That’s what you get…

Posted: February 7, 2008 in Family, pets

…when you marry a woman with a heart for poor, defenseless creatures.  (Maybe that’s why she married me in the first place).


Before I explain this picture (click on it to see the whole image), let me tell you about this bleeding heart of hers and how it has impacted my life.  In a perfect world, we’d only have 1 dog.

And, apparently, one cat.  Before we got married, Stacey just HAD to have a cat.  So she went to the local pet store during a Saturday humane society adoption and picked her out a cat.  That was fine.  She lived in Atlanta at the time.  I lived in Birmingham.  The cat was not my problem.  Until… (yes, there’s an “until”)…she found out her landlord really didn’t want her to have a cat so it got dumped on me in B’ham.  Now, any sane human male would’ve said, “No!” (maybe even preceded with a few expletives).  But, no.  I – being all goo goo and “smitten” with this woman I wanted to marry – said a weak “yes.”

So, when we got married.  We had a dog.  And a cat.  Why couldn’t it have ended there.  I’ll start with the regrettable ongoing history of the cats.

  1. Koshka – the cat we had when we got married – now gone…she disappeared about 5 years ago when we lived in a rental house here in Decatur.
  2. Addison – the cat Stacey couldn’t turn down when a kid in the youth group at the church I worked at in B’ham brought it to small group one night.  Had this one for about 2 years, before it was found dead in a neighbor’s yard, apparently having fallen out of a tree, off a roof, or something…
  3. Chaps – had to get this cat to replace Addison.  Um…what??  I guess she got used to two, so we got this one.  Had this one until last spring, when he disappeared.  I think he became a coyote’s lunch.  Good.  I…mean…how sad.  ;-).
  4. Lexie – someone brought this cat into the pharmacy where Stacey worked, saying they’d found it under a mobile home, abandoned.  Naturally, Stacey took it home.  After all, the person who found the cat couldn’t possibly raise the cat herself.  I think Stacey’s bleeding heart hemorrhaged on this one…  This cat is still here.  Alive and kicking.
  5. Nala – This one is actually Dave’s fault (LOL!).  They attempted to rescue it and its kitten during a storm.  The next day, the mother accidentally got separated from the kitten, they left the kitten with a local vet, and when the mother returned to look for the kitten, she never left.  So Stacey decided to feed it…groom it… Now it lives with us and pees on our furniture.

The story of our dogs is even more stupendous.

  1. Schastye – had her when we got married.  Still have her, in spite of the fact that she’s cost us a fortune in cataract surgery, filling in holes where she’s dug her way out of our fence, erecting redneck-chicken wire fencing to keep her from climbing a fence, laying electric boundary wire for an electric shock collar, etc., etc.  On top of that, she’s cost us countless hours searching for her when she’s escaped.  Now, she finally stays in the backyard, but she’s mean to the other dogs – and even me when I get onto her for growling/snapping at the other dogs.  We still have her…why?  If I could give this dog away, I would.  She needs to be the only dog living with a family who wants to bring her indoors on a regular basis.  Then she’s a great dog.
  2. Bailey – a 100-lb. golden retriever that we acquired after one of Stacey’s co-workers told her this story about a golden retriever that had been abandoned by its owners who moved to Texas.  Naturally, my wife couldn’t let that happen.  We kept her, and spent a fortune repairing the landscaping in every yard we lived in where she dug holes.  (That’s an understatement…she was the canine equivalent of a backhoe).  She’s gone now.  We didn’t feel like destroying the yard in our current home, so we found her another home.
  3. Riley – a puppy that someone Stacey worked with found on the side of the road, abandoned.  “How dare someone do that to this dog!” said my wife.  So, it made a home with us for about 6 months, until it drove us nuts barking all night long.  Buh-bye.
  4. Milton.  The 3-year-old greyhound that we adopted from the Birmingham Race Track.  It was a former racing dog that was retired and needed a new home.  Naturally, my wife thought that would be cool.  Bam!  Schastye, Bailey, and Milton.  Sweet dog, but he (1) stunk (worst gas ever), and (2) had some really odd quirks.  It’d trample the cats like he didn’t even notice them (maybe not a bad thing).  He’d never seen glass (for real!), so he once tried to run through a sliding glass door.  Knocked it out of its track, then stood up and tried to run through it again.  I had to tackle him before he tried it a third time.  He even tried to run through the slats on our back porch railing, only to get stuck by the huge muscles in his hind legs.  I couldn’t move him forward or backward, so I’m outside in 32 degree weather in jeans and no shirt literally sawing my deck railing apart to free him and stop his insanely loud yelping.  Dog had to go, so it went.
  5. Abbey – Siberian husky we took from friends who couldn’t afford to treat her really bad case of demodectic mange.  We nursed her back to health from the literal brink of death.  I actually liked this dog a lot.  Well-tempered, easy to walk, low maintenance (beyond the early medical bills).  But she got out of the fence one day last year and we never saw her again.
  6. Madden – For some reason, we just HAD to replace Abbey.  Besides, this dog was living in a pen with 6 other dogs and needed a better home, having already been rescued from neglect from another home.  So…bam!…dog winds up with us.  75 lbs. of muscle and long hair.  Whee!  That’s okay, I actually like this dog better than any we’ve had.  Thumbs up.  I could live with this being our only dog.  He’s really cool looking, really friendly, and he’s a REAL dog (a big dog – one that doesn’t bounce when it barks).
  7. Sasha – Stacey really, really, really, really wanted an indoor dog.  So, Merry Christmas.  Okay, this dog turned out to be well-behaved and low maintenance as well.  I could live with two dogs, then.

Wow, how I wish I could tell you the story ended there.  But alas, word of Stacey’s bleeding heart for animals has spread.  That brings me to the picture above.  Last week, one of our friends (who’s name begins with Aliso-) brought a very young puppy over one night that she just couldn’t possibly take care of herself.  And, now…there is a 4th dog roaming our house.  It’s fate (in my opinion, anyway) is undecided…but it’s here for at least the short term.  Unfortunately, a puppy becomes a very quick object of attachment for a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old, hence the photograph.

Now I’m stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place.  We don’t need another dog.  We didn’t ask for another dog.  They live only to eat and poop.  But my kids love it.  Apparently they also live to make kids smile.

The only way I know to resolves this is this:  Does anyone want a 10-year-old Siberian husky that’s really sweet if she’s not around other dogs?

Hmm… I didn’t think so.


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