Well, of course I'm going to blog about our new dog!!! He is only the best dog in the world! (No offense to the rest of you suckers who only think you have the best dog in the world but really just have great dogs. Sadly there can only be one BEST and that's our Drake.)
Shortly after we moved here our dog, Theodore, died. It's sad, yes, but he was like 16 years old, deaf, blind and incontinent. He was also not the sort of dog that was going to last long in the mountains anyway. He was a pain in my ass....and I loved him. Just a few weeks ago, I got a little choked up when I passed his dog food in the pet aisle at the grocery store.
The boys miss him too. They write about him at school, pray for him in their prayers and they asked Santa for a new dog...
Aaron and I thought now would be a good time. Plus it is so fun getting a dog for Christmas! It ranks up there with getting your first bike for Christmas. So we began "shopping" on the Boulder Human Society website. We know there are closer shelters but it seemed fitting since the previous owner of our house is the director of the place. I saw Drake on the website before Thanksgiving but Aaron thought we should wait until closer to Christmas.
A week later, Drake was no longer listed. He'd been adopted. Poop. I continued my search and found some other cute dogs as well but we still wanted to wait until a little closer to the big day. Then last week I saw that Drake was back. They had a video of him on the website and I saw how well he walked and that he could sit and lay on command. And that face!!! So pretty! He was also the right age. We did not want another senior (that's for sure) but we did not want a puppy either. Too much like having a baby. I am not in the mood to potty train anything right now and we have new carpet downstairs...no to a puppy.
I called BHS to see why Drake was returned and if we could put a hold on him until Sunday. They said he was a great dog and he was returned to no fault of his own. His new owner was in a car accident shortly after he got him. The owner's injuries would require that he do physical therapy and he was in no shape to be caring for/walking a dog. I asked about putting a hold on him but you can only put a hold 24 hours in advance.
So Saturday morning I look up Drake again and find that someone else had put him on hold! I perused the other options...Lola looked like a cute dog but we would have to change that name....Shadow seemed like a good one... But Drake! I just knew he was our dog! So I called BHS again. They said not to worry. They have lot's of puppies right now and most people are going to choose them. I comforted myself with the knowledge that God has a perfect plan for us, even down to the right pet. If Drake is not there that's OK because the right dog would be.
Sunday morning I looked him up again and Drake was there and his hold was lifted! The boys had a birthday party to go to at noon. Aaron and I planned on him going out to Boulder to check it out while we were at the party. I wrote a note to the boys from Santa and rolled it up like a scroll tied with a pretty satin ribbon. (Gabriel is sort of on to the Santa thing I think but I will play along as long as he lets me! Such a serious boy needs some silliness in his life.) The plan was for Aaron to tuck the note into his collar, creating the illusion that Santa had arranged this adoption.
The kids and I went to the party (which was the strangest kids party I have ever been to BTW. I'll have to tell about that another time. I mean, they served chicken noodle soup and honey roasted ham, like the nice holiday ones, with baguettes. Really?) The Party That Would Never End was under way when Aaron text me that he had the dog.
Who did you get? I text back.
Drake. And he's great, came his response.
I decided the party was over for us (I really could not take it anymore) and we left 1/2 an hour before the party was scheduled to end. The boys seemed fine by it. I think they were as puzzled by it as I was.
Aaron called about 30 minutes after we got home and said he was close. I called the boys up stairs.
"Hey guys, come outside with me! A surprise is on it's way...."
"Really? What is it?" Drew asked
"Drew! If she tells us it won't be a surprise," replied Gabriel. So practical.
They saw Aaron's truck coming up the road.
"Is it a visitor?" Gabriel guessed.
"Well....sort of... You'll see!"
Drew walked up to the truck for a better look and out of the window poked a dog nose.
"It's a dog!" Drew yelled and started jumping up and down. Aaron leashed Drake and lead him out of the truck. The kids were tentative. We've always taught them to be careful around strange dogs. Aaron had to tell them, "You can pet him. He's yours!"
The scroll did not stay put very well but it still had a nice effect. Gabriel read it out loud.
"Dear Gabriel and Drew,
I know that you were very sad when Theodore died. I talked to your dad about getting a dog for Christmas because I know a lot pets in need of a home.
I know this dog will be a good fit for you and your family. Take good care of him.
"And look," he said "his collar is Kringle red!" (I also noticed Aaron got a green leash. Nice touch, Love.) And so Drake now has a middle name: Kringle. I got Drake Kringle his water and food. Drake started eating the food as it poured out of the bag, he was so hungry! The boys thought I may have been off on giving him water though.
"I'm pretty sure they only drink hot cocoa at the north pole," Gabriel reasoned.
Drake ran around the yard getting to know his new home. After his exploring was finished he really wanted to come in where the rest of us were. Aaron has insisted that he be an outside dog but thought we could let him in so he can get to know the house some too. Aaron and the boys let him in from downstairs. I was up in the kitchen baking biscochitos. (Caren and I were having a mini-bake-off to see who makes the best biscochitos.) All of a sudden I heard a sound like thunder coming from under me and then was nearly bowled over by the cat, followed by Drake, followed by Aaron. Drake stepped right into the cats bowl. The bowl flipped and the water splashed. The kids were cracking up and Aaron wrestled Drake while I put the cat back in our room.
"So I see you've met Sinclaire." I said to Drake. Or "Dumb Dog" as Sinclaire refers to him as.
"Bad dog!" yelled Drew.
"No buddy, he's not bad. He just wanted to meet her and he is going to need a little grace while he learns the House Rules. But he's not bad. He's great!" I told him.
"Oh yes! He is GREAT!" Drew cheered and wrapped his arms around Drake's neck.
Drake and the boys went outside to play and I finished my baking. After a bit, Drew wanted back in but when he came in...so did the dog. I grabbed a hold of Drake's collar before he got too far in the house.
"Drake! No! Outside!" But the dog did not budge. In fact he just sat down.
Listen lady, I've already sized you up and can see that you are no match for me. I'm in and I'm sitting right here.
"Drake, come on. Outside!" I ordered with a tug on his collar.
Nope. I'm staging a sit in. Come on. Move me. Just try.
And I did try. I pulled. I pushed. I tried coming at him from behind, lifting his front paws and using a body press to move him out the door but the boy is strong and I could not get him to budge.
Aaron got him out. Whew!
Drake is like Aaron in that he is calm, quiet and can make a point with out raising much of a ruckous. Also he is lean and muscular. Very strong. He is also like me in that he is SOCIAL! He needs, needs needs to be near someone. Anyone!
Later that evening Kevin and Caren came over to meet the dog and taste biscochitos. We were all down stairs. Aaron was on the couch. I let Drake in and he ran over to Aaron and laid right on top of him. This boy is a snuggler! I love it! Whenever you pet him, he leans into you. It's the cutest thing ever! I wished I had my camera right then. Aaron on the couch, the dog on Aaron and the boys snuggling the dog. So sweet! Caren and Kevin concurred that he was a good and beautiful dog. (And we concurred that biscochitos are biscochitos. Though I like Caren's because she sprinkles more cinnamon sugar on hers then I did. Something easily remedied...)
Bed time came and the boys said their prayers. They were sure to thank God for Drake and asked special blessings on Santa for giving him to us. *tear* I went downstairs to the mud room where we decided Drake will sleep at night. (Darn you Aaron and your rules!) I took him out for a potty before bed and brought him back into the mud room. I sat down with him for awhile, petting him and telling him how glad we were to have him. Drake leaned into me for the snuggle and closed his eyes.
"It's been a big day. I think you are falling asleep right now." I got up to go and so did Drake.
"Lay down." He did so.
"Stay..." He did that too. I turned out the light and heard a few little whimpers and then that was it. See? Best dog in the world!
This morning Drew went out to say good morning to the dog and of course Drake came in when Drew did. I again, grabbed his collar and tried to pull him out the door but to no avail.
"Fine. But you are going out after we take the boys to the bus stop."
I wrote dog treats on my grocery list.
When it was time to head to the stop, I grabbed the leash and Drake started to jump and spin and basically made it very clear that he loves a walk. I mean the dog was pumped! I was not so sure how it would go. Seeing how I can't even budge him if he wants, it's evident that he is stronger. What if he sees a squirrel? There is no way I could hold him back. Plus we are going down a mountain side. Ouch! The thought hurts me!
Some parts of the walk was a little like water skiing. I dug my heels in but Drake pulled harder and I slid down the gravel drive. I wrapped the leash around my arm to make it shorter but he pulled so hard the leash burned my wrist.
"Can I try mom?" Drew called after me. Is he freakin' kidding me?! A vision of Drew being drug down the road on his belly by this horse-like dog popped into my head.
Caren drove by and called out her window, "If you wait until I get back, we'll walk the dogs together and you can use our Bad Dog collar."
The Bad Dog collar is a pincher collar. When the dog pulls it emulates how a mother dog bites her pups necks. When Caren returned, Drake and I met her at the bottom of the hill. She brought her dogs, Rosemary and Rascal with her. The dogs were happy to meet each other and Drake walked like a pro with the pincher collar on. We even came upon some deer. He did not bark, growl or whine about them. He pulled some in their direction and I let him check them out a bit but then, with a gentle tug, he would return to my side. He was perfect! The best dog in the world!
As the walk was nearing the end Rosemary and Rascal started to get uppity about something. That something was a little white fluffy dog farther down the road.
"Is that a poodle?" Caren asked.
"It actually looks like Theodore after he's been groomed...is it Ghost Theodore?"
"Oh no!" Caren laughed, "It's Theodore saying 'you can never replace me...'"
After the walk I had to get groceries. Dog food, treats and a pincher collar were on the list. I could not find the collar but the rest was found. Yahoo! As I pulled up the drive I could see Drake sitting at the top of the hill watching the road. He was waiting for me. I also realized I had another problem.
As soon as I open that gate I knew he would rush out. I opened my garage door but the door to the house was locked. To unlock it I would have to go in the gate and deal with Drake. Then I remembered the treats! I popped the trunk and dug into the bags until I found the Puperroni treats.
I went to the gate and explained to Drake that he would need to "stay." He jumped up on the gate.
"Yeah...that's not gonna work buddy." I broke off a treat and tossed one over the gate. Drake took the bait and I opened the gate and slipped in as fast as I could. He was back at my side in a flash. So I took out another treat.
"Sit." He did. He was rewarded with a treat and a "good dog!"
"Stay..." He did. Until I started to move. I went up stairs to the front door and got out my keys and another treat.
"Stay." I ordered but when the door opened, Drake plowed on in.
"No Drake! Outside." Drake sat down.
This works every time...
"Not this time Drake. Outside." Nothing. I showed Drake the treat. He tried to reach it with out moving his butt off the floor.
"Outside Drake!" I said as I tossed the treat out the door. Drake followed and I closed the door behind him.
So you see he has to learn the House Rules. He will because he is so smart and because he is the best dog in the world!! (And because I suspect I'm more tenacious. I will prevail!)