Monday, February 04, 2008

Can we keep him, Mom? Puh-leeeeeeeze??????

And the answer, from the bottom of my cold, shriveled heart, would be NO.

{Aren't you glad I'm not YOUR mom???}

Kidding. Well, sort of. We explained to the kids after Lager died that there was no way for us to get another dog (or two) until we get a fence put up around the backyard. Granted, I don't work, but there are occasionally days when I'm out getting my nails done, shopping, having lunch, running vital, life-affirming errands, and might not come home for hours at a time. Although our dogs have always been considered "inside" pets, we do need to be able to leave them out in the yard unsupervised every now and then, and that's hard to do without a fence. Plus, if you think I'm potty-training a puppy during the winter months by walking outside with him or her in the middle of the cold dark night, you're crazy. So, no fence, no dog. It's a perfectly reasonable explanation to me.

But that logic has done little to relieve the puppy-lust all three of the kids have had these past two months. Since I've been wanting to get them involved in some sort of community service, volunteering at a local animal shelter seemed like a good way to kill two birds with one stone. Er, walk two dogs with one leash. Whatever.

So to that end, the kids and I started about a month ago taking part in a youth mentor program that lets kids help out at the shelter by walking dogs, playing with them, and trying to make them more "people friendly" so the workers can place them more easily. We started out the first week with the big dogs, since that's what we've always had at our house. But after being cooped up in cages most of the day, these dogs are pretty much hysterical-thrilled to be out with people, and quite honestly, the kids had trouble handling the bigger dogs themsleves. I'm only supposed to be there as a chaperone of sorts, and I wound up doing all the work myself with the bigger animals. AND sweating, chasing after those dogs, which was TOTALLY not part of the plan. The kids really, really, really wanted to be the ones doing the work, but I didn't think taking a ginormously strong shelter dog out for a walk and then LOSING IT because we couldn't hang on to the leash would endear us to the program, so the next week we asked to work with smaller animals.

It's really been a lot of fun, and only a little bit heartbreaking to know people just dump wonderful animals like this and that we can't take every single dog home with us. Today the weather was amazing here (seriously, probably the best day since we moved home ..... but enjoy it while it lasts, because there's another cold front moving in as I type this) and the kids had a blast this afternoon playing with their animals. An absolute blast --- and naturally, wheedled and pleaded to take all three dogs home with us. But because I am a frigid, cold hearted shrew of a mother, I was able to say no, despite the MANY sets of puppy dog eyes being sent my direction.




Kellen and his new buddy, Romeo. Or, "Ramona", as he kept calling him.



Brayden and her spastic frenetic ball of energy, Bertha. {I know, Bertha? But I guess the shelter workers run out of creative names at some point, after naming hundreds of dogs and cats a year, and have to go with anything that comes to mind. Maybe one of them has an Great Aunt Bertha, or something. Perhaps instead of donating dog food and treats, someone should donate a baby name book.}



Of course, even Bertha is better than this poor thing, who doesn't even have a name yet. I vote for "Fraidy-cat", because the entire time Kendrie was walking him, every time he heard another dog barking {which happened a lot because hello, it's a dog pound} he would tense up, sit down, start shaking, and refuse to move. Thank goodness he was light since she wound up carrying him a lot .... not that she cared, of course.



It's the kids jobs to run with the dogs and get them some exercise after being in the cages all day. (The dogs, not the kids, although perhpas I should consider cages if they're really mis-behaving. The kids, not the dogs.)



We also like to see if they know any tricks, like sit or stay or shake. Or in this psycho's case, the well-known "Attack the leash with all your might" trick.



Usually, they're just so glad to be out and interacting with other human beings (the dogs, not the kids) that they want to play more than anything.



Most of them, not all, but most of them, seem to enjoy their interaction with the kids as much as they enjoy running. But NOT as much as they enjoy sniffing the ground and rolling around in whatever piles of dirt and heaven-only-knows-what-else they can find.



As you can tell, the kids don't mind a whole lot.



Nope, they're so happy that they're squirmy. The dogs, not the kids. Well, on second thought, the kids too.



Sometimes the dogs get along and want to play together.



Sometimes they're puppies through and through and chew on whatever they can get ahold of. Damnit, Brayden only has two pair of jeans that fit her, and this nut-case chewed two small holes in one of them today. (sigh)



Not too often, but occasionally, they'll get tired and need a brief rest.



Oops, then it's off again, running in circles and wrestling and seeing just how tangled they can get their leashes.



Although I have to admit, saying no today was a pretty hard thing to do. I mean, just LOOK at this face!

26 comments:

clatoure said...

How could you say no? You must be able to think of three brands of beer. If you need any help there, just let me know. Loved the pictures, and it is great to know there are more dogs in your future. I wish I lived closer, I would come over and build you a fence. Oh, on second thought a fence I built probably wouldn't keep the dogs in.

Postcard Cindy

Colleen said...

Awwww....cute kids & cute dogs. How do you not take one home? Also, what a great idea to have your kids volunteer.

Thanks for posting the photos as large as you did, sometimes you post them so small I can't barely see them.

Anonymous said...

yep, no name pup that kendrie has is the one. that's my vote. i feel it. although i only do 2+ yr dogs because i would rather potty train a toddler than a dog....
this dog is it.
mary c s
crosslake/san diego

Anonymous said...

Molsen Golden Lager.....
a family golden than past away a few years ago.....

Natalie said...

Bloody hell, woman (practicing my Claire Fraser lingo), you're going to have yourself a dog, or three, before the winter is over if you don't watch out! And I predict no name will soon join the family of beers as Foster. Wait did you already have a dog named that? Am I getting my beers mixed up?

I'm feeling the pull to get a dog myself. . .

Kelly said...

Excellent idea having the kids volunteer at the animal shelter! Cute pictures too!!

Kristie I'm trying to figure out how to get pictures at the top of my page like you have. Is that some secret code or is there a template for that or something? Please fill me in!!

THANKS!

Lisa said...

Helloooo. I love having the furries in my life, get a fence Kristie, you know you want to. I bet you'd have three little helpers lined up to help you. For what its worth, my little dog was a rescue and she's been the best little friend a person could have.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful experience for the kids!!

Can I ask where you got Brayden's shirt? My daughter walked by and said "Wow what a beautiful shirt" lol

Aslo I pay good money for jeans with holes in them - maybe I should just take jeans with no holes to the animal shelter and they can put the holes in for free :)

Cindy

Kristie said...

Cindy, re. Brayden's shirt .... JC Penney. Because thankfully my child doesn't like wearing her shirts skin-tight like the clothes manufacturers seem to want all females to wear them, so we often shop in the JC Penney girls-plus department for shirts. NOT because Brayden is plus-size ... but because plus-size shirts are more comfortable for her. (Oh, geez, she's more and more like me every day.)

Meg said...

The idea of having volunteers for the shelter is a GREAT idea! I'm going to pass that along to our shelter director here...also, if you remember, we got our dog from your Ga home and he has really turned out to be the best dog! I think they know you "rescued" them and they really owe you their life! Just in case you give in...;)

The Big Groove Daddy said...

We just got a puppy and my kids have been wonderful help! You know, whinning when I ask them to take to dog out. The whole "Ewww, Mom, gross" when I ask them-since they procrastinated in taking the dog outside-to clean up the pee. I am just glad we got a tiny dog. She does not require the whole running down the street to get exercise thing. She runs around the living room and then goes to her bed and lays down---worn out! I love that! Sound like you will soon have some of the same comments coming from your children as I have had from mine.
Sandy
Edison,GA

Tammy said...

how can you NOT being them ALL! home?!
I hate going to the shelter because i fall in love with all of them. Its been 3 years and I still want a dog!

Jeanette said...

You are a a tougher woman than I am.

Anonymous said...

I can't say no, either. That's why now, after 4 cats and 6 dogs, my husband doesn't let me near Petsmart anymore...

Cheryl
WR, GA

Deb said...

Definatly the one Kendrie is holding....if you want suggestions for name...mine would be Bud Light. I love your blog, check in every day but rarely delurk. Have a super day!

Grandma J said...

All of them....take all of them home! Maybe you and the kids can build the fence yourself!! Ok, it's not time yet, but it's great that the kids love dogs so much.

I still can't get over the little birthday girl not having any friends come to her party except Kendrie....who was really just a classmate. Maybe invite her to go with you guys to the animal shelter...I just think maybe a little bit of kindness and interaction with animals might be good medicine. It's just a suggestion...maybe not a good one so ignore me :))

Kelly said...

Thanks for the picture info Kristie!!

Candy said...

This is an oh so familiar story, and I can only tell you that I caved in to one of those sweet adorable faces (the kids and the dogs) and am now living with the hell that is Chloe, the pound puppy. I would give anything to go back a year and say firmly, inequivocably, NO!

Anonymous said...

Those pictures are adorable. Everytime I see your kids they are getting bigger. Tell them to stop that, lol.

Want to mediate another dispute. We are getting ready to put our house up for sale and of course those wonderful days of bidding wars and houses flying off the market are over now.

DH thinks we should almost totally empty out the house and this includes putting all the kids toys in storage (in professional storage, since we don't have garage) and most of their clothes. He wants to leave them with 7 outfits each, plus a weeks worth of underwear and socks and his very generous offer of 2 pairs of PJ's (eyeroll goes here).

My kids are a 13 yr old girl, 11 yr old boy, 8 yr old girl and 6 yr old boy. The boys could likely care less, but try explaining to a 13 yr old girl (and even my 8 yr old fashion queen) that they must wear the same outfits, over and over again, for likely upwards 3-4 months. (Our move date target is June).

He also wants to store stuff like the coffee pot and toaster oven, so the counters are bare. I could give a rat's behind on what he does with the coffee pot, but that toaster oven ain't going nowhere. I need my morning bagel!

Suffering Rita

feefifoto said...

How can you say no? Puh-leeeeeze??

Anonymous said...

I am not an animal person...I'm a fostermom person.....but that Fraidy-cat dog is adorable. That one gets my vote!

Dixie in CA

Marcia said...

Oh man, you're a stronger woman than I am!! I couldn't have said no to those puppies that the girls had. How adorable!!

Anonymous said...

Look, I've seen the girls' bedroom and that sucker will hold at least three Great Danes. You won't even notice one dog and with the huge closet, who needs a fenced yard? I vote for Coors, the one that Kendrie is holding.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!!!!!!!! What a great program. I wonder if they have something like that in our city.

I would wait at least til spring to get the dogs. I have a feeling you will be getting three.LOL

Hugs,
Machelle, Elizabeth's Mom from the ALL Kids list

thehouses said...

I LOVE that picture of Brayden holding Bertha. The smile on her face is priceless!

What a wonderful thing to be doing! I don't think we have anything like that around here. I'm not even sure I know where the closest animal shelter is...but I live in the sticks in Indiana too...

Cathy from Suwanee said...

Yeah right.....I give you a week and the nameless adorable ball of fluff Kendrie is holding will be your new dog!