Monday, January 19, 2009

Hesitant Acceptance

This is the boy who wanted a dog most of his elementary school years, but we were busy moving around the country and it could not happen. This is the boy who dreamed of owning a 'hound dog' type canine so once we decided to stay put awhile we cruised all the shelters looking for the perfect match.

This is the boy who was bitter and angry when, after three weeks with new dog, we decided he just had to go back to the shelter. It didn't matter that 'his dog' couldn't control his bladder for more than six minutes, barked 23 hours a day and humped anything that didn't push it away. He had waited for the perfect dog and he had no desire to give any dog 'back'.

This is the boy who would not even acknowledge the replacement dog we brought back from the shelter. When we had resolved to give up on dogs for a bit, get our carpets cleaned well, and try again later, suddenly the shelter lady was saying 'this is the most polite dog we've ever had'....

The word polite clung to my ears and tugged at my heart. She was a poodle, bred for seven years then dumped off at the pound like yesterday's news. (the family kept one of her latest puppies instead) She was polite to the point of apologetic. She soaked in attention and politely waited when you got distracted. It was worth giving 'dogs' another try.

But Big Boy would not accept a poodle. A poodle, for goodness sake! Poodles were not the kind of dogs cool teenage boys owned. It didn't help that she'd been shaved to the skin when we brought her home. She was not only the wrong breed, she was naked to boot.

But slowly she won him over. With every quiet evening that she curled up next to him as he watched TV, and every ordinary afternoon when she rushed to the door and wagged her whole back end to show him how much she'd missed him while he was at school, she quietly and effectively won his heart.

So don't get the wrong idea when you see this picture. He is a teenage boy. And teenage boys, at least cool ones, never own poodles. So even if it looks like he might like her just a little bit, don't believe what you see. He doesn't like her one little bit.

He loves her a lot.

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