Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dogs and Boys

Dogs and boys just go together.  They are full of energy and excitement, they are loud, they are often dirty, and they are fun.
I remember when my oldest son was young, about six or seven.  He wanted a dog so badly!  When we would watch a movie like Old Yeller or Lassie he would cry. We would ask him if he thought the movie was sad, but he would say, through his sobs, "No, I just want a dog of my own."   He wanted a dog so badly that he put his mind to saving every Christmas and birthday dollar so that he could buy a dog.  When he was nine, and the "I want a dog" was still as strong as ever, we knew he was ready and could handle the responsibilty.
We did the research on dog breeds.  The dog for our family needed to be good with children, not territorial with family, cuddly and short hair.  Caleb settled on a Pug and we agreed that was a good fit.
My husband found a local breeder and took Caleb to see the puppies.  He was in heaven!  He was finally going to get his dog. 
Having raised many dogs in his own boyhood,  Eric knew that dogs choose their people as much as people choose their dogs.  He and Caleb went into the large kennel with all the puppies and watched to see which ones went to Caleb.  Then, they had each puppy alone with Caleb.  All were sweet.  All were cute.  BUT - there was THE ONE that chose Caleb to be his boy.  
We actually had to wait a couple of days before we could bring him home.  The waiting was so hard, for the rest of us too, since none of us had seen him.
I remember the day they went to pick him up.  My son in the back seat with the dog crate on his lap and the biggest smile EVER!
When they brought him inside and opened up the crate door, this timid, little, wrinkly thing cautiously came out and went straight to Caleb.  We all fell in love with him.  So cute, so sweet, so friendly. 
We wanted to crate train him. That night we tucked the boys in bed.  We tucked Otis in his little crate too, making sure he was comfortable and cozy.  We turned off the light, began to walk out of the room, and ...whimper, whine, whimper, whine. 
We gave in. We allowed Caleb to sleep on the floor next to the puppy on a dog bed.  All was quite and we finally got to sleep.
The next morning, when I went into the room to wake the boys for the day....there was puppy on Caleb's bed, but not just on Caleb's bed - underneath the covers with his head on the pillow, right next to Caleb.!!  From then on, that's where he slept.  The two couldn't be happier.

Otis.  That's what his name was.  After the Pug in Milo and Otis, one of our favorite movies.
He was a good dog, always sweet with the children, even the baby who might pat his head a little too hard, or sit on him , just trying to get close.  He was a constant companion. 
He died suddenly just two nights ago.  He was nine years old.
You can read Caleb's blog for the story.
I am surprised by the amount of grief I feel.  I loved him and cared for him, but didn't have the bond that Caleb had; yet, the tears come so easily.  I vacillate between showing my children my emotions, so that they know it's ok to cry, and being strong for them, showing them that God's ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts, but so much higher are His ways and thoughts than mine. (Isaiah 55: 8) 
God gives and He takes away...graciously. 
I am so thankful for the joy that Otis brought to all of us for nine sweet years.   This house won't be the same without a dog. 
We might just have to change that.

He always found something soft to lie on.  Ellie thought he needed her "blankie".

Caleb and Otis romping in the snow.



  1. I cried so hard when Caleb left that voicemail. A pet is something more to their owner. They are so special. And as I've noticed in our family, our pets are our best friends and they BECOME family to the Entire family. It grieves us all when one dies.
    I love you Mamma. *HUG* Everything will be ok.

  2. Oh...he looked like such a sweet dog! I am so sorry for your loss. Pets really do have a way of creeping into your heart and becoming such a part of the family!




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