Tuesday, May 29, 2012

if you've ever loved a dog

Warning: if you're not a "dog person," then you may want to turn back now. I am about to get sentimental and squishy about how much I love my pup.

I didn't grow up with dogs, so I never knew what the big deal was. Why people would have bumper stickers saying they "heart" their such-and-such-breed or why they'd let them up on the furniture and whatnot.

Then, N. and I got married and I hadn't yet found a job. I got lonely sitting at home all day trying to be a writer and finishing up wedding "thank you" notes and painting the dining room purple.

So, when I saw an ad in the Washington Post for a "three-month-old very birdy Vizsla," (and after I googled "birdy Vizsla puppy" because I had absolutely no idea what on earth that meant), I immediately called the number and poured my heart out to the kind man on the other end of the phone. He told me he wouldn't give this dog to just anyone. I prayed and prayed that we would get Turk, and we did:

I’ll never forget the day we picked him up. He was the floppiest little thing and when he came walking toward me, he walked sideways. I picked him up and put him on my lap and he groaned like an old man when I scratched his ears. He still does that. We got outside and he peed on the asphalt like a girl dog. He still does that, too.

N. and I brought him home and made up a voice for him and pretended that he spoke to us. We learned that, after chasing butterflies, his favorite thing in life is to be sitting right on your lap. He is now sixty pounds. That is still his favorite place to be. We learned that he’ll only eat his food if we put water in it, that he’s desperately afraid to get in a car but he’s fine once he’s in there, and we learned that we had absolutely zero idea how to train him to be obedient.

That's when we signed up for an obedience class at a wonderful, marvelous, life-changing place called All Things Pawssible. They taught us how to "speak" Turk's language, how to interpret what he does and helped us understand WHY he does what he does. We've sent Turk to their "daycare" at least once a week for two and a half years now. When we go on vacation, we send him there, too. They don't crate the dogs like some other kennels. We can feel happy knowing that Turk is bee-bopping around all day, free to do dog stuff like chase and dig and eat dirt, with other puppies and getting exhausted before they "put him to bed" at night. They care about each and every dog. They know Turk and his strange Turk-isms (read: he will stare at the same shadow on a wall for 45 minutes) and they love him for it. I love them there. LOVE them. When I go into labor, they'll probably be the second folks I call, after my mom. They've already told me that they'll take Turk no matter what when I go into the hospital. Like I said, I LOVE them. 

If you've ever loved a dog, then you'll love them too. I'm writing about ATP because they need your help! They've outgrown their current facility and they need a new one. They also--like many small, local businesses out there--need help with funding to get this thing off the ground. 

If you've ever loved a dog, go to www.missionsmallbusiness.com and vote for All Things Pawssible to win a grant for their new buidling. 

Turk, the lap dog, thanks you. 


  1. Aw, such a sweet post!!
    I will definitely go vote!

  2. LOVE. huxley does about 80% of those things too, i always appreciate dog businesses that can also appreciate his oddities. i voted!