There are smart times and not-so-smart times when to make life-changing decisions.
A not-so-smart time might be when you put your house up for sale, it sells in 2 weeks, you have to get out within another 2 weeks, but there’s no place to go, because you’re building and ground hasn’t even been broken yet, so you’re scrambling to find a rental, pack up a house-full of 9 years of living and move, NOW!!
You know, one of those times.
In 1985 we moved to Fayetteville. There were some complications. We moved into the rental in August and tried to unpack as little as possible, because we’d be moving again very soon ... right? Wrong!! We lived out of boxes until we finally were able to occupy our new home in June of 1986. Use your imagination ... it won’t be as wild as what we actually went through ... but I only have one page to tell this tale. Did I mention the small detail that Bill’s elderly mom and all her stuff from a Roswell apartment moved in with us? Fun has no bounds ...
We still had Sherman, but he only lasted a few weeks after the move. He had developed cancer and with the stress of moving and changing his life all around ... it was more than he could handle and he passed away.
As for life-changing decisions, I don’t remember us asking ourselves if we should even consider getting another dog. It was just a given. We’re getting another dog. Some friends at church had a new litter of puppies and of course, we’ll take one! They were so cute! Black lab and german shepherd mix.
God has a wicked sense of humor. If you had to pick from a litter of seven or eight 100 lb. dogs you might get a reality check and step back. But noooo ... He made those puppies into fluffy little handfuls of soft, funny, wiggly cuteness. Cuteness can cause temporary brain damage if you get too close. Ahhhh! ... let’s don’t get one dog ... let’s get two!! And let’s get the biggest one of the litter, a male, and the smallest one, a female! Won’t that be fun! And yes, my engineer husband was present and taking part in all this ... his logical brain must have been burned out from designing a house for two females and dealing with contractors. But the artist wife was there, too. And honestly, she would’ve never listened to reason even if it had been offered up. She got too close to cuteness and her brain was rendered totally useless. God knows how to sell.
But we can’t take the dogs just yet ... gotta’ get a house built first. No problem! The owner promised to keep them for us.
Fast forward 10 months. Finally in our new house! We put up a fenced area in the backyard with a couple of doghouses. Let’s go get our “puppies”... oops! ... what happened to our puppies?! ... good thing we got big dog houses!
Here are some shining moments of owning 2 dogs, double the pleasure:
- Expensive vet visits are now 2-times-as-expensive vet visits.
- Amos was a runner! So just forget about having a nicely manicured yard. It ain’t happening!
- Big dogs! Amos was 120 lbs, as much as me at 5'1"! Raisin was “only” about 65 lbs. So walking on leashes was a challenge. We had to use choke collars.
- Our property is 800 feet deep and ends at Gingercake Creek. The house sits up near the road and the back is all woods that we cut paths through back to the creek. Being lab mixes, the dogs loved the creek and we’d walk them back often and let them jump in. Many times dragging us in with them! Once Bill took both dogs back by himself. Amos found an interesting hole and stuck his whole head into it ... a yellow jacket nest! Both dogs came out of their choke collars and left Bill to fend for himself!
- Before we had the invisible fence, Amos learned to climb over the fence and get out. Once in the middle of the night we were awakened by a big ruckus and a deer had jumped into the enclosure! So we had to put electric wiring across the top of the fence to keep Amos in and woodland creatures out!
- Our house sits lower than the street. So the dog houses in the back yard sat even lower. Amos wanted to know what was going on out there. So he learned that he could jump up on the roof of his dog house and see the street better. He did this so often that he got at least 2-3 brand new roofs during his 10 year lifetime!
- They loved us and tried to show their aﬀection often. Many times Bill would go down in the mornings to feed them to find a live opossum in the food bowl ... well, was it live? or was it just playing dead? Hmmm....
- One time Raisin’s invisible fence receiver fell oﬀ her collar. We looked and looked, but never found it and just ordered another one. One day a few months later, Bill ran across it. Absentmindedly he just stuck it in his back pocket. Bad, bad idea! Did a little dance, he did, just moments before coming back inside the house!
- Speaking of the invisible fence ... Raisin was terriﬁed of it. But Amos was sly. He would go out every day and over and over he would get just close enough to hear the warning “chirp”. He discovered that if he did it often enough, the battery got drained, and through the fence he went! But he wouldn’t leave, because Raisin wouldn’t go through. So, only one street got terrorized instead of the whole neighborhood! But one time when we weren’t home, and he got out, some neighbors were shooting off fireworks and spooked her and she went through the fence anyway. Watch out Fayetteville! We looked and looked to no avail. A few days later we got a call from the invisible fence people. Some folks up on Hwy. 92 had them about 5 miles from home! We were glad to see them and they were glad to see us! Amos’ receiver got new batteries twice as often after that!!
- Like I said earlier, Amos was a runner. One hot July afternoon we came home to ﬁnd a very distraught Raisin and no Amos. She led us to the back yard where his body was laying in his well worn path. Apparently he had been in a full run and his heart just gave out. You can’t run like that when you’re wearing a black fur coat in a hot Georgia July sun! Raisin lasted another 3 years, ﬁnally dying with cancer.
They were actually very terrific dogs. But we were worn out.
Now someone like Cesar Millan would probably tell you that it’s not the dogs, it’s the owners. Don’t know where he’d get ideas like that ... no matter ... enough!! NO MORE DOGS FOR US!!!