I Live in a Zoo!
Very late one night last week our bedroom door flew open and the lights went on. My wife will tell you I’m usually not very alert in the middle of the night. But this time she was the one whose head never left the pillow, as I shot up in bed. There, standing at the foot of the bed, was one of our boys. And Jacob was visibly distraught.
- Me: “What!”
- Jacob: “I need your help.”
- Me: “What?”
- Jacob: “I can’t do it. I just can’t do it.”
- Me: “What?”
- Jacob: “I’m going to throw up in my mouth.”
- Me: “What?”
- Jacob: “It’s the puppy. I need your help.”
Not knowing what to say other than “What?”, I got up and followed him.
The puppy. I just knew he was going to be such a … how should I put it? Such a …. puppy! A few weeks ago our oldest son, David, came up with the lamest idea. “I’m going to get a dog,” he said. “Sure,” I replied. “No, I really am. I want a dog.” For the next couple of weeks ALL of us (including his friends) gave him reasons why that wouldn’t be such a good idea, including:
- You’re still in college (he has one semester left).
- You’re still living with frat boys (enough said).
- You’ll be traveling with your new job and living in apartments.
- You can barely make yourself a sandwich (the dog would starve).
- Mom and I aren’t ready to raise grandkids (assuming his new dog will eventually become our new dog).
- We already have a zoo at home (Jeter, Major, Tipsy, Butters and a fish).
Sounds reasonable, right? Not to David. He was dead set on getting a dog. “OK,” I said. “You can find a good dog at the shelter or some rescue group.” “Nope,” he said. “I’ve already found the perfect puppy. It’s an English Creme Golden Retriever.” A what?
In short, an English Creme Golden Retriever is a Golden Retriever with European genetic lines. And their coat can be much lighter in color than American goldens. David found a breeder nearby with puppies for sale. For a lot more than the cost of adopting a dog. A LOT more.
The puppies’ mom and dad are both Russian. “Nyet,” I told him. But by now the Cold War between the two of us was obvious. And there was no détente in sight. David made quite a bit of money this summer and he’s made up his mind to get a dog. “OK,” I said (again). “But don’t say I didn’t tell you so.”
His name is Switzer. Oklahoma Sooner fans will get it. He’s about nine weeks old, a ball of soft, creamy fur, and …. okay I’ll admit it … pretty darn cute. And until David heads back to college, Switzer has joined our zoo. The other dogs, even the cat, have initiated Switzer into the family much like college frat boys initiate new members. There’s been some hazing (growling, barking, hissing and snapping), but otherwise they all get along. But the fact is Switzer is still a …. how should I put it? He’s still a … puppy!
Jacob needs my help. So I reluctantly get out of bed and follow my son. He’s been on puppy patrol while Switzer’s single dad goes out. Pinching his nose tightly shut with two fingers, Jacob leads me to “the scene of the crime.” The evidence is everywhere. I’ll admit, it’s not a pretty sight (or smell). Switzer had been neglected and when duty called, it answered. It’s smeared all over the rug and wood floor by our front door. I’ll spare you the details but Switzer at the time had worms, like many puppies do. It’s like the floor was moving. And it is. That’s probably why Jacob threw up in his mouth and pleaded for my help.
But how could the puppy be so neglected with so many kids around? Tommy’s friends were also there. And how did Switzer’s mess get smeared all over the floor? I had just installed security cameras the day before (click here as to why). So let’s hit rewind and see what happened:
I’m pretty used to cleaning up after dogs. Of course, Switzer won’t always be a puppy. Check back often to see him grow up, and also how David deals with being a single dad.