Okay, I may have gone overboard on the little doggie, but he's so cute. I have decided though that Dexter is our good luck charm, a little ray of sunshine. And everybody needs a little sunshine. Our poor Bailey, God Bless her little soul, has been gone for almost three months. Since my children were small, we have had animals and all the kids claimed certain ones. The first one, Buddy, was from my mother. My father passed when my oldest was two; my middle one was just an infant. In my life I have never met a person who could train a dog better than my Dad. He always had a dog by his side. My husband was ecstatic when my mother offered one of her puppies because it was his first real dog, a big dog, a manly dog! My mother sent up a black lab pup to Gary when he was five. Gary named him after his best friend at the time.
To say Buddy was a tad hyper would have been a gross understatement. I chased that dog all over our neighborhood. He was Houdini reincarnated. Never once when I left him on his runner outside was he ever there when I would go retrieve him. At least I got to know my neighbors. Once Buddy ran through a screen door of a neighbor to play with her young daughter. Oh, I didn't mention that Buddy could have been mistaken for a horse. Full grown he maxed out at 120 pounds. Can you imagine what my poor neighbor thought when Buddy came pounding in her family room and made himself at home? I had been searching for him during that time. When I saw a police car in front of her house I knew exactly where to go. I walked up to her driveway and there was Buddy sitting in the back of the cruiser happy as could be. His tag wagging ninety to nothing; his mouth salivating all over the backseat. The police officer was nice enough to release him in my custody without me having to go bail him out. Funny, that neighbor became a good friend.
The police and I also became good friends in Franklin. Every time I couldn't find Buddy all I would have to do was call down to the police station. I could rest assured that there had been a call somewhere he had gotten off to. (Don't worry. I paid the police officers back their kindness. I helped capture a burglar ring that was wanted in seven states that made them look really good, but that's another story.) Getting off track here, back to Buddy. I often wonder if Buddy didn't run off just to get the hot dog that I used to bribe him. It didn't take long to convince my husband we needed a fence.
The kids loved him. That dog would let them do anything to him, climb on him, pull on his ears...well, after he stopped chewing on everything himself, kids included, although my youngest did have a habit of biting him too when she was teething. Oh, I almost forgot when he got so sick when he was only eight months old. He was so, so, sick. We kept taking him back to the vets and they couldn't find anything wrong with him. Xrays showed nothing. Neither did the blood work. Finally, they ended up doing exploratory surgery. The stinker had chewed the head off of one of my daughter's stuffed animals. Cost us a fortune!
Even back then my son had grand ideas of training his dog. I remember so well him standing in the back yard trying to give Buddy commands. Of course, Buddy completely ignored the orders, but he had a good time teasing Gary into thinking he could be trained. Here Gary tried to get Buddy to sit and then call him to his side. He couldn't have been more than six at the time. Buddy moved everytime. Gary's voice would raise higher everytime he moved. Then it happened. Buddy sat for a second. Gary moved back a little and then a little more. Gary's face broke into a smile until...until Buddy took off right at him, going as fast as he could. Buddy didn't stop. He flipped Gary in the air ( a 360). Gary landed on his butt with Buddy licking his face. Needless to say that was the end of the training sessions.
Reminded me kinda of sorta of my brother when he was younger trying to trian his dog. He called us all out to see his old red bone hound, Syd. If my brother said sit, Syd would lay down. If he said come, he would sit. My brother began talking out of the side of his mouth, saying "Si...lay down. See! Told ya I could train 'im."
Buddy was what you would call a good ole dog. Never demanding, but always there for you. And he was intimidating because he was so big, but he was a teddy bear. If someone had ever attempted to break in our house, he would have probably licked them to death. He had to be the least aggressive dog I have ever been around. I grew up in the foothills of Mississippi. The dogs I grew up with would tear into a snake if it ever came around the house. Instinct I suppose because of the poisonous snakes, water moccasins and rattlers. But Buddy. No. I remember a long black snake on the path in the woods my kids used. I raced to get Buddy to at least scare the snake. What did Buddy do? Ignored the thing. Walked right over him, twice! Of course, it was a completely harmless racer, but to me at the time all snakes were predators. And my dog ignored him. I bet if I turned my back on him he would have laid down and let the thing crawl over him!
I could go on and on, but I guess this is why Gary wanted another lab. I myself prefer my Boston's, but this one- Dexter is all his and his girlfriend's, Lyndsay. When we lost Bailey, we all were devastated. She was so much apart of our lives. But she loved Gary. She made no bones about that Gary was her favorite. Even when he went off to college and played ball, when he returned, she was under his foot all the time. Max, our Boston, is claimed by my youngest. All my kids are good with animals. Becca though has a way about her with them. My poor middle daughter, never has had a dog to call her own. She got our cats. Not that she isn't attached to our dogs any less than the other two, she is, but as luck would have it we took turns on who would claim the animals when we got them and she always fell with the cats. Now because she's gone to college, it would be hard to play hockey, go to school and watch over a dog, I have promised her a dog for her college graduation.
But Dexter... I have been so impressed with Gary and Lyndsay in picking out the dog. First on the breed, the color, name...(I should have mentioned that Lyndsay decided to get Gary the dog because Bailey died. I have to admit that my husband and myself love her to death. She is the sweetest thing.) Then they came to the conclusion to buy it together. They picked it out all on their own. Lyndsay wanted to get a bulldog, but decided against it when she researched the health issues associated with bulldogs. Gary wanted a lab. He got a lab. Lyndsay wanted a yellow lab. Gary wanted a chocolate. She got the yellow. Gary wanted to name it a manly name- General, Major, oh, I can't remember the other one. Lyndsay wanted Colby. They compromised with the name Dexter. (and yes Dexter is one of their favorite series to follow on TV together.) Gary would have probably picked out the alpha male in the litter; Lyndsay probably would have picked out the runt because she would have felt sorry for it, but together they picked Dexter. And he's perfect. He's a lovebug at the moment.
For the first weekend, it has been fun to watch. My son getting up to take his dog for a walk in the early morning hours. Lyndsay gave up going out with her friends to come and stay with Dexter. I don't know how she is going to survive going to work today.
For someone who hasn't had an animal, it's hard to describe, but for those of us that do, we know they become a part of our lives. I'm hoping to keep everyone updated on Dexter's progress. Should be interesting. I know one thing for sure. It won't be boring.