Friday, June 6, 2008

Man's Best Friend?

This is Beau, our dog. I say our dog, but Beau has his own idea about who he belongs to. Before Mark and I even met, he rescued Beau from a shelter where he had been taken after being found on the streets of Trenton, NJ. When I came into the picture I observed that Mark and Beau had a special relationship. Initially, Beau wanted to have nothing to do with me. Over time however, he was really happy to see me when I would go to Mark's house. As the months passed by, I gave Beau special attention and he greatly appreciated that.

When Valentine's Day rolled around Beau gave me this card.

Inside the card "he" wrote:


I was not sure how to feel about you at first since you were taking all of Mark's time up...But, you are okay in my book. This is how I feel about you now...I love that you feed me, scratch my head, play in the snow with me, and allow me to be near you even though I are grrrreat!

Love, Beau

Before we even got married, Beau began to betray Mark. If I was at his house, Beau sat at my feet and begged for my attention. I wasn't trying to steal his best friend, though admittedly I was vying to replace him.

Eventually, I did become a permanent member of the family and Beau felt it was finally okay to show where his loyalties lay. And that was firmly with me. He followed me EVERYWHERE I went and wouldn't even flinch when Mark would get up and leave the room. Beau is not a bed dog or a couch dog, so there were limits to his ability to stay close to me. But, to the extent that he could, he was attached to me at all times.

However, this was the day that his life changed forever. He knew something was up for awhile and would sniff me and act weird. But, the day that Austin came home from the hospital began the downward spiral of his life...or so he felt. No longer did I find it endearing that he would follow me everywhere and beg for my attention. No longer was he the only other person in the house that required extra special care. Within weeks we noticed that the hair around his face started to gray. A few months later something even more drastic happened as a result of this devastating change in his life. All of his nails started to fall out. They have never grown back and this is how he looks now.
Looks more like a cats paw than a 40+ pound dog. He obviously needed some Valium or something to deal with the stress and pressure of his new life.

It wasn't long before Austin noticed him and was fascinated by the hairiest member of the family. We introduced them gently. But, gently to Austin didn't always feel gentle to Beau.

We tried to teach Austin to pat Beau when attempting to pet him, but early on the patting always ended in Austin having a fistful of hair. Beau was cooperative and patient, never growling, snapping or biting. Instead he would look at me with a look of longing, wishing ever so much that I would get rid of the kid and spend all my time with him.

He especially felt this way when Austin started to notice that Beau had bones and toys that he loved to carry around. And, well, if Beau liked to carry them around....

Then Austin wanted to carry them around too. Now, the only thing he had left that was truly his was also being taken away on a daily basis. However, though Beau was not necessarily growing more fond of Austin the reverse was true of Austin for him. One of Austin's first words was "Beau."
Eventually, Beau grew accustomed to life with Austin around. But, you know what happened about that time....Mia came into the picture. I must admit that I thought the dog might just decide to run away or decide that life wasn't worth living anymore and resign himself to the big doggy bed in the sky.
I had even less time for him and most days was honestly annoyed that he was around. He was just one more person to feed and clean up poop from. Believe me, there is enough of that in my life! Not to mention that he follows me so closely that on a daily basis I trip over the dog and nearly break a limb as I dart about the house doing the endless things I do.
So, in an effort to make him feel more like a member of the family, I have begun to encourage Austin to be his friend. Austin is thrilled with this idea since he loves to boss Beau around. Beau may not be as enthusiastic about it quite yet.

Here Austin is trying to give Beau a kiss. Beau is only being cooperative because I told him to sit there and take it like a man.

Next, Austin is attempting to wrestle with Beau....just kidding...he is trying to hug him but it is little awkward with Beau laying down.

So, as Beau gets up to avoid being pinned, he attempts it again. (Sorry for the blurry picture, but they were on the move.)

Austin truly loves Beau, but I guess I will have to work on teaching Beau to appreciate Austin for the love and attention he is able to offer him. After all, Austin has a lot of time on his hands which I certainly do not. And, when it comes to priorities in my life, sad to say, but Beau barely even makes the list. But, he easily makes Austin's top five. I am sure before too long he will figure it out and betray me for his new best friend....Austin.

For now, this face communicates it all. He wants you to feel bad for him, so go ahead, it will brighten his weary day.

1 comment:

Jenn said...

Aww ,he's cute and I have never heard of a dog's nails falling out before, too bad that wouldn't happen here then maybe Wilkie would stop digging holes in my yard! I was worried about bring the baby home in feb since she was still puppy acting and weighs 50 pounds but she has been great with him. How she will do once he can chase her and get her toys though who knows.