We have two dogs – Cooper and Chompers. They were both adopted from the Humane Society when they were five months and seven months respectively. We saw a photo of Cooper online and drove about an hour and a half to get him. When we arrived they let his cellmate come out to visit as well. Cheyenne was with me on this adoption field trip, which was, I realized about five minutes in, a bad idea.
That was almost four years ago now and I have to say it has been a long four years and many adjustments have had to be made. Things have been chewed and shredded…the lawn will likely never be the same…nerves have been seriously frayed. Cooper and Chompers, well let’s just say, they aren’t angels. I understand they were recidivists when it came to being returned to the shelter. I should have known with the way the gals at the shelter were acting that I was going to have my hands full when I took them both – their nervous laughter should have clued me in. I was foolish though…I brought Cheyenne and there was no way after driving an hour and a half that we were going to be able to leave without a dog and when presented with the notion that she might actually have a shot at two – well forget about it -the deal was done. So there we went with these two large dogs in my little matchbox car – it was a sight to behold (and an indication of the lunacy of the whole idea).
I suffered A LOT that first year. Folks who know me can tell you that there were times that I was about to lose my mind trying to figure out how to address some of Cooper and Chompers’ behavioral issues. You see Cooper is a barker and Chompers is a howler. They get along great…indeed, together they incite each other to achieve greater heights of mischief. And wow, they have gotten into plenty of mischief. I could literally write a daily blog on their escapades alone.
The thing about shelter dogs that you get when they are no longer puppies is, you have no idea what they might have been exposed to in their lives before you. Case in point, Cooper is horrified – not scared, horrified – of anything that makes a loud pop or a boom sound. This fear may be something he has always had or may be something he acquired when he was younger, but whenever he acquired it matters not as he has it now. So July 4th and about seven days on either side of it are a living hell around here for Cooper (because West Fargo folks – they love their fireworks). The same is true for thunder…Cooper is frantic over thunder.
I personally love a good thunderstorm (while I am inside of course). I never heard really booming thunder until I moved here and I kind of like the power of it…well, I did like the power of it…until Cooper came to live with us. Now I cringe when there is thunder because I know Cooper is going to become a frantic mess.
So, guess who got little sleep last night…yes indeed, me and Cooper. The difference between us though was that Cooper got to sleep all day at his whim. Not me. No, I had to work. Something seemed unjust about that to me, but I am not sure who that complaint letter would go to. Of course, Cooper is happy as a clam today…right back to his obnoxious barking, mischief-making self. Gone is the insecure, whimpering dog from last night, amazingly the crabby woman who was with the insecure whimpering dog – well, she still remains.
But hey, who’s bitter?
Day two hundred and eighty-two of the new forty – obla di obla da