Soo…I have been pretending that I am a person without a blog. That is the problem with real jobs, isn’t it? Bosses normally don’t have much sympathy for the time you might need to take now and then pretending that you don’t do what you do.
Anyhow, joy and sadness collided for us the weekend of Dash’s birthday. That Saturday we had friends and family over to celebrate Dash’s first year and on Sunday we drove Watson off to meet his new family. After a long consideration, we decided that we didn’t feel safe having Watson as part of our family anymore. The poor dog had come into our lives four years ago as our only baby and then over the last year has struggled to adjust to the new family structure. Watson was fine with Dash, but whenever other people came to the house or passed us on a walk he would try to scare them off by lunging, barking, and snarling. This was not the dog we picked out as a puppy and not the dog we had lived with before Dash.
We worked with a doodle rescue organization and talked with/interviewed three families before finding the one we thought was right for him. This process was too difficult emotionally to try to explain and I don’t even think that we “chose” Watson’s new owner. When I met the woman who would become Watson’s new mama she greeted me with a huge hug. She knew. She understood how much sadness was in this and she was thankful that we were giving her our dog who we had loved. She thanked me for caring for him so well and for giving him to her. Best of all she was prepared to make Watson her one and only “baby.”
Watson with his new cousins
I have been missing that big, hairy dog, but whenever I start to be lonely for him I remember how wonderful his new owner is and how happy he instantly was when meeting her. He immediately was the goofy, sweet, fun-loving dog we had known. He has felt some sort of responsibility for protecting me since I was pregnant with Dash and that was never what he was meant to do. As we drove away I knew he was in the right place. He is with someone who would let him be a dog. She will take him on long walks, take him to the lake to go swimming, and scratch his ears and throw the ball until he is happily exhausted.
I miss him, but I’m glad that we had the choice to make this decision because its like we found the place Watson was always meant to be.
And so life goes on, with its simultaneous joys and heartaches, and I’m thankful to be here experiencing both.
Some days it feels like Watson has overstayed his welcome, by like 4 years. He knocks over the trash, takes milk bottles out of the recycling bin and shreds them, barks while the baby is napping, and eats dead animals on our walks. Such a lovely creature. But it is hard to stay made at him because of how much Dash enjoys his company.
The amount of hair, whisker, and ear pulling that Watson puts up with makes up for a lot of his bad behavior.
When you have a baby you start talking about the stuff you find in diapers. This isn’t the kind of poo I am talking about. I’m talking about the poo from another non-verbal creature in our home whose poo apparently has become a marker of our changing life story.
As a dog owner one of my duties is to pick up dog doodie. It is a chore I have had since being a kid. If you have as much experience as I have had with excrement clean up you know that there are certain indigestible items that go in a dog and then come back out in relatively the original condition. Back then it was segments of Barbie arms, googly eyes from troll dolls, and a rainbow of colors from packs of ingested crayons.
Pre-baby, Watson’s doo-doo was pretty uninteresting reflecting only his healthy lifestyle which included an owner with plenty of time to stop him from eating anything other than fancy dog food.
These days I’m finding a different story. When I was out on clean up duty this weekend I found pieces of infant pacifiers and lime green earplugs – both highly resistant to dog teeth and digestive systems. Our lives have changed a lot in the last seven months: Babies, sleepless nights, and lots less time for walking dogs. Even poor, little Watson is suffering through the quick changes of our new life. So if you want to know about us don’t bother going through our trash. Just spend some time in our backyard with the pooper scooper.
Last week Dash had his first experience on a baby swing. He enjoyed it from the beginning and by the end of the week he was kicking his feet and squealing when we BOB-ed up to the park. (BOB-ed as in arrived in our stroller.)
Here is the high-flying little guy throughout the week:
There was a line for the baby swings for Dash spent some time trying to eat dirt and grass instead. As the weather gets warmer he gets to shed a few layers, but he rocks his shades whenever he goes out.
We have a few other photos from the last week.
The first time to take out our umbrella stroller on a trip to get new tires for Zach’s car:
The first time we made a tent with a blanket although only Watson’s head fit inside:
And a last time. The last time my little baby would take his afternoon nap in a swing.
We sat in it a few afternoons after he woke up just for fun, but now he is in his crib for all his sleeping. What that currently means is that his previously 2-3 hour nap is around 45 minutes. Ah well. He sleeps at night so who cares!!!
And a couple more:
Here he is yelling at the ducks and geese with his Dad:
And here is the oft forgotten member of our family begging for just the teensiest bit of attention.
If you see this type of situation coming toward you on the sidewalk:
move away quickly. Seriously, a mom jogging with a stroller and a labradoodle has no control and you will just be roadkill. At least if it’s this mom.
Speaking of roadkill:
Really, Watson? Really? You are going to terrorize three people at the post office then snag this flattened squirrel all in one outing?
Back before I found out I was pregnant I was planning on training for and running my first half marathon. Once I finished my postpartum 21-day streak I decided I would start training for that goal again. So now…I am currently training for the Lincoln Half Marathon! Any excuse to get back home, I guess. I’ll even run 13.1 miles to get back to Nebraska if I have to.
This week I completed my first 9.5 mile run and it was great. Mainly because I didn’t have to wrangle thing 1 and thing 2 while running.
I have lots of support in my goal, but sometimes to get in a run I need to take the two smallest, drooliest members of my family with me. Dash usually does great, but Watson is another story entirely. Hence the roadkill.
But you do what you gotta do.
This week Dash and I hosted our baby playgroup. Like any good first-time mother I forgot to take my camera out until everyone had left. And then when Dash went done for his nap, like any true first-time mother I set about disinfecting every toy the babies had
played with slobbered on.
Please, mommy friends, don’t be offended. I like your babies’ drool as much as my own baby’s. Please see this for what it is – dysfunction.
When Dash got up from his nap he sat on the kitchen floor with Watson while I checked on his drying toys and he did this:
That’s right. While all of the child’s toys were on the kitchen counter drying from their scrubbing and bleach dunk my son sat on the kitchen floor and pawed the dirty tennis ball the dog had brought in from the yard.
Then instead of stopping this, I took pictures while Watson licked something off my supposedly clean floor,
and then did this:
To recap: All germs from sweet little babies eradicated and all matter of disgusting bacteria from muddy, slobbering, furry mutt and the kitchen floor spread all over my poor, innocent baby.
The last few days have brought us some…interesting new experiences with our son. The night we got back from Omaha Zach was getting Dash ready for a bath. After being undressed and while waiting for his tub to fill Dash decided to relieve himself on the kitchen rug. Zach, oblivious, checked the water temperature in the infant tub, while Dash and I, both speechless, stared at the floor. The last time someone peed on my kitchen floor was when we were house breaking Watson nearly four years ago.
Then the other day he did it again, but stepped it up a notch. He pooped on the couch. The last time someone did that was, never. I still don’t know how it happened. He was in a well-applied diaper, but solid food is a different ballgame I guess. If you want to know how to clean baby poo off your upholstery don’t ask me. I don’t want to think about it ever again.
And then, the other night on our walk, this:
He is teething and chewing on anything that might bring some relief to his aching gums. The strap of his sunglasses is foamy rubber and must have felt good. So good that he fell asleep with it in his mouth and it stayed there for the whole snooze. Then when he woke up, he keep it there.
And then when I took him out of the stroller:
He still hung on to it. He never touched it with his hands, just let it hang from is mouth like…a dog. Maybe he is spending too much time with Watson.