Getting Lucky, by Deb Kristina

liarsI’m not a dog person. I swear, I’m not.

It took my husband two years of lobbying to convince me to bring a dog into the family. To him, getting a dog was part of his sacred duty as a father to provide a happy childhood for his son. (By the time this argument ended, there were in fact two children.) All I could see was the expense, plus the work and inconvenience to me, the one home all day, the one who is not a dog person.

However. My husband is an easygoing and accomodating guy, who picked up the slack in so many ways so I could devote energy and time to writing, all without complaint, all with no guarantee of success. He’d never said no to me about anything important. So, I eventually realized it was my turn say yes. We could get a dog.

At first, I researched breeds diligently. I was too skittish about getting a shelter dog. My nightmare scenario was choosing a dog that my kids would fall in love with, then that dog would have some terrible problem, say a secret aggressive streak, and we’d have to get rid of it. I couldn’t imagine breaking my son’s heart trying to explain why we had to send his beloved doggy away. So, I figured if I studied up enough and chose the Perfect Dog, this would never happen.

We chose our breed, a Border Terrier. We researched breeders, picked one not too far away, and filled out our puppy application. And then, we heard the price quote, and it knocked us off the couch. We knew a purebred puppy would be expensive, but … my first car didn’t cost that much. Back to the drawing board.

Meanwhile, I was accosting all the dog people I knew and pumping them for information. Some of them urged me to adopt a dog, and pointed me toward Petfinder.com. On a whim one night, I typed in “border terrier” and our location.

And then I saw the cutest little face. He was living with a foster family who had kids already, and so we had solid evidence that he was good with children. He was seven months old, so young enough to still be a puppy, but – hallelujah – already housebroken and crate trained. He was a mutt, actually, and “border terrier mix” was the shelter’s best guess.

We surprised our kids. I’ll never forget my son’s delight – he shrieked, “A puppy!” — when he saw the little doggy face in the window of the car when my husband brought him home. My son said, “I’ll name him Lucky. Hi Lucky!”

It hasn’t always been easy with Lucky. A couple of vet bills later and we’d spent as much as we would have on that purebred pup. I’m not sure why he chooses to barf only when I’m the only one home. But he’s sweet-tempered and great with the kids, even my toddler, who has to be reminded to give “gentle pets.” I’ve even made up a little bed for him in my office out of a green afghan, so he can doze next to me while I work.

My husband insists that he’s converted me to a dog person. No way. But I suppose I am a Lucky person.

Lucky

Deb Kristina

8 thoughts on “Getting Lucky, by Deb Kristina

  1. Awwww, how cute. People go nuts for dogs. Just wait. Everyone will adore Lucky’s little face.

    I enjoy pet sitting for my kids’ cats, but when the felines go out the door at the end of their stay, I am thrilled. Last time I had TWO cat boxes set up, one downstairs and one up, and the cats still preferred barfing on the rug. I think it was barf.
    Sorry. You’re a good mommy, Kris, and spouse too. love,b

  2. Lucky is adorable! I’m so glad you adopted a non-pure bred dog, Kristina. There are so many shelter pets that need loving homes. But more about that on Wednesday!

  3. So true, Meredith! My sister told me we saved Lucky’s life and I pointed out that there was a whole waiting line of people behind us waiting for him, so he would have been fine. But then she reminded me that those people will now go adopt other shelter dogs, saving other doggy lives. That was an interesting perspective I hadn’t thought of before. But I won’t steal your Wednesday thunder. Looking forward to your take on it (and everyone else’s, too).

    I forgot to say that my son took that picture above. It doesn’t give a good sense of scale but Lucky weighs 12 pounds. He’s about cat-sized.

  4. Indeed you are a lucky person! I think your new dog was named right as well. I have three rescues myself and love each one like my child. They’re expensive, stinky and mischievous, but boy, do they love you.
    Have fun with your new lucky charm.

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