Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Rocky!

Today Rocky turned 6 years old -- in dog years, that's 37. When we decided to get Scout, I really wanted a dog and researched a few dozen breeds. We went to several breeders of different dogs, when I finally came to the conclusion that I really, really, really, wanted a yellow Lab.

I had the books, I bought the chew toys, I got the organic dog food, I was PREPARED.

Two years later, Peter and I were walking through the Garden State Plaza mall and I told him I wanted to look at the puppies.



Peter saw Rocky, a teeny all-white Siberian Husky, turn around in his little kennel, put his head down and sigh. Peter turned to me and said, "I want that dog."

I asked the girl at the pet store to bring Rocky out. He was so squirmy, he wouldn't stay in my arms for two seconds. The girl came back around to see how we were doing, and Rocky was so excited to see her, he was almost bouncing. He was such a happy dog, and I turned to Peter and said, "I love him sooooooooooooo much!"

Scout was kind of like that planned child, the one that has the name all picked out. The one that gets the freshly painted room even before they're even created. Rocky was like that mistake, the one that happens with an "Ooops! Too much wine!" moment.

As soon as we brought him home, Scout HATED him. She couldn't stand to look at him. She looked at us like we betrayed her. Sort of like, "Why would you DO THIS TO ME! I'm going to my room, and I'm not coming back out until you GET RID of THIS!"

Then we brought him to the dog park, and our friends there were HORRIFIED we got him at a pet store.

"But they told us he was from a breeder," I said, defending myself. And, of course, they all shook their heads at me and told me that it was a lie, and that all good dog-loving people should know this information because, didn't you know? It came in THE HANDBOOK. One of those dog-park-people even told me to return him to the store, and continued to tell me to do this, every time I saw her.

Because Scout hated him, and the dog-park-people hated him, it was a bit difficult for me to bond with him at first. And he kept climbing out of his dog area in the kitchen, so on Valentine's Day, he climbed over this obstacle course in the kitchen I made out of Peter's guitar amps and I had it. I yelled at him, picked him up, and slammed him back down into his puppy area.

Alarmed, Peter grabbed his keys and the dog and said that he was returning him. I ran after him and during the whole ride to the store, I held Rocky in my arms, where he calmly sat, not knowing that a human drama was unfolding.

We sat in the car outside the store for two hours, and every time we thought about bringing him back, it hurt so much inside that we cried (Okay, I cried, wailed and sobbed. Peter kind of had 1.8 tears well up in his eyes). And to top it all off, it was Valentine's Day. I knew that if I returned this dog, I could never celebrate another Valentine's Day ever again.

Finally, we decided to go home and we've been a family ever since.

And Rocky never again tried to escape from his puppy area.


running42k said...

That was a nice story. Happy Birthday Rocky.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, he's been trying to get back to the pet store on his own on at least two separate occasions...