Wednesday, November 21, 2007
About 5 years ago, on a summer morning, at about 6:00 AM (earlier than anybody has any business being awake on a summer morning) we got a phone call. My husband took the phone into another room and finished the call, then came back to bed. I decided to go ahead and shower and get my day started before the kids got up. By the time I got out of the shower, I found out what the call was about.
"MOM!!!!" my then-4-year-old son shouted as he burst through the bathroom door. "WE HAVE A DOG!!!!"
"WHAT?!?!?" I complained. I hadn't been consulted about having a dog, and Lord knows I have enough to take care of, with 4 kids and a husband. A dog? The kids weren't even old enough to take care of a dog, so surely it would fall on me to take care of this pooch. I wasn't having it.
But as soon as I saw his adorable face, and the kids just covering him with hugs and kisses, and the way he rolled over on his back as if to say, "more, more! More hugs and kisses, please!" I wasn't about to be the one to say "no."
Apparently, he had been dumped off at one of my husband's friends' houses out in the country -- a popular place to dump unwanted pets, apparently. The dog was too young to have been weaned properly, so he was malnourished. Adorable, but skinny -- with messed-up ankles from the lack of calcium in his diet. The friend didn't have the heart to take him to the pound, and my husband didn't have the heart to turn him away, and so we got a new pet.
Cody turned me into a dog-lover. He was the sweetest, most appreciative pet I've ever met. He loved the children and watched over them when other adults were around. Once, he even attacked my father-in-law for playing too rough with the boys. I was amazed -- I didn't know he even had it in him to attack anyone, but mess with these kids and -- whoa, nelly!
Cody was the neighborhood's pet. He knew where to go to get the best treats, and everyone loved him. He once crashed the mayor's daughter's wedding near our house, and rather than turning him away, they gave him treats.
He was hit by a car today -- on my birthday, no less. I never thought I would love a dog this much, but I can't imagine life without him. It didn't hit me until I heard the tinkle of his tags as my husband removed his collar. Olivia's taking it the hardest, but the oldest two are too cool to show grief very openly right now.