It’s doggo time!!! After many children themed posts I thought it was time let one of the critters shine. I’ve been drafting this post in my head all day – a love letter to our largest (and usually smelliest) fur baby. There is a lot to love about her, really, truly there is. Unfortunately her breathe is not currently one of those things. After receiving a full blown, shampoo and conditioner, paid $10 at the pet store bath this afternoon Widget made the most of Isobel opening the gate (a fun new trick we really love) and took off into the swamp/forest section next door. While there she apparently ate enough crap to make her feel very happy for about 30 minutes and very miserable for the rest of the evening. Her breathe also reeks. Boo widget.
Unfortunately she knows she is in trouble and is trying to make it up to us by cleaning the no-fur puppies (Isobel and Esther). While I am usually pretty firmly in the “it’s good for the immune system camp” with respect to the dog (and by the way science say’s I’m right), this is 100% unacceptable and the hound has been sent to bed.
Nevertheless Widget is actually a pretty good dog and I do quite like her. i like her more and more as she gets older. It turns out I do not really like puppies. They require waaaayyy too much energy. Widget was a particularly difficult puppy because she was very anxious. When we arrived to pick her up from Invercargill we were told that she had been returned after being to afraid of large animals to enjoy life on a nearby farm. We were also told that her father was purebred German Shepard who visited with family from the North Island (see here is a very “I am in a magazine” type picture of a German Shepard) but is gone now so you can’t see him. we were also told that her mother was essentially a purebreed lab with a *tiny* little bit of Staffy in her. But she isn’t here right now so you can’t see her. Basically we got puppy hustled because my wacko pregnancy hormones had declared widget to be their soul dog. To date we still don’t really know what Widget is. Our best guess is a labby/huntaway/staffy mashup but we’re not ruling out a bit of rotty (or basically anything else!).
When we got Widget home we discovered that in addition to large animals she was also scared of basically everything including (but not limited to) small animals, traffic, and being alone for more than an hour. The first time we both went to work and left her for 3 hours she was in her open crate in the bathroom which she then painted with panic poo. I brought my sister home to meet my magical new puppy and the first impression was not excellent. That same sister would later look into puppies eyes (and she claims her soul) and determine her true name to be Widget. After consulting with our puppy class teacher and spending $60 on a bottle of puppy pheromones our drugged up doggo finally started settling in to life with us and we settled into her.
Other introductions to family members went better. My mother (who is something of a dog whisperer) declared that she had kind eyes and the cats only mostly hated her. By far my favourite introduction though was to my father in-law. when we walked down the path to his garden with our new puppy he immediately picked her up and started telling her that “Granddad loves you” and inquiring about when she could come stay for the night (an offer he has since rescinded). I remember feeling so chuffed and later remarked that “if he was that excited about the puppy I can’t wait to see him when we mention the baby’. I think he was marginally more excited about the puppy. We have dinner there once a week and widget gets her own special dog food which he feeds her by hand at 4 different points over the evening (referred to as feedings 1-4). We also never leave before Widget and Granddad have cuddle on the couch. We’ve been informed by family members that if he’s out and about on Sunday he always announces that he needs to get home and cook dinner because his special girl Widget is coming. We have to be careful to not use the word “Granddad” at home unless we are about to go to the car and visit otherwise Widget sits by the back door looking very put out. He is quite possibly her favourite person.
Widget is kind and loyal. She is so patient with the kids and gives me a very direct stare if they have been crying to long and she thinks I am doing a sub-par job. Before the kids she would run and hide from the vacuum, now she barks and chases it, even though she’s terrified, so that we don’t accidentally suck up her little friends. Despite being very large she still often lies down to greet tiny dogs. She always wants to help out at bath time. She really cuts down on the amount of toddler food related mopping we have to do. She loves running through puddles with her mouth open and has recently learnt not to choke on puddle water in the process. She is not normally allowed on the bed but on the odd occasion I’ve let her up (usually when it’s cold and hubby is away) she has proved to be a very considerate spooner.
I’m not sure if we’ll get another dog after Widget. Now that we’ve caught onto my little early pregnancy tell we will definitely not be getting another puppy! But I’m very glad we have her in our family. My big, lumpy, licky, scardypants, fur baby.
May your days be filled with as many doggo kisses as you desire!