Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I have a dog! 

In July 2005, after many months of skillful negotiation, I finally was able to get my then-fiance to agree to getting a dog. Until that point, I had been completely obsessed with the idea. I would cross the street just to pet other people's dogs. I would call home just to find out how the family dog was doing (fine, I still do this) and would even sometimes imagine I had one snuggling at my feet in bed.

On Monday, July 11, we went to Baypath Humane Society to meet a yellow lab I had seen online. I had no particular preference for the type of dog I wanted beyond "not-small." We walked Barnabe, the yellow lab and I can't explain it, but there was no connection. It was strange- I had thought I just wanted any dog, but no, I wanted a dog who was special. Special, though, was undefined as of yet.

We then walked Cody (worst name ever), the 7 month old pit bull. I loved Cody, but was nervous about a puppy. And my landlords would probably not be too keen on a pit bull. I was ready to leave and come back another day when woman who worked there pointed to this dirty dirty dirty black dog sitting up straight and proper behind me. Just hanging out. She said he was a nice dog and we should walk him. I wasn't feeling him, so off went the boy with Oreo. I hung back and talked with Beth and the boy returned saying he really liked Oreo and I should walk him, too. He pulled hard on the leash. He stopped to smell everything. He didn't listen to his name or any commands. But, his ears bounced and his paws were speckled. He would do.

We went back in and said we'd take him. I imagined we could leave him there until the weekend. Um, no. "Do you have a leash?" Next thing I knew, I was driving to the pet store with Oreo riding shot gun. He smelled terribly. He had stitches under both eyes. But he was relaxed and happy to be in the car. This did not carry over to the pet store, however. He pulled us around the store as we picked out a bed and a gate and treats and dog food.

When we got home, we went directly out back to show him off to our landlords/friends. I still remember Elizabeth saying "Look at those paws! He has such character!" That night, we struggled to assemble the gate, but it was missing pieces. We decided we had no choice but to wing it and allow this dog free reign over our apartment. He was pretty relaxed. At some point, we agreed that Oreo was not a good name, but the pre-chosen "Winston" did not work either. Somehow, I came up with Milo and it just stuck. That night, we hand-fed him dinner (and all meals for a while), put his bed in our room and then lay in bed stressing over what we had done.

The next day at work, I worried all day that he had eaten my couch. I was so pleasantly surprised to find that he had not eaten the couch, not had any accidents or chewed anything that wasn't his. He was amazing. And smelly. But mostly amazing.

After his bath I was able to kiss and cuddle him and after a few weeks, it was love. He would carry our shoes around the house. He would snuggle in bed at night and again in the morning. He would relax with a toy on the deck, watching the action on the street.

And that's Milo in a nutshell to this day. He spends a lot of time relaxing, watching the action on our street. While he wasn't the dog I went to the pound to get, he is the dog I was meant to get. People say that dogs often resemble their owners and in this case it is true inside and out. We're both black and white on the outside, but on the inside, well, we're kind of complex. And extremely loveable.
Posted by Kristen @ 7:31 PM


I'm so sorry about Milo! I should have known from your blog title that the news had been confirmed. I remember from my own struggles last year how tough it can be to make these choices for a pet. You are the best mother Milo could possibly have and I know you're going to do what's best for him.