Saturday, February 18, 2012

How Quickly We Forget

Dogs, like babies, have a way of making you forget the trouble and turmoil they cause in your life. The mere glimpse of a baby turns The Boss into a blubbery, gibberish talking, goo goo spouting maniac, eyes radiating jealousy and the I Want One look. Gone are the memories of long sleep deprived nights of incessant crying, late night emergency trips to the disposable diaper store, and the ever present bodily fluid stains on clothing and furniture. Thoughts of duffel bags full of medications and other baby related paraphernalia, who’s mass and bulk exceeded general airline luggage allowances, each one carefully packed and unpacked with every trip outdoors regardless of how brief the journey, are long gone. In their place, pure joy and unconditional love.

When our sweet Mickey passed we decided that we would down-size our pack. We would let nature run its course, and eventually be a pet-free household. We are getting older, and once The Princess’s trolls quit messing up her bedroom and drinking all the milk, we will be empty nesters. The Boss mentioned some words that are associated with pet-free empty nesters, FREE TIME and TRAVEL. I’m not sure what they mean, but I think they are French or German words since she also mentioned Europe. Apparently pet-free empty nesters go to Europe and experience their FREE TIME and TRAVEL. Since I know that beer and wine come from Europe, the idea must have some merit, after all, no matter how strange FREE TIME and TRAVEL might be, French wine and German beer have to make it worth the trip.

After Mickey left us, her constant companion Cy quit functioning. He totally shut down and refused to eat, refused to play, and withdrew from the family unit. Sure, he still had his beagle brother Karson, but no matter how hard Karson tries, he is not an accepted member of the greyhound community. Clearly Cy missed Mickey and was grieving terribly. In desperation we took him to a greyhound adoption group so he might interact with his own kind because Greyhounds can be horrible snobs, and most will not recognize the K9 credentials of a less noble breed.

When Cy walked in to the room full of other greyhounds, his eyes lit up and we saw happiness. It was obvious Cy needed a companion greyhound to keep him company, and we picked out a quiet, sleek little 2 year old girl who we felt would fit right in with very little trouble. After all, we are going to be pet-free empty nesters, there is no need to bring in a high energy puppy, they can be a handful. While a two year old will likely be with us for a good long while, The Boss says that we could still have some FREE TIME and some TRAVEL with one hound, so we adopted Myka and took her home.

The day we brought Myka home, she walked into the house like she paid for it, and promptly ate all of my shoes. After the shoes were devoured, she turned her attention on all things plastic. It is obvious that some plastic object at some point must have insulted her mother or caused some other grievous injury, because she has an insatiable desire to inflict great violence upon any plastic object that has the nerve to be within her reach. She has an uncanny ability to open closed doors and baby gates to get to offending plastic objects, and barks continuously if there happens to be an object she can see, but can’t get to. Myka is very vocal and talks to us constantly in whines and grunts. She insists on sleeping with us and steals all the covers, and if one of us has the audacity to request a scrap of blanket for some glimmer of warmth during the night, we are met with groans and grunts of displeasure. In short, Myka is a handful. A delightfully snuggly, loving, happy and outgoing hound who adores her people and her brother Cy.

The destruction and havoc Myka brings to the home are things most puppies do. Puppies are playful and rambunctious, and demand time and attention. Training, interaction, love and caring eventually calm the pups, and help mold their personalities into adulthood. So what are soon to be pet-free empty nesters to do with a hyperactive, attention deficient, wantonly destructive puppy? Why, bring home another one of course.

A few months after bringing Myka home, a big huge 2 year old male greyhound became suddenly and unexpectedly homeless. Having no where to go, we were asked if we could take him, temporarily, until a suitable permanent home for him could be found. Loki is a well adjusted and stoic boy with a hoarding fetish. He steals anything he can get his teeth around, and secrets the objects away for later enjoyment. Loki and Myka work as a team, with Myka opening the doors and gates, and Loki getting the objects that have been placed purposely high and out of reach. Their teamwork and tenacity a perfect storm of teeth and slobber, inflicting permanent, irreversible damage to anything they contact.

Like Myka, Loki loves his people and is a snuggle champion, and, at 2 years old, will be around for many years to come. Gone are the days of lounging unencumbered on the sofa to take in a show or movie. Often we are forced from our seats by 150 lbs of combined greyhound mass competing desperately with each other to gain the most comfortable lap position. Of course, these are all things we experienced when Mickey and Cy were young pups, but were long forgotten with one glimpse into the sorrowful eyes of a homeless greyhound. Having Myka and Loki around has brought Cy back to his puppyhood. He is happy and playful, and runs right along with the young dogs, and it looks like Loki has found his permanent home here with us. Despite his puppy playfulness and massive frame, he is a perfect joy to have in the house, just like Myka.

While intending to go to a pet-free household we have actually increased the size of our pack, but we can down size in the future, after all, I’m sure the Europeans will be offering FREE TIME and TRAVEL, what ever that means, for many years to come.


  1. Thank you so much Jay for making me laugh, during a time when laughing is scarce. After the loss of my precious Speedy, it too feels like an empty household, even though we all know that will never happen. I guess you could say that I am responsible for all your joy and misery, as your two co conspirators came from me. By the way, I have already done that Europe thing and it is sorely overrated.

  2. Ahahahaha! Myka and Loki do sound a handful, but great fun!

    And yeah, well, we live on Europe's doorstep (some say we are actually IN Europe now but I refuse to accept this), and when Renie and Jack left us so suddenly and so close together, FREE TIME and TRAVEL were mentioned here, too. We actually talked about spending three months in New Zealand, now that we were dog-free.

    Instead, the house closed around us and before we knew it, I'd gone up to our local trainer/adoption kennel 'just to be around greyhounds or I'll go mad'. Well, the rest is history. The Lovely Sid came home with us very shortly after that and we never did get back to NZ.

    However, Sid and Ranger are welcome at the hotel that is otherwise known as the adoption kennel at any time, for as long as they like, and since Sid LOVES it there, we have been able to visit Europe, even though we now have two dogs again.