Friday, November 21, 2008

All in the Family

Of the many posts I've written over the past year or so, I haven't dedicated one yet to our first baby. Before you get the wrong idea, we don't keep her locked away in a tower or have her clean the 'cinders' from our fireplace. She is our dog, Liberty. What more deserving subject for my 200th post?

We got Liberty in 1995, three years before Number One Son was born. So she is really our first child. And when she was a puppy, we treated her like a baby. We addressed each other as Mommy and Daddy when talking to her. We had some cute sweaters for her to wear in the winter. We even ordered a small vanilla cone at the Dairy Queen drive thru for her. Yup, we were pathetic.

But once the first human baby came along, Liberty found that the time for walks, playtime and attention took a nosedive. However, her table scraps volume increased greatly underneath the highchair.

But back to Liberty. She is a Yorkie-poo, (Yorkshire terrier/poodle mix) When we got her she was a small black fur ball that fit in my palm. The seller and everyone we talked to said she would not get much bigger. She ended up growing the same size as a poodle. But back in her cute days we would take her for walks on a little leash and she would have to stop every three feet or so to put something from the ground in her mouth. She once found a cigarette butt on the street and held it in her mouth just like she knew what to do with it. After a block or so we had to scold her for being too young to smoke.

She was a pretty smart puppy too. We of course spoiled her with many toys in her toy basket. We would ask her to get a toy from her basket and she could retrieve each toy by name. She was pretty quick at learning to sit, roll over and speak too. She can catch a piece of popcorn thrown from any angle. Even when she is sleeping, she is always ready for popcorn. She will often nap on the couch and snore loud enough to wake the dead. But just whispering the word 'popcorn' will perk up her head from the deepest of dreams.

Now that she has reached geriatric age (13 years) we have to treat her differently. She can still catch popcorn but now we have buy the high fiber brand. Sometimes we need to lift her up to our bed at night. And with Sweet Pea's improvements, we now have to lift Liberty up to her own bed too.I'm not sure what SP was thinking when she stacked all these pillows under Liberty's bed. Perhaps it is fun to have a bed that can topple at any moment.

There are a few things Liberty has taught us too. Her food and water bowls are in the laundry room and she has a clever way to let us know when refills are needed. She will stand just outside the laundry room door in our mudroom and paw at the springed doorstop on the wall sending out a 'boing-ing' sound just like she's ringing her own dinner bell. So then I'll get up and fill her food dish. When she 'rings' again, I'll usually have to check to see if her water is cool enough. She likes ice cubes in her bowl. There are times when she boings a third time. When this happens, we have to turn on the laundry room light for her. Once the lights are on, she will go in and eat. Then there are times when she just wants to frustrate me by signalling a refill of her food, and then turning and walking away as soon as she sees me fill the bowl.

So that's the story of our 'first'. She has been a happy part of our family for 13 years. She still likes to chase tennis balls and chew bones. The kids are now gentle enough to her that she will let them pet her. She will always be the big sister and hopefully she will continue to help us to keep the young ones in line.


Anonymous said...

Nice post. And congrats on 200.

DJ Kirkby said...

Her fur looks very soft. I love the way SP made her a 'Princess and the Pea' type of bed. A dog that loves popcorn, how cool is that?

Anonymous said...

Happy 200th! liberty is so cute. I love the last picture. Pets are so good for kids.

Cynnamama's Cafe said...

How I love that first picture (catching the popcorn!) haha Liberty is so cute and so are your kids!!
Happy Holidays!

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.