Thursday, October 23, 2008

when you give an empty nester a dog...

This is Tres, the new eight-week old member of the Robinson family. I went home last weekend to meet the little rascal, and have tons of cute pics that haven't been uploaded yet.
Most of you know that Sam, the most wonderful golden retriever there ever was, died in June. I know he was only a dog, but sometimes I still expect him to be there when I come home from DC for a weekend. Tres is in no way a replacement, but he has already brought a lot of joy and fun into my parents' lives. I know two things about Sam - he would want us to have another bundle of fur in the family if he couldn't be around forever to be our friend, and he would want us to be sure and love that next bundle of fur just a little less then we loved Sam, our pookies.
A lot of articles are written about dogs, and pets in general. What they can do to lower your bloodpressure, how they can bring comapionship to single people or elderly people, how they can make your heart happy, bring relief to sick patients, etc.
I haven't seen a lot of news coverage lately on what happens when you give an empty nester a puppy. Let me tell you.
Tres is precious, absolutely wonderful, very furry and cuddly as all golden retriever puppies tend to be. But he is also incredibly rambunctious, full of barracuda-like teeth, and starving for attention. When I came down the steps to the baggage area in the Houston airport, I immediately saw both of my parents - with the ten pounds of yellow hair - waiting for me. "He's soooo cute!" I exclaimed as I picked him up. He was so docile in the airport, just letting me love on him... and then in the car he attempted to attack my scarf, my skirt, my arms, my watch, the seatbelt, my hair, and then proceeded to collapse on the seat next to me snoring. He's so nice when he's sleeping...
In two weeks, my parents have become quite attached to Tres. I don't think my mom let him out of her sight the first week they had him, everytime I was on the phone, there he was, in the background barking or chewing on something. On Saturday my parents and I went to grab lunch, so I was walking down the hall carrying Tres to his "room" and my dad said "Wait, wait let me just tell him goodbye! Wait!"
That was when I officially knew: Houston, we have a problem. They had warned me that he was an ankle biter. Well. That was quite the understatement. He runs at your ankles and grabs on for dear life as you cross the room. He would stop for me because I would pick him up or swat him lightly on the nose or grab his atention with a toy. Not my parents though. They simply watch him while yelping in pain, thinking he's so cute and they couldn't possibly tell him no.
Tres is an explorer. During playtime outside, I would put him the fern bushes and he would burrow into them. He shakes them with his teeth, and then he stops to look at them, but they're still moving from his shaking. He thinks this moving is a sign that they are actually alive and fighting with him, so he then barks and attacks the plants again, starting the whole cycle over. Finally he will tunnel out of the flowerbeds and collapse on the grass. I took him on a walk one of the mornings when it was still early enough to have dew on the grass. Tres thinks that every yard is giant doggy slip in slide built just for him- he will prance along on the sidewalk beside you, and then he leaps off, running for a few feet and then throwing all four legs out so that he slides on his tummy through the grass for a few more feet, then stops and rolls over on his back, all feet in the air. He is impossible not to love.
The empty nesters of course have bought the dog a new bed at Costco that he never uses. I say never because he sleeps in the bed with them. which is totally ridiculous because when he's huge and takes up half the bed like same used to, he won't know that he has to get down eventually.
Saturday night my mom and i kicked my dad to my brothers room for the night and watched chick flicks late into the night. i had worn the little dog out all afternoon and night because i just can't NOT play with him, i mean come on people, he is cute! exhausted, he was very snugglyand peaceful all night. until around 6 am. when i woke up to find him playing tug-of-war. WITH MY HAIR. growling and running the in other direction on the bed, as if my hair would come unattached from my head easily. so cute, yea, uh huh.
when you give empty nesters a puppy, they think you should let it in and outside at anytime the puppy would like. after all, the empty nesters think that the puppy is in charge, because "he's so cute" and "he'll only be little for a while" and therefore he should be the king of the place.
well, i don't enjoy cleaning up presents from the puppy, however cute he is, so i put him outside from time to time. for a while he will fight with the plants, sniff around the fountain, and then he wants to come inside. well, unlike most dogs who politely whine and sit at the door waiting, he will claw at the door, jump for the door knob, and then he gives up. well, you think he is giving up. actually, he is just running away from the door to get a running start to body slam the door. he literally, all ten pounds of him, runs at the three full length windows and leans in with his shoulder to bodyslam the window. not so much that he hurts himself, he's still smiling at you through the window, but just enough that you notice him.
the empty nesters think its hilarious. they race to the door and let him in. "oh, he's like a butterfly flying against the glass..." my dad has been heard saying.
the empty nesters haven't completly lost their minds. they've just lost a little bit of their control... i mean the puppy is really cute. but not cute enough that you just let him bite the heck out of you and chase you around the house growling at you and clinging to your pant legs and sliding along beside you... maybe they have lost their minds.
but at least the empty nesters are having fun.
for a minute there, i was worried they were going to just sit around for the rest of their lives and do nothing... not.
tres, see you at thanksgiving!! i already miss the biting...


Chris & Noel Neely said...

aww Tres is so cute!! Talking about your parent's house makes me think of playing that big family game before we went on the cruise! Good times :)Hope to meet Tres someday!

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out that tres should really be called dos, because he is number two in the family. There are 85 pounds of solid muscle that are extremely offended in Fort Worth. Gus would like to point out that he not only is potty trained but that he can completely remove the Ferns from the dirt, which he has been known to do.