It was exactly one year ago today that I brought Fletch home.
I got him a giant bone tonight as a present. He took it immediately to the Destroying Things room and I didn’t see him again for an hour.
After years of being quite certain that I did not want the constant responsibility of being a dog owner, I suddenly wanted one in the worst possible way. I was wise enough to wait a few months to see if it was real. It was. I found him online at a rescue down in Edgecombe County, and I drove down to get him with a puppy crate and a stuffed monkey, and he was eight weeks and nine pounds.
Eight weeks is little. They told me he was older than that. My vet told me they were wrong. But it was fine. We spent the winter getting up two or three (or four) times a night, playing with his stuffed monkey on the living room floor, and taking a lot of short naps. We had a lot to learn, but we mostly figured it all out. How to walk on a leash (still working on that), what was fair game for chewing (not people), what to do when someone loses a tooth (both of you look at it, and then look at each other with big eyes, and then look at the tooth again), how to get an eight week old puppy to sleep (lie down on the floor with him and make sleepy noises), and how to stick to all the dog rules you’re determined to follow (ha ha ha ha ha).
We’ve had a fun year. He’s sixty-eight pounds now, still a wild child and a loose cannon, still extremely sweet. He’s the self-appointed greeter at every gathering, no matter where we are. I had no idea he’d be this handsome, or this entertaining. Or that I’d let him sleep on my bed with his chin hooked over my ankle.
He’s remarkably chill.
Except when he’s not. Here’s his “Kinda Sorry I Destroyed Your New York Times Crossword Puzzle” look,
and his “I’m Worn Out From Cleaning Out This Peanut Butter Jar” look,
the “I’m Not Really Allowed On The Couch But I Know You Won’t Make Me Move” look,
the “I Know I’m Supposed To Stay In The Way Back But I Just Have To Be Near You” look,
and the “I Stole Your Glove And You Are In For An Epic Game Of Keep Away Before Work” look.
But mostly? Chill.
(Unless there’s a cat.) I think this one says a lot, though:
This one says, “I’m a good sport, and I will cheerfully go wherever you drive me, and if we can throw the tennis ball now and then that would be great, and I will probably break all the rules and you won’t mind all that much, and I trust you and love you and will guard you while you sleep if you let me hook my chin over your ankle. Also I would like some of whatever you’re eating. Did I mention I love you?”
You did mention, Fletch. I love you back, Sweet Dawg.