do this to her in the future, and we are definitely not DOG OWNERS.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Almost 11 Months, Where Have I Been?

Sorry little blog, i had to take a break for the summer. Another, more expensive, blog courtesy of the Apple chaps took me away; but alas, i am back.
To catch you up, i'll do a little review:
We have a dog now. Did we have a dog before? She might be my favorite.

Here she is in her most favorite place in the world... our bed. For all wondering, she is a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix; and her name is Adler, as in Irene Adler, from Sherlock Holmes.

Since I last wrote we've been New Orleans (BEAUTIFUL!)

and just a couple of weeks ago, we went to Los Angeles to visit our friends! (love it so much more than I used to!)

But most importantly, and most heartbreaking, we had to go home to Arkansas because my pappaw passed away about a month ago.

I don't know if many of you ever heard me tell stories about my pappaw, but he was a person I always admired. He was in WWII; so he had the chance to travel and see the world (which has inspired me to do the same). He always told great stories (luckily Jayson and i were able to tape a few), and he was a very creative man. For much of my life, he had a craft shop behind their house. I would go and visit them and spend what felt like hours (to a little kid) in their watching him create.

At his funeral, Marines honored him with gun fire and the flag folding. It was such a beautiful ceremony, and even more comforting knowing that pappaw had planned it out all himself. The area firemen came out because my pappaw started the fire department in Higginson, AR; and at city hall they lowered the flag to half mast.
The hardest reminder i've had over the last month has been in my own genealogy. I had been telling my pappaw that i was researching our family history. Being such a story-teller himself, he was really excited about it. I promised to bring him the few documents I had found next time I saw him.... I, instead, brought them to my father when I came into town for pappaw's funeral.

Even more, since then, I have traced pappaw's family back and I have even found the family member he always told us about that fought in the Civil War. It brings me heartache that I can't share this with him.

Here is one of my favorite photos of him:

So a lot has happened! Some happy, some sad; but so very thankful that the sad is tinged with joy, knowing that pappaw believed in Christ and is there celebrating with him now!


In honor of this amazing day in history: