Lovin’ the Dog Days of My Life


That’s right…my puppy is one year old today (Sept. 22, 2008).

I thought this would be a tremendous opportunity to dedicate a blog post just to him.

First, I want to share a montage of photos that help capture his neurotic first year of life. To make the gallery a little more interesting, I added insets to each picture. The insets depict random items that he has eaten over the last year.

Again, these are items he has actually consumed. I did NOT include things he has chewed up. Here are some of those items:

• 10 water bottles
• 2 pair of shoes (still wearable)
• 1 window ledge
• 2 baseboards
• 2 Texas Rangers caps
(one able to be repaired)
• 1 bra
• 6 pairs of panties
(including a pair of Tanya’s mom’s underwear)
• 4 rolls of toilet paper
• 1 two-by-four

Here is the photo gallery, with his random fare, and a little commentary on each one: (WARNING: Since we are talking about unorthodox items in his stomach, there is some discriptive discussion about how they got out.)

I recently finished the book “Marley and Me.” It is a tremendous story by John Grogan. The subtitle of his bestseller is: “Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog.”

After seeing the photo gallery, you probably think I can relate.

Well … you’re right.

There are times when I think Gus is the most idiotic, stubborn, destructive, and annoying dog in the history of canines.

But there is one part of the book that I can relate to a lot more.

During a tough visit to the vet’s office late in Marley’s wonderful life, John (the author) leaned down and said:

“I know you’ve heard me call you the worst dog in the world, but it’s not true. You’re a great dog, Marley. I probably didn’t tell you that enough, but you are a great dog. I love you.”

Gus is the poster dog for neurotic pets, but I wouldn’t have him any other way.

I love him.

He’s a GREAT dog.

So now that we’ve gotten the “bad” things out of the way, let’s focus on the good.

They always say when you scold your dog, you should reward them with twice as much affection when they do something right. I had 17 photos depicting his “bad dog eating habits”… here are 38 “atta boys” or “good boys” to show you how Gus has changed my life by grabbing a piece of my heart.

1. I love the fact he slept on my chest the first night he stayed at the house.

2. I love the fact he knows what to do when I say, “kennel up.”

3. I love how he goes into full-body wiggle after he gets a bath.

4. I love that he understands the concept of ringing the bell on our back door when he wants and/or needs to go outside.

5. I love how he looks up
at me with his tongue hanging out during a run – it’s like he’s asking, “How am I doing, daddy?”

6. I love the fact that he is starting to understand “heal” (with the help of
a choke collar AND the threat of getting a shock collar.)

7. I love how he has four main places where he likes to sleep at night –

I also love the fact that one of those four places is NOT our bed.

8. I love the fact that he has already experimented with drugs. (See “Ritalin” slide)

9. I love the fact that he is infatuated with women’s underwear.

10. I love the fact that he can hang with me on runs up to six miles.

11. I love how he can catch a Frisbee in his mouth.

12. I love how I always know where he is when we’re at the dog park – in the shade or next to a cute girl.

13. I love how he’ll lay across my lap with his front legs while I’m sitting in front of the computer.
(He just likes 30-second scratches from time to time over the course of the day.)

14. I love how everyone at the vet’s office knows him.
(Because he’s been there so many times; some friends and family members refer to him as the Millionaire Dollar Puppy.)

15. I love how he can sense when we’re about leave the house without him
(He actually pouts and gives you a look, “are you guys sure I can’t go.”)

16. I love watching him stick his head out the car window.
(You can tell he genuinely loves it.)

17. I love how he rolls around on the ground – like he’s on fire – when I start putting on my running shoes.
18. I love he can play fetch (until he gets distracted by a bee or the wind).
19. I love the fact that he only pooped in the house about five times before he realized he was supposed to go outside. (I can’t say we’ve had the same success when he’s spending the night with his cousin, Maverick, or at my parents.)

20. I love the fact that his favorite food is bacon.
21. I love how he gets a “farm hangover.” (After running himself ragged at my parent’s house, he goes into a coma for the next 36 hours.)
22. I love that he gets his feelings hurt when I don’t take him on a run. (He’s usually waiting for me by the door when I get back – his leash close by.)
23. I love the look he gives me when I let him have a raw-hide chew treat. (“Are you sure, daddy?”)
24. I love the fact he knows how to sit, shake hands, and lay down on command.
25. I love how his name, Captain Augustus McCrae, has so many different variations: Gus, Augustus, Gussy, Gusser, Gussaroo, Gustovo, Dumb Ass, etc.

26. I love the fact that he has NEVER met a stranger. (He will greet anyone with a friendly crotch sniff or toe lick.)
27. I love how he finally learned how to lift his leg and pee like a boy dog.
28. I love how he licks the dirty dish dishes as we load them in the dishwasher. (I also love that he knows, understands and respects when the dishes are clean.)
29. I love when I say “sit” you can actually see his wheels turning in his head before he actually sits down.
30. I love he comes running when he hears the icemaker. (He LOVES ice – he thinks they’re frozen rocks.)

31. I love the fact that our mailman, FedEx guy, UPS driver, and meter readers are VERY aware that he lives here.
32. I love he puts his face right in front of the air condition vent when we’re riding in the truck.

33. I love how he ALWAYS keeps me or Tanya company when we’re making dinner. He NEVER leaves our side when we’re handling food in the kitchen.
34. I love it when he lets me scratch his belly.
35. I love it when people stop us on the street and say, “He’s such a beautiful dog.”
36. I love how he uses his nose to flip my arm away from the keyboard when he wants some attention. (It’s like he’s saying, “Daddy, you’ve been working too much. Let’s play.”)

37. I love how he doesn’t care that I had a bad day.
38. I love to see his tail wag. (“Money will buy you a fine dog, but only love can make it wag its tail.”)
I love you, Gusser. 

Happy Birthday. (Only two more years – 14 puppy years – until we can share a Shiner Bock.)
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