Thursday, December 8, 2011

No, I won't shut up about my dog already, thank you very much!

Yesterday evening, when I pulled into the driveway after running errands, Bo danced around the kitchen to welcome me home. But it was dark and raining outside, and when I gave him the chance to go to the bathroom in the front yard, he declined. Later, when the wind picked up and the house creaked and the trees shook outside, his ears went back and his tail went down and he paced back and forth in the house, trying to find a 'safe spot' in his den. I stopped washing dishes and sat down on the kitchen floor. "Come here, Bo," I said soothingly, and he trotted right over. He lowered his big head and put his face into my armpit, and as I patted his back I felt him relax. I was the safe spot in his den.

Brian said I was coddling him and encouraging his fear, but it felt so nice to be able to make him feel safe.

Three years ago yesterday, Bo came to live with us. How can a dog make such a difference? Bo is not exceedingly smart or talented. Brian's tried to train him to find sheds or track a blood trail, but he's too much of a puppy to stay focused. He's usually a good boy but he can definitely be naughty, slinking away while I do yard work and disappearing for hours to explore the area, worrying me to death every time. His bloodlines aren't anything special, but his "sensitive" digestive system requires the most expensive brand of dog food I've ever seen. He's got a ton of energy and barks at nothing, several times a day. His breath is stinky and somehow it's my job to brush his teeth, and every time he shakes his coat a puff of fur coats the floor.

But his presence in this house is as much a requirement for our family as Brian's or mine. He makes us feel like heroes when we come home. He makes us laugh when he's afraid of a piece of tape or a sheet of bubble wrap. He makes us get out in the sunshine to take him for walks. He makes us smile when he greets us in the morning, resting his chin on the edge of the bed, his whole body swaying silently with the power of his wagging tail.

He's made us a family.

In honor of three years of Bo, here are my favorite posts about my dog:
Bri & The Cutie Pie
One good way to look at it...
Beauregard Fitzgerald Montgomery
A Nightly Walk
Bo smells a scoundrel.



  1. Wonderfully said!
    Next, you can write about how much the rest of your family loves him, in spite of his giant piles in our suburban back yard and the way he moves Duke & Max to bark their annoying barks when he's here! Happy anniversary.

  2. Hey, I tried to pick up most of them last time!

  3. He is seriously adorable!! I may have asked you this before, but I forget, what breed is he?

  4. V- I'm sorry about the delay! He is a mixed breed, we think he's got boxer, chow, lab, and some pit. Basically, a mutt, the best kind. :)