Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Knuckleheaded German Shedder

This is Duh-chess.

In 12/2002, after ending Strudel's miseries, The Oracle made me promise that we wouldn't get another dog for two years. I readily agreed. Precious Daughter was a little over a year old and I was pregnant with Mighty B. I knew that the rigors of training a puppy would be well beyond my abilities for quite a while.

I was still employed part-time in purgatory, and one of my office mates -- no, both of them -- were frequently browsing the critters on Petfinder. Every once in a while, I'd succumb to temptation and browse the German Shedders, and I'd close out with a pang in my heart.

Eventually Mighty B arrived, and I had many, many late-night feedings with him. Having a two-year-old and a newborn is not easy, and I was so tired I practically dozed off wherever I was sitting, even the bathroom. I was petrified that I'd drop or squash Mighty B if I fell asleep, so during those late-night feedings I'd browse the internet or stare at QVC.

On a side note, my father, whose wallet has fallen victim to my stepmother putting QVC on speed dial, says QVC stands for Quickly Vanishing Cash. In F's defense, QVC makes it way too easy.

In February '04, following a late-night summons from B who was six months old and adamantly refusing to sleep through the night, I took him out of his crib (I know, Bad Mommy!) and parked my butt in front of the computer hoping to bore his butt back to sleep. I really wasn't in the mood for more of the same junk I surfed, and I bumbled over to Petfinder. Without thinking, I visited the Shedders, and I saw Knucklehead. "What a pretty dog," I thought, "and she seems to be good with kids and cats, too." I wistfully closed out and went back to bed when B finally passed out again.

The next day I revisted Petfinder and took a closer look. Hmmm... young dog. Her shelter isn't far from here. I really liked the look of her, and her story seemed pretty typical for a Shedder who spent most of her day cooped up in an apartment instead of being properly trained. She was big, unruly, and destructive, and now her owners' landlord demanded they "get rid of that dog."

I took the plunge. I emailed The Oracle (too chicken to face him in person) with Knucklehead's picture and one sentence:

"Sigh... Her name is Duchess." (He has never let me live it down.)

The Oracle grouched that I should "do what I want," and I think he hoped this displeased approach would deter me. He wasn't thoroughly against adopting her, but he wasn't pleased that I'd gone looking well in advance of the two-year mark.

I drove with DEB and the kids to the shelter for a "meet & greet," and I played with her for a bit. And I fell in love with her soft fuzzy ears and her big goofy feet. I filled out the adoption application. A few days later, I paid the adoption fee and brought her home...

...on Valentines Day.

Happy "Birthday" Knucklehead!

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