Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our Dog Cliff

I know how I have said (maybe not on here) time and again,that we are pretty bad pet owners. I was so not wanting to get another dog, after all we'd been through. We've lived in Costa Rica 5 years and have owned about 7 dogs. Yep, you read that right; SEVEN! Lets see, we've had about 2 Scooby's, A Snoopy, A Sheba, A Macha, Another Snoopy and then a Clifford.

While I grew up with dogs, and tend to love them, I hate owning them as pets. The work it takes to properly care for a dog is just too much effort for me that I don't want to put in. Cleaning poop, feeding, bathing, most of which I don't do anyway, is just not my fortay. But once I get those lovable little creatures home, they become like family.

My favorite of all the dogs we owned was our dog Clifford (I called him Cliff). I LOVED that dog something fierce. And this is why I say we are bad pet owners: Of all our 7 dogs, 2 of them died horrible deaths and 2 ran away. Sheba was re-gifted, so were the Snoopy's.

I had the hardest time with our first dog's death, seeing as it was a horrible ending to such a precocious little life. Scooby, a pincher, came to us as a small pup. He was supposed to be Boobie's dog, but Hubby took such a liking to him that he eventually became Hubby's dog. Hubby took Scooby everywhere with him. But Scooby took a liking to the streets so much, he would leave the whole day and only come back home to eat. One day he never came home and as I went out to meet Boobie after school I saw him sprawled on the side of the road, run over by a car. I was about 7 months pregnant with Princess. I cried so hard that day and into that night, I could not sleep. Though I didn't love the dog as much as Hubby did, he was family and it hurt me to see him die like that. We told Boobie after the burial and father in law quickly went out and bought another dog that looked eerily similar. We named him Scooby #2. That dog ran away. The next dog was Clifford, my doll. He was beautiful. He came about when Princess was just a tiny baby and just learning to speak; he was a pup of 6 months. Cliff (well, KIFF,) was her very first real word.

With Cliff, I helped with his daily care and even allowed him to sleep in our house some nights, when I felt it was too cold for him outside. Cliff was so protective of us that one night when someone broke unto our property, Cliff chased them away. The next day Hubby found Cliff dead, stiff as a rock. Hubby took that death the hardest, as Cliff was a dog we had hoped would be with us until his old age. He as not even 2.

After Cliff, the dogs that came to us were mainly dogs father in law bought that weren't really ours, but that he had bought for the kids. Father in law hates dogs, so after a time he re-gifted the dogs.

The one dog that Hubby bought all by himself, Macha, was a beautiful full bred Boxer female. Hubby loved her to pieces. Macha came to live with the family when she was around 6 or so months old. But Macha was a pain to take care of for me. With Hubby being gone all day for work, the care of Macha fell to me and I didn't like it. She never felt like OUR dog, she was Hubby's dog. And she knew it. One day after Hubby left for work, someone left our big gate open and Macha went out looking for her master. She never came home.

Now, as Hubby was looking for a replacement dog, since he just loves dogs so much, I was hoping we would just settle into life without pets for a while and forget the whole dog owning business. After all, we didn't really NEED a dog, did we?

Hubby had scoured the net looking for free dogs needing good homes. He told me of this and so I decided that maybe the time had come for us to own a dog again. This time, I vowed I would be more involved. I went to Mas x Menos one Saturday afternoon and by chance, they were hosting a pet event: Adopt a Stray Animal for free: only donations were accepted, of any amount you could give. I went over to take a look at the offerings and fell instantly in love with this beautiful 4 month old puppy; a German Shepard and Husky mix. I felt like I had to have him, he was mixed with 2 of my all time favorite breeds. When I inquired about the dog, I was informed that his name was ................................. CLIFFORD! What a coincidence! Or was it? Cliff, the dog I had loved had come back to me. Even though our old Clifford was a Lab mix (lab's being Hubby's favorite kind of breed), the new Cliff was the dog we were meant to have.

Were we ready for another dog. I didn't know and I didn't care. I wanted Cliff. I called Hubby and we adopted Clifford that very same day. His first few days with us were rough going, as he scratched and then bit Princess. The kids were terrified of him. AT 4 months, he is pretty big and intimidating but oh so cute. He needs a LOT of discipline, A LOT, but he is so playful and fun. I know it is still early yet and he is still pretty young but we're hoping he is the dog we have been waiting for.