Saturday, July 11, 2009

Introducing (drum roll please) ...

Sweet and Sour! Who are Sweet and Sour you ask? Well they are the two other members of mine and Wally’s family. The two members that seemed to have more input regarding where we lived than we did. For them we pay more for rent than we should, for them we take trips to the emergency clinic and pay $400 (I know – ridiculous, especially for a frugal person) to have a bladder infection taken care of on a Saturday, for them we get up at 6 am every morning. Sweet and Sour are our pooches.

Sweet and Sour are, like their names, as opposite as two dogs could be. Sweet is my baby. We got him 8 months after we were married around the time I was beginning to countdown the months until I could get off of the ‘pill’ and start thinking about having a baby. I was beginning to remind Wally of the expiration date on our 1 year agreement about waiting to have a baby post wedding. I don’t remember having the conversation about wanting a dog at all or getting one. I just remember that when he went away for a retreat of some sort we didn’t have a dog and when he came back we did.

Sweet is the epitome of his name. He is happy always, even when you yell at him. One time he did something really bad and I sat there and yelled at him and how bad it was and I made him stay in a certain spot for several minutes. He just looked at me, took it and wagged. In fact Sweet NEVER stops wagging his tail – ever. There is no one he won’t go up to and try to persuade to smile. He is nearly always by MY side and when I’m gone he will wait sadly by the door for my return. If I’m in the kitchen he’s under foot, looking up with his big brown eyes as if to say ‘love me’. Sweet is a lover.

And then there is Sour. Also one who carries his name to it’s fullest. Sour we sometimes refer to as our cat. Think of all the characteristics of a cat, well Sour holds most of them. He’s a snob, he will only let people pet him on his terms, he will go ahead and eat both sets of dog food (Sweet would never do that), he spends hours hiding under beds or the couches, has a keen interest in birds and squirrels, and he looks for heaps of soft and lays on them. Sour doesn’t know how to really play unless it’s with Sweet. He is not good socially with others from his species, when Sweet wants to meet another dog on our walks, Sour Parana bites him until he stops pulling. Wally and I believe if Sour’s thoughts were audible he’d have a potty mouth and would be smack talking us constantly. Sour essentially thinks he is the king.

Sour was brought into our home exactly 2 years after Sweet. By that time Wally and I had been married for 2 ½ years and baby fever had really set in. The only way we got away with not having a child earlier was because of Sweet. So I once again started to remind Wally that our next agreement was soon coming to an end (3 years of waiting) and it was time to … think about babies. Again I don’t’ really remember a long discussion about it. I think we actually noticed an ad in the newspaper one morning and picked Sour up that afternoon. It was obvious we hadn’t thought the whole thing through. When we arrived home that evening with Sour, Sweet had uncharacteristically gone to the opposite side of the room we were watching T.V. in and curled up facing the corner so he wouldn’t have to look at us. Needless to say Sweet wasn’t so ‘sweet’ on Sour.

Through the years, though we intended them to become additions to our family instead they have become our family. When we realized that babies of our own MAY not be a part of our future or at least not when we were hoping they would be, Sweet and Sour softened this reality and filled in the cracks a little while we awaited new horizons. If you are someone facing infertility (which I cannot claim to fully understand) or some one who’s had to rearrange dreams or put them on hold and you feel that hole of loneliness - I recommend getting a dog. I have heard time and time again from those facing these situations that (as silly as this will sound) getting a dog has healed some part of them as a result. Whether it’s waiting out an adoption, finding out that dogs are enough, or just giving them joy as they figure out where they are headed next – dogs can be your therapy.

There is so much more I would love to post about the issues regarding our desire to start a family but the funnel is clogged right now (my brain) so I’m trying to let stuff trickle out on it’s own.


Wally said...

What a perfect description!

Zoe said...

LOL! Love it!

S. said...

Great descriptions of your little men and their meaning in your life. Most of my pets are rescues and as much as they needed me there is no doubt in my mind that for so many reasons I have needed them more.