Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy birthday, Bosco

Have you met Bosco?  He's one of our dogs.  And today is his "birthday."  (I'll explain.)  So I thought, in honor of that, and because I feel like writing, I would tell you how he joined our family.

When we got married, Lucas wanted a dog.  I didn't.  He begged and I finally agreed we could get one - after we'd been married a year.  After six months, he wore me down and we started looking in the paper and online at shelters.  A few weeks later, the Boone winter was thawing into spring, and Lucas was dreaming of going on hikes and picnics with our dog while I was dragging my feet.  I decided it might actually be cool to have a dog - our dog - so we started really looking then.

We decided to get an adult.  We didn't have time to train a puppy, because I was working a full-time job and he was in his senior year of undergrad.  (Yes, he married an older woman.)  And we wanted a large dog.  An outdoorsy dog.  We searched online for several days and got a bit discouraged that most of the dogs in the breeds we liked were either really old or really young.  Then suddenly, we found him.  We knew he was our dog - a Staffordshire Terrier mix named Monty.  We called the shelter and set up a time to meet him the next day.  That night, we bought everything he needed - bed, water and food bowls, leash, collar, toys, you name it.

The next day we drove the 90 minutes to the shelter, excited to pick up our dog.  We hopped out of the car and practically ran to the desk, announcing, "We're here to meet Monty!"  I'll never forget the way the guy looked at me and said, "YOU want to meet Monty?"  Lucas and I exchanged glances.  Did they let someone else adopt him??  "Yeah. . . we called. . . "  "Oh, okay.  Right this way."

He handed us off to a lady who would walk us to Monty's kennel.  We walked through what seemed like an endless row of outdoor kennels, all with at least half a dozen barking dogs in them.  I kept scanning for that sweet face we saw online.  The lady saw me looking and said, "Oh, Monty's not kept with other dogs."  Say what?  She quickly added, "He's nice!  He's just. . . special."

We finally got to Monty - kept in a barn beyond all the kennels.  She brought him out, and I understood why he was kept in a barn.  He was. . . HUGE.  Like pony-sized huge.  He weighed more than I did.  Literally - he weighed more than I did.  He sure was sweet though.

We petted him and walked him a bit, and learned 2 important facts:  1.  He hated cats.  He would hunt down and kill any cat that he so much as caught a glimpse of.  2.  He could drag me around without breaking a sweat.  When you live in a neighborhood with cats, these things do not mix.

Monty was not our dog.

Dejected, we slowly walked back to the car, past the long line of dogs running up to their fences barking, "Pick me!  Pick me!"  (Okay, maybe it only seemed like that.)

Then Lucas stopped.  He pointed to a tiny puppy, sitting in the back of a kennel, completely silent and heart-breakingly cute.  He looked at me and said, "That one."  "No," I countered, "We can't get a puppy, remember?" With his finger still pointing, Lucas turned to the lady and repeated, "That one.  I want to see that one."  She grinned.  She knew.

As she handed "Andy" to Lucas, she explained that they just found him that same week; he was probably too young to be away from his mother, but he was all alone on the side of the road.  "He's actually the same breed as Monty," she smiled.  Lucas wouldn't take his eyes off of the pup.

"Lucas, we can't get a puppy.  I work all day.  You have class.  He'll pee on things.  He'll chew stuff up.  Your computer cables!  He'll chew them to pieces.  We can't do it.  He's cute, but we can't.  Put him down."  Lucas looked up and cheesed, "The only way I'm putting him down is if it's in our car."

Congratulations, you have a puppy.

He really was sweet.  And quiet (at first).  He looked like he was wearing eyeliner and was seriously cute.  I mean, adorable.  Within minutes his name was not Andy, but Bosco.  I knew it as soon as I saw him.  It's like I didn't even name him; it just was his name.

On the 90-minute drive home, we called everyone we knew to tell them about our new addition.  When we got home, on our front door was a sign that read, "Welcome Home Monty Bosco!"  There was a gift basket full of squeaky toys and treats and fun dog stuff on our step, all from my friend Stacey.  I'll never forget that. 

The next day we gathered some friends and went out for a picnic and hike.  The dream is coming true!  Bosco stole hot dogs while we weren't looking.  Which was adorable, of course.  He laid around in the grass, very content with attention and belly-rubs, and we were all eager to dole them out.  Then we decided to go for our hike.

We had "hiked" (really just walking on trails, nothing difficult) about 20 minutes when he stopped.  He wasn't panting or exhausted.  He just stopped and laid down, refusing to get up and walk more.  A statement:  "I'm not a hiker."  We laughed and told him to come.  Nope.  We sternly told him to come and tugged the leash harder.  No way.  We lifted him onto his legs then let go.  He sank back down.  The dog is stubborn, and he was done.  He also has no idea what he is capable of, physically (to this day he still won't jump up on a couch or into a car - not because he's not allowed, but because he believes he's not able).

So Lucas picked him up and we turned around and walked the 20 minutes back to our picnic site - all with him lounging in Lucas's arms.  As soon as we got back, he hopped down, grabbed a rope toy, and went to town.  "This is more my speed."

When we took him to the vet, she estimated he was 6 weeks old.  We counted back and figured that he was born around the middle of January - hence January 15, 2005 is his "birthday."

I could tell a lot of stories about Bosco.  From his separation anxiety from Lucas (seriously - we had to medicate him), to the way he's scared of the broom (again - seriously - yet people who see us out with him grab their children and quickly walk the other way).  But that would take too much time.

So I'll leave it at this - happy 9th birthday to Boscorelli Frankenranken Bruch!  Or Bosco, if you're a friend.  Although he is Lucas's dog, he sure has grown on me, and I'm kind of fond of the ol' boy.  We all are.  I think he may just get a special treat tonight.


  1. This is SO sweet. Dogs are the best, and Bosco sure is lucky to be a Bruch! :)

    1. He sure felt lucky the other night when he got an entire chicken breast as a birthday treat! haha :)