Exactly-ish one year ago, a big ol’ mutt made up of St. Bernard and Rottweiler pushed out a litter of black puppies sired by a Newfoundland the size of a small pony. Exactly five-ish weeks after that, a tall, attractive woman scoured KSL.com in the forlorn hope that somebody would have a Newfie pup for sale for under $6 bajillion bucks, preferably even in exchange for a pizza hut coupon.
When I drove up to the gas station to pick Lois up from somewhere in Idaho, I could not find a car that looked like the folks I was meeting. Then, as mine eyes wandered around the grassy horizon of Truckville, USA, the profile of a small bear scampered across the ground and fell flat on its face. The thing was so round and so black that I couldn’t see anything but fluff and tumble.
“Is that dog for sale?” I said.
“Well, that depends,” said the lady following the black tumbleweed. At that exact-ish moment, Lois waddled up to me, introduced herself, and said, “Take me home!” And so I did.
Now prepare yourselves for an onslaught of corny emotional moments accompanied by a never-ending stream of photos. Indulge me because, Mother’s Day. Yeah.
Well, it was a match made in doggie heaven. Lois ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate, and grew visibly every week. When I wasn’t preventing her from jumping out of open windows, prying her out of window wells, losing her only to discover her hidden under the car hours later, and generally marveling at the sheer chewing power of her jaws, it was a pretty fun thing to sit back and watch Lois charm everybody’s pants off.
Lois got bigger, and to this day shows no intention of slowing down. She was bigger when I came home from my recent trip to Utah, although noticeably less hairy. Speaking of hair..
Lois had her fair share of goof ups, as all young ones do. She had the occasional potty accident, and sometimes got into the bathroom and had her way with the toilet paper.
Fortunately for me, the cuteness of chewing didn’t stop at a baby age. Especially after we moved to Chicago, Lois embarked on an adolescent chewing phase where she effectively gnawed through the couch, windowsills, shoes, and my feather comforter. I almost started a “Lois: It’s what’s for dinner” campaign so some hungry person would take her off my hands.
I finally grad-you-8ed and it was time to make good on my goal of paying rent in another city come January. I sold all my furniture, packed everything up, and tossed the dawg in the front seat.
Moving to Chicago was rough on Lois. She had to board with two different people for about a month, and when I got her back she was one unhappy pup (as much as is possible for her).
Between separation anxiety, moving, and the intense drug habits of the sore-covered dog sitter, Lois had kind of a bad time of it and was happy to come to a new house with yots and yots of beaches. It also helped that there was snow everywhere, including on the aforementioned beaches, and that Lois would spend every waking moment in snow if given the option.
But she adjusted, kept on growing, and continued to eat pretty much everything within reach. After a lot of walking, training, and getting used to me leaving the house and always coming back, Lois eased back into her old self and became less neurotic and worried. She still chewed everything.
Somewhere along the way, I discovered that string cheese is Lois’s crack. She picked up the habit from me, and now she’s hooked–she’ll do anything if she knows you’re holding string cheese.
The following pictures have exactly nothing to do with string cheese.
I couldn’t have done all of this without dear old Chad. Much credit is due to him for being such an active participant in Lois’s initial upbringing. Late-night and early-morning potty trips, mess cleanups, walks, and lots of feeding her under the table made him love her just about as much as I do. They were practically inseparable! And he routinely talked me out of beating her senseless. Chad’s undudely soft side came out occasionally with Lois, and I know she was really bummed when we moved and all the sudden her boy was missing.
Chad actually taught Lois to watch TV… which she did… even when it was off.
Are you sick of dog pictures yet? TOO BAD! There’s more!
It’s pretty awesome to have a constant snuggle buddy and house companion. Lois makes me feel so much safer when I need to walk around late at night, and she scares the bajeesus out of the neighbors. I’m going to start making up vicious stories about her rougish behavior every time somebody asks if she bites.
One night, Lois and I went out pretty late and I decided to take her into the enclosed park behind the house. When we got there, Lois looked over and saw a man sitting alone, hooded, on the park bench facing us. Immediately her hair stood up and she started growling. I tried to get her to play, but she wouldn’t leave my side to chase a ball or even poop. Finally, I got so freaked out by her unusual behavior that I leashed her back up and started for home. The guy got up and started following us–and I swear, Lois wanted to kill him. I had to pull her with all my might while she strained against the leash, growling and showing her teeth. I had to admit it looked pretty badass–and the dude finally just walked off.
And that pretty much sums it up right there. Sometimes I think I could be a better dog mommy… not get frustrated when we’re walking, go for more exercise, and even feed her once in a while. But the awesome thing about dogs is that they love you, even despite your abuse and neglect. I ❤ Lois and I’m looking forward to giving her many more birthday shoutouts and great big bones!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, YOU BIG DUMB IDIOT! I LOVE YOU!