Three years ago today I went to a tiny shelter I had driven past a million times before to look at some puppies I had seen photos of on Craigslist. After spending the fourth of July weekend at my parents I had fallen even more deeply in love with their dog, and decided I needed one of my own. After that weekend but before this trip to the shelter I had met with one other dog who within the first few minutes home proved that maybe she wasn’t really as “cat friendly” as her foster mom had said. It broke my heart to take her back but it’s a decision I still feel confident in today. She clearly wasn’t the one. My cats were my biggest priority, they came first. I had to make sure they were safe so I decided the only route to go was to get a puppy.
The shelter was advertising a litter of puppies who were only recently old enough to be without their momma. Beautiful, tiny, brindle babies all with names starting with the letter “D”. I fell in love the second I saw him. Dylan. He was the sweetest little sleeping angel, all curled up in the corner of the crate while his siblings crawled on around and on top of him. I held him, and I was officially done for. I was his. He was coming home with me! He obviously needed a new name, one I stole from The Life Aquatic, but otherwise he was perfect. Three years later this big puppy still makes me smile about fifty billion times per day.
Klaus. What to say about Klaus? Well, he’s a baby. A giant baby. He has a sensitive stomach which has sent us to the vet more than once, he sneezes at nearly every smell (sunscreen, hairspray, spicy food, etc), and sometimes even gets little rashes from laying in the grass too long. He’s also a giant baby in sense that there is no place he’d rather be than snuggled up to his humans. Errr, I mean, between his humans. He loves being held, and if you sit down around him he’s probably going to try to wiggle his way into your lap.
Klaus looooves squeaky tennis balls, not quite as much as he loves Jeff, but very close. He’s recently started sleeping in the bedroom with me at night. If I’m alone he sleeps in bed, but if Jeff is there he has to sleep on the floor because he is totally bed hog and there simply isn’t enough room. We need a California King! When he’s not allowed on the bed he’ll just stand at end of it with his chin resting on the edge, giving you puppy dog eyes, until he’s invited up. He definitely knows how to work his cuteness – no doubt about it! He thinks showing his belly is the answer to anything I say no to or anytime I ask him to go to his crate. Sometimes it totally is the answer. I love petting that belly.
Sometimes he drives me crazy, like by barking at strangers, and I start to think “maybe I am just a cat lady…” but I can’t imagine life without Klaus. The company he provides me is immeasurable. I don’t know if I would have been able to handle the last two years of living alone without him by my side. I treasure our walks around the neighborhood together, and I feel safe with him.* He always seems to know exactly when I need him.
Here’s to many more years with my smelly bed hog of a puppy! Sometimes you drive me nuts but I love you dearly.
*Can I tell you my favorite story about feeling safe with Klaus? Okay, so, I’m walking him in my own backyard which should be safe but my neighbors always have strange folks coming and going all day long. A dude pulls up, gets out of his car and starts “Eyyyy baby! You look fine. I like them tats!” I force a strained smile and says “Thanks!” Klaus is just watching him. The guy follows with “You got a man?” Before I can even say a word Klaus loses it. He might be a big baby but that boy has a BARK. Visibly frightened by my big scary pup (hah!) the dude apologized and left. I don’t necessarily feel like I was in danger but dang it, I hate when dudes ask if I “have a man”. Klaus told him!