The ‘got a dog’ blog

Well, it didn’t take long. A few days back, I wrote a blog about our decision to get a dog. As of last Sunday, we became pet owners, and I guess one way of stating things is that our lives will never be the same.

This, I suppose, is a good thing. The kids absolutely love the new addition to the family, and Becca, I’m confident to report, is mostly enjoying him, too. As for me, well … I’m hopeful that we’ll develop some of type of mutually respectful relationship as we get increasingly familiar with one another.

As for the dog himself, he’s a Shih Tzu mix by the name of Benji, and he’s approximately 1 year old, the vet has confirmed. Bec spotted him on Petfinder.com last week and made a phone call down to Denison, Iowa, where he had been rounded up as a stray and brought to the local pound. There were no real red flags, so we made the slightly more than two-hour drive down the next day to meet him and, ultimately, bring him back to our humble abode. That journey began in somewhat uncomfortable fashion when we saw the kennel we had purchased for our little friend was a bit too tiny. Bec held Benji in her lap from Denison to Cherokee, where we found a Kmart and a more suitable enclosed space for him.

Back in Worthington, Benji was initially excited to explore his new environment. I had to come to work that evening, so Bec and the kids entertained him and took him for his first walk around the neighborhood. We also had our first accident — Benji, who we were told was housebroken — really wasn’t, as he decided to contribute a little dampness to Zachary’s Star Wars blanket. That resulted in the establishment of the “no upstairs” rule. There are other decrees that are seemingly being added by the hour, and I’m waiting for the eventual pop quiz from my beloved spouse. (I fear for this occasion, as I worry that my score might send me to a kennel of my own.)

Benji seems to be a mellow dog, at least most of the time. I think some of this has to do with him currently sporting the infamous “cone of shame,” thanks to his Wednesday trip to the vet to get neutered. He’d been more hyper Sunday (the day of this writing), though, which leads me to believe he’s ready to shed the cone and run without restraint. The neutering procedure, incidentally, couldn’t have been much more timely, considering the night before the surgery he was acting as if he had just been exposed to the canine version of Cinemax.

Our four-pawed pal has also done what I’ll politely call “number two” in the house twice, noticeably gnawed on one of the legs of the dining room table and gotten each of us bit up a bit bug-wise with his necessary trips outside. Bec has easily done most of these excursions, though the kids do assist and I seem to have assumed the final night shift before bedtime. The real routines will begin to take shape once school starts, and that’s when I’m thinking Benji and the former top dog in the house will truly become buddies. That’s the time when I’ll probably start having him for early-morning and lunchtime strolls, as we share our respective joys and woes together, and then — perhaps — sit down together at night for reading or a ballgame.

After all, he’s supposed to be man’s best friend, right? As for now, I’m just happy to see Grace and Zach be so happy with the companion they long wanted.

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