Saturday, August 29, 2009

02009 New Year's Resolution #24: Be More Affectionate

Okay, so this one is a bit old and I'm just very late in reporting it.

We have three dogs. The border terrier is pedigreed and from championship stock. She's the one that we did lots of breed research on. We found a breeder and visited on multiple occasions before she was born and during the eight weeks between birth and being able to bring her home. We got to know her biological mother and her biological father. We got to know her litter mates and got to decide which one we were going to bring home.

The chihuahua was Beth's little side project. She bought him on a whim when he was a puppy. It was against my strenuous objections. However, he's cute as a button and that makes it hard not to fall in love with him.

The third dog is a mongrel. He was found on the side of the road in Cumberland, Maryland by some clients of the vet's office where Beth used to work. They temporarily named him Sponge Bob. They didn't want to keep him and they also didn't want to put him in the shelter. So they brought him to the vet's office in hopes that someone there would be able to find a home for him. Well, Beth did. I simply couldn't resist when I saw how handsome he was, and I especially couldn't resist when I discovered how amazingly well-behaved he was. He was a frightened fellow who was way too timid and unreasonably quiet at first. (We've changed him since and now he barks much more and much louder than I would like, but in those early days he wouldn't make a peep.) Anyway, we took him in and renamed him Sherman.

Some time ago, it occurred to me that I have always treated Sherman differently from how I treat the other dogs. The other dogs have always been "our babies" and I've treated them as such. Lots of attention paid, lots of cuddling, lots of affection. Sherman, on the other hand, never seemed like the "baby" type. I have never been able to imagine Sherman as a puppy. I'm convinced he was born old. So I always treated him more as a guy who happens to live with us rather than as a true member of the family. I got to thinking about this inequity and I got to thinking that it really wasn't very fair at all.

Hence, New Year's Resolution #24:

I have resolved to treat Sherman more as one of our children than as a long-term house guest. This is probably for the better, as far as Sherman is concerned. He's the only one who seems to be as attached (possibly more so) to me as to Beth. I believe he appreciates the additional affection. At least I like to think he does.

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