July 17th


Yesterday practically came and went without my notice. I suppose it should be of no surprise since I think that on the day I gave birth my son, I also delivered my mind. I have two calendars: one on my phone and another in my head.  The 17th of July has been delegated to the second one because usually you don't need to write down big dates like birthdays and holidays. But my mental calendar is proving to be less and less reliable these days so, yesterday would've went completely unrecognized if my husband hadn't reminded me of its significance. Thank goodness for husbands and cellphone reminder alarms (although I'm not so sure about that one either because I still double booked two doctor's appointments and didn't even realize it until I got a call from the second office asking if I was still coming... yeah, that happened yesterday too).

So what's the big deal with July 17th? Well, it marks the anniversary of when we got our dog, Duck. She's a German Wired Haired Pointer and ever since my husband was a little boy he's wanted one. They're not the most common of breeds but one of Andy's earliest and fondest childhood memories involves such a dog. Before a day of fishing with his dad and brothers, they'd visit the local fly shop to re-stock their supplies. Without fail, they'd walk into Frank's pipe-smoke scented shop and Gretchen would be lying right at the old man's feet, barely acknowledging the guests with a little more than a thump, thump of her tail on the worn wooden floorboards. She was so scraggly and sweet; unpretentious and approachable. The opposite of the fly-fishing culture with its thousand-dollar rods and handsomely khaki-ed anglers. She embodied what Andy loved about being a outdoors man; a creature of the natural world, made for rugged terrain. 
We were living in an apartment in Colorado and had only been married for about six months when Andy proposed the idea of getting a dog. This was a huge commitment, I thought. Like starting a family. I can now officially attest that puppies are not the same as babies, but being a pair of singletons at the time, it's all we had to relate to. It's embarrassing to admit, but there were several conversations I had with my sister before I became a mom when she'd be expressing some sort of frustration about her son and I'd say, "I know! That's like when Duck..." If the comparison ever bothered her, she never let on, bless her heart. My sister has always been so patient and instead politely smiled and responded with, "Yeah, exactly like that." 

My husband likes to ridicule the people who treat their pets like children but the truth is, ever since she came into our lives, we've always treated Duck like our little girl. My mother would be appalled at that admission. Like Andy, she also HATES it when people liken children to animals. She even can't stand it when young humans are called "kids" because, technically, a kid is a baby goat. Semantics are huge to my mom. Probably because English is her second language and a word has to be used the way it was intended to be used, por amor de Dios! 

Anyway, back to Andy and my debate on the puppy... I felt we both needed to be on board to mutually care for something other than ourselves. It was a major decision and should be made by both of us. But his mind was still working in bachelor mode because despite my reservations, he went ahead and got her anyway. So when I got the call at work, with the goofy-excited voice of Andy on the other end "surprising" me with the news that he had been to Denver that morning to pick up our new puppy, I could not reciprocate the enthusiasm. Our schedules were a bit inconvenient at the time; I had desk job that held pretty typical hours from nine to five but Andy was working at a restaurant where his days began around three and didn't' end sometimes until one a.m. We were like two ships passing in the night. So it's not like the responsibilities of a puppy would fall solely on his shoulders. I got the graveyard shift.

When I arrived home that first night and opened the door to meet our new puppy, my heart immediately melted. And who's wouldn't have? Puppies and kittens; not many cuter things in this world. Later that night (or should I say very early the next morning) when he came home from the restaurant,  Andy found me on the bed with the puppy and I was spooning her. He'll never let me forget that.

That was four years ago when our family expanded to three and now it's grown by one and Duck is the big sister. She didn't know what to make of August when he was born nearly two months ago. She pretty much avoided him. Now, though, she's gone into full defense mode protecting her little puppy-brother (if you haven't seen AT&T commercial, watch it). She followed me around the house in those early days; the both of us together learning how to mother. A bit more seasoned now after several weeks, she stays on my heals as if making sure I don't miss a step in caring for him; Don't forget the cream before putting the diaper back on, Lulu. She's a good girl, that Duck.


Amy@eatsleepdecorate said...

I love that doggie! It is amazing how they become just part of the family as well.


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