Monday, January 11, 2010

It seemed like a good idea at the time

Seven years ago I badgered my poor husband for a dog for Christmas. I mean, I made myself a real pain in the butt kind of badgering. The Hollywood idea of waking Christmas morning with a sweet puppy wrapped up in a box or yelping under the tree with a big red bow around its neck was just what I wanted Santa to bring me. REALLY BAD.
Lets just say things didn't quite work out in time for a puppy to wind up under the tree. And there are so many things that are different between my sweet husband and I. One of the biggest is how we go about huge, life-changing decisions. He is very practical. Does lots of research. Pro/con lists are his friend. He looks (and looks...and looks) before he leaps. Me? If I have an idea that seems like it won't hurt me or others, I'm in! And as far as puppies go... I had wanted another dog ever since my childhood dog, Fanny, went to the big kennel in the sky.

Sometime mid-January, of 2004, Steve and I drove to a breeder of Champion field Springer Spaniels and made the biggest mistake of our lives! We drove home with Baxter. Early on we went to puppy obedience classes. He literally was an embarrassment. There was NO controlling him. A few months after the failed obedience class, we hired a "personal trainer" to come to our home. Within moments Chris from K-9 Obedience had Baxter in a choke hold on the floor. "Clearly, this dog thinks he's in charge around here. You guys, especially YOU MA'AM need to gain back some control around here." (Did I mention Steve and I spent over a month sitting on our wooden dining room chairs to watch tv because whenever we sat on the sofa he would jump up and bite us. We tried to stop him... but what can I say, we were prisoners in our own home.)

After 4 sessions, we promptly went out and bought a shock collar for him. Don't judge us. If you do, clearly, you've never spent time with Baxter. And on top of it, he's nuts. I mean certifiably nuts. (He sees and chases imaginary bugs!) The shock collar is the only power we have over this guy. Don't misunderstand me. He is GREAT with the kids. He loves us. He is part of the family. But he is sooo naughty, he has burned all bridges with family and friends. He is no longer welcome to family visits (mostly because he can't settle himself nor can he control himself when food is on the counter.) Many a loaf of bread, stick of butter, or kid's breakfast has been lost to Baxter.

Which brings me to the whole reason for my rant on Baxter. Last night we hosted our weekly House Church. Everyone brings an appetizer or dessert to share. We usually rush upstairs as everyone is leaving to put the kids to bed. We were hosting a bunch of college students right after House Church and some of the girls were already over. As we put the kids to bed, they thought they would let Baxter out to stretch his legs. Very thoughtful. And very helpful, once ALL the food is put away. The girls overlooked a bowl of buffalo chicken nuggets someone had brought and left for us to share at the student meeting.

As Steve was coming downstairs from putting the boys to bed, he heard the girls yelling at Baxter and chasing him around the room. Baxter-1/ buffalo chicken nuggets- 0.

Fast forward to midnight. Steve and I are all nestled snug in our bed. Then the whining began. Because of his untrustworthiness, Baxter sleeps in his own personal "home." A nice roomy crate. The soft whimpers became larger cries that turned into yelps. Steve ran down and let him out. He raced around the yard and did his business. There was one more round for Steve about 45 minutes later. Then at 3:20, it was my turn. At that point it was Baxter-1/ buffalo chicken nuggets-3. Tyson was the clear winner of this fight! I then had trouble falling back to sleep in fear of another freezing cold wake up call.

It is one thing to wake up in the middle of the night and help out a sick child. It is quite another to lose sleep over your maniac of a canine! I'm not exactly sure what the moral of the story here is. Could it be that buffalo chicken nuggets are never a good idea, no matter how you slice it (but boy, they sure do taste good!)? Or is it always listen to your sensible husband and SOMETIMES let him win? I'm pretty sure THAT'S not the right lesson.
But I do think a dose of Tylenol PM is on tap for tonight!


Katie O. said...


Katie said...

i love baxter!!!

jenny from mommin' it up said...

Pets are more trouble than they are worth! Says a very jaded, old-lady me who apparently does not at all remember loving her cat so much as a child!