Friday, September 26, 2008

The Birth of a Mini-Marine

So I grew up in a pet loving family. We always had a pet of some sort, whether it was one we had rescued somewhere or one we had purchased. Over the years we had everything from fish, birds,dogs and cats, to a duck and a horse. It was just normal to have a pet. The constant however was always a dog. Regardless of what other pets we had, we always had at least one dog in the house. When I moved out on my own I considered getting a puppy, but financially and time wise I just couldn't do it. It wasn't that bad though, my roommate at the time had a big gallut of a dog and three cats so even though they weren't mine, they would hang out in my room enough that I felt like I had a pet.
When Ben and I got married though I just assumed it would be a short matter of time before we introduced a little fuzzball into our home. By then I had developed an allergy to cats however so for the sake of survival it now had to be a dog, but no big deal, dogs are more like family anyway I thought so that's a better choice. Well, my dear husband had other ideas. He had never owned a dog...oh he liked a point...but too many people whining about how hard they are to care for and how much time they take had soured him to the idea. He was convinced that owning a dog would forever change the dynamics of our life and we would never be able to do ANYTHING we wanted to do again. Thus began the long 71/2 year journey of showing him that while it does change your life, it changes it for the better. Thankfully I'm a pretty patient person with these such things. So over the years we reached milestones like, "They're cute" and "maybe oneday" then we moved up to, "If we had a little more money" and "I wouldn't mind getting a pug...they ARE cute". Still however he just wasn't ready to take the plunge. So me being the person that I am, I continued to pray...oh I had been praying all along, but now I really kicked it into overdrive. "Lord, please show him that having a pet won't take away from our life, but it will just enhance it." Then I began noticing a strange chain of events. Suddenly, hurt animals began coming into our life. My husband, although a tough and proud Marine, is a tender hearted gentle man, garnering him the nickname "Gentle Ben" from many of our friends. Well the first little visitor we had was on our way home one day. As we pulled down our street we noticed that one of the little chipmunks who lived in our backyard was crawling slowly and having trouble crossing the street. I had Ben pull over the car and I got out to inspect him. It wasn't obvious at first, but I had an inkling that he had been hit by a car. I ran back to the car and dumped out my makeup bag and went back to get him. We dove headfirst into animal field medic mode to try and save him. Unfortunately by 9pm that night, Chip was gone. My husband didn't know what to do as I cried so he hugged me and admitted that he had really hoped he had made it. A few months later, it was a squirrel that had been electrocuted while trying to cross a transformer. He lasted even less time. The big one however was the week of Christmas 2007. As we sat at work a bird flew into the window behind my desk. All of us office workers came over and checked on it thinking it was just stunned and would be ok. After an hour though we realized that something was wrong. Her wing was broken and she couldn't fly away. Peanut came home with us that night. She was a young cedar waxwing and she immediately took to life in our home. She had no fear and as we nursed her that night she hopped onto my finger and stared at the computer monitor as I worked online. She was a complete joy and every morning and night we would spend hours talking to her and letting her hop around. We decided to get her a giant cage and rehab her at home until we could release her in the Spring. She had become an integral part of our already happy little home. Then on Christmas Eve something happened..we noticed she had become quiet. We talked to her and let her out of her cage to hop around like usual, but she just looked at us. By that night she took her last laboured breath as I held her, sobbing. That was a hard blow for Ben too. He had grown to love her too and we talked about how much we missed her for weeks. He had come to realize that having a critter to care for didn't hinder our lives at just enhanced them.
A few months later we got an email from Mike. A friend's daughter worked with a woman who was abusing her dog. It was a puppy that they had gotten because it was cute, but had no idea how to care for a dog and finally before they permanently did any damage to the dog, she decided to get rid of it. Immediately the email went out far and wide looking for a home for the little thing. We work in an office of animal lovers so I immediately sent out the alarm. As it happened one of our co-workers had a sister who had a house full of pets and wanted him.
We agreed to have the dog stay at our house and then have another friend who does animal training take the dog and de-program him from the abuse before sending him to his new owners.
When the car pulled into our driveway the next night and my husband saw his little ears, eyes and nose peeking over the dashboard however, he was in love. Do to an unexpected turn of events, in a few days Ben announced to me that he loved the dog and we needed to adopt him..... and Sarge (named by daddy Ben) came home to live with us and officialy became a Babij.
Now, I fully realize that we're partial to this little ball of fluff because he's our boy, but I do believe he's the smartest, sweetest and most entertaining little dog ever.
From begging for his favorite food lettuce, and learning to wave his paw at us when he wants something, and asking to be dried off when coming in from the rain (which is another story for another post) to his addiction to dryer sheets and empty toilet paper rolls. He's been a joy in our lives and now we can't imagine life without our little mini-marine.

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