Apr 15, 2013

D is for Dogs

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Right after we got married, when we lived in an apartment that did not allow furry pets, we started a fish tank. We had lots of different types of fish and really enjoyed learning that fish have personalities. We had a beta that would only eat in a certain part of his tank, and he slept in a different part. After awhile, we branched out into birds. Kaytie's first pet was a bird. And while we loved our birds, (I still consider them the perfect pet) we knew, since we had kids, that eventually, we needed to get a dog. Dogs and kids just go together!

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So we adopted Sofie. Steve's boss owned a pair of Basset Hounds that had puppies and we wound up with a little two-color female. Her name came from the softness of her puppy fur, but even as a grown dog, she is still a "softie". 

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She is the perfect dog to live in a house with a tribe of adventuresome children. She loves to play. One of her favorite things to do is to run like the wind with her wildly flapping ears.

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She is a patient dog, putting up with the kids' shenanigans far longer than you would expect. She is often coerced into their games. Forced to don costumes and assume such roles as: cowgirl; ballerina; Chinese dragon; proper lady; Easter Bunny; Irish hound; and a fairy. She has consistently and adamantly refused, however, to wear sunglasses of any type.

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She does get special treatment, sometimes, though. Like the day I found her snuggled up on the couch in a cosy nest of pillows and blankets with Daniel and Abbie hanging over her, anticipating her every desire. They had even brought her food bowl to her so that she didn't have to get up to eat. Another day, they made her a fort to keep her warm and dry from the elements.

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Basset Hounds are pack animals, so Sofie has adopted us as her pack and treats us accordingly. She knows that Steve is the alpha male and his word is law. She will obey me, as long as he isn't around. But when he is home, and I tell her to do something, she always looks at him first, to see if she has to do it. And she knows the kids are low in the pack, so she won't obey them at all. In fact, she often does the opposite of what they tell her, just to spite them. Unless, of course, she knows the order is being passed down from Steve or me. 

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She considers herself as one of us. Well, at least, one of the kids. We keep her food and water dishes in the back hallway, but she often takes food in her mouth and brings it to the dining room to eat it. She prefers to eat when we are eating, and when they were all younger and took naps, she would nap with them. One memorable day, the kids were in trouble and I nearly laughed in the middle of a lecture when I noticed her sitting in the middle of the crowd, looking just as sad and guilty as the children. She often joins in their games, schoolwork, or parades.

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But she is not afraid to let them know when she has had enough and needs some alone time:

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She is curious and funny

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She likes to chew on the kids' toys, and when I tell her to stop, she will freeze and put on her most innocent look, trying to convince me that she has no idea what I'm going on about.

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She loves to snuggle,

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likes to play and hang out with her "cousin" Max,

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and knows how to get comfortable.

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She is protective of the children, putting her mouth on their hands when she sees them reach for something "dangerous" like Daniel's remote-control trains, barking fiercely at anyone who tickles Abbie, and scaring off that mailman, who, she is sure, is up to nothing but trouble.
She goes into "nurse mode" when anyone is sick or injured, curling up beside the sufferer, alert and attentive to anything she can do to comfort or reassure.

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She is not only the perfect dog for us, she is a member of the family.

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