Monday, September 29, 2008

I am much more comfortable with the stuffed variety.


The kids have discovered Webkinz.  It's the current version of Beanie Babies with a twist - they're more expensive and they have some secret internet persona.  Ella has two and Harrison has one - a leopard named "Cheeto" because he originally thought he was a cheetah.  If they had their druthers, they would each have at least ten.  Both of my kids love stuffed animals.  Harry more than Ella because she splits her loyalties with dolls - or "babies" as she calls them.  Harrison, though, is all stuffed animals.  He has 21 so far (thanks to grandma and her care packages) and lines them up diligently around his bed.  He literally sleeps surrounded by stuffed animals.  Since he sleeps in the upper bunk, he can even line them up along the protective rail.  It's pretty cute until we have to travel.  We usually only allow one or two animals to come along and he frets the first night or two.  I know it's a bit unusual, but I love it.  It means he's still my little boy.  Too soon he'll be rejecting me, and his animals, for some adolescent babe in a too tight tank top.

One day I was eavesdropping on Ella and her playdate (it's hard not to with the size of our house), and Ella mentioned that Harry's "Cheeto" had fallen in the toilet a few weeks back.  After Harrison had ... gone ... and before he flushed.  I think that's descriptive enough.  The friend asked Ella how Cheeto got out of the toilet and Ella described a scene that included Cheeto being thrown out the back door to dry on the driveway.  Again, the story was told in the past tense.  Harrison let the leopard dry in the sun and then slept with him for weeks.   I was so amazed at what I was hearing that I didn't know what to do.  So, I did the only think I could think of.... 



Figuring out what to do with this animal was difficult.  I didn't quite know how to clean it without wrecking it.  Somewhere I read, or heard, that all sorts of things could be washed in the dishwasher, so I tried it, and it worked.  Cheeto is fine...still soft and not a scent of urine on him.

After getting through that trauma, I felt empowered.  I never had pets as a kid (gerbils do NOT count) and then tried cats in my twenties.  I liked cats, but never had a large attachment to them.  They left hairballs around and knocked over flower vases and Christmas trees.  Owning a dog was never a consideration.  They need to be walked and taken care of.  My cats could be left for days with water, food and a litter box.  Not dogs.  They need attention, love and backyards.

When we moved to Utah four years ago, I was a bit dismayed to see the immense number of dogs on our street.  I think every house has at least one.  My kids were scared to death of all of them.  Ella was only two and she was more freaked by them than Harry.  We have tried, over the years, to force them to acclimate to dogs.  Everyone has them here.  If they are afraid as they get older, it will only get harder.  

We have good friends who have two dogs.  Since we spend a lot of time with them, the fear in Ella has almost completely subsided.  It is so great to see her petting even strange dogs she'll run into up at school, or in the park.  About a month ago, I mentioned to this friend with the dogs, that having a dog of our own might be really great for the kids.  She held in her enthusiasm and then secretly started scouring all the pounds and humane societies in a 50 mile radius to find us a dog so irresistible, that I would have to succumb and adopt it.

Well, she succeeded.  Meet Basie.  I have now been a dog owner for 10 days.  I have absolutely NO idea what I'm doing, but she is so sweet - it doesn't really matter.





13 comments:

Anonymous said...

We rescued 2 pups before entry into parenthood-you are are good as gold as long as you don't expect anyone to suddenly start cleaning up after themselves-or hairy pets-but with 3 kids, you got that handled. Just make sure that end of the day, she knows who she cuddles with.

Anonymous said...

The dog doesn't care about your mistakes, it just cares about your intent.

Heather did you right.

Ana said...

Congrats on the dog Carol! She's adorable.

My family recently got a dog too. Early September. This is the first time my husband has had a dog of his own. He keeps asking me: why do we love dogs? And I give him a look because he's usually saying this while rubbing her belly and talking to her in his "you're so cute" voice.

Sitting said...

I saw this addition on your friend's website (you might have heard of it). She's adorable. It almost makes me want a dog, but I've still got a kid in diapers and there is only so much poop one woman can handle.

Good to know the dishwasher trick works.

I once had an allergist tell me to stick stuffed animals in the freezer to kill dust mites. I couldn't get past the idea of opening up a freezer stuffed full of teddy bears.

And I have no idea why I felt it necessary to share my own "stick toys in a kitchen appliance" story but there it is.

Neesja said...

You will be at 10 webkinz EACH before you know it. And then there are the clothes and the lip gloss nad the charms...save me! Basie is beautiful. All you need to do is love her and she'll love you back! And there is nothing like a "furry fitness machine".

Kristin said...

What an adorable doggie. We want to come over and visit Basie sometime.

EL said...

I have been waiting for you to post pictures after reading Dooce. She is adorable!

Sheesh, I sound like a stalker.

TBG said...

Love the new pup! I adopted a three year old boxer at the beginning of summer, he is awesome. And I was so not a dog person but love him! I was afraid just like Ella but over time I grew to actually not be scared of them and actually like them now!

Webkins are a scam but my nieces and nephews LOVE THEM!

Psycho Kitty said...

Oh, she is darling! She reminds me of the dog I had as a kid, the only dog I think I may ever have, because she ruined me for other dogs. May Basie turn out to be as awesome!

Lisa said...

Basie will be a great dog because she knows you rescued her. And those dogs seem to be more appreciative of their new life.

Leroy would love to come play, but we live in GA.

Crazy MomCat said...

Whoa--I didn't know where you were going with that dishwasher trick when you started talking about real pets. LOL! I'll have to remember that about the Webkinz. I think our boys were separated at birth every time I read your blog!

Marianne said...

The dishwasher trick was neat, but you can also wash many stuffed animals in the washing machine -- place them in a pillow case or mesh lingerie bag and either air dry or pu them on very low heat in the dryer (I've done this often with Beanie Babies)As a teacher, we have several stuffed reading buddies in my class, one of which goes home with a student each week. At school breaks they spend a few days in my freezer to kill any dust mites or other nasty bugs, and then go for a spin in the washer.

Lucinda said...

I WANT ONE! I came to read about the dog, and now I need a Webkin. Well, at least it'd be cheaper than a dog.