Don’t you worry your pretty little mind,
People throw rocks at things that shine
And life makes love look hard.
The stakes are high, the water’s rough,
But this love is ours
– Taylor Swift
The sweetest thing Mr. Big has ever done for me happened on June 8, 2008.
It was technically the first year we spent our birthdays “together.” Due to those no-need-to-mention “technicalities,” Big felt compelled to make my birthday the best I had ever had.
The two of us were supposed to be taking Mace to see a movie but we ended up taking a surprise detour to a breeder’s home approximately 30 minutes away. Mr. Big looked at me as we drove up the lady’s driveway and said, “Now, I don’t know if Sonny Bubba is here but if he isn’t I know one other house we could try.”
Mace and I were instantly surrounded by 9 or 10 tiny basset hounds looking for a home.
I found him nearly drowning in sea of estrogen.
Sonny was the last little baby basset boy left.
I was smitten.
Big kept telling me to give the little boy puppy some room (he wanted me to be sure this was him) but how could I just leave the little guy there with that gaggle of girls? I scooped him up and said, “Yep, this is my Sonny dog!”
Just that quickly, he had tumbled over his ears and into my heart.
During all the excitement we forgot all about the movie and went straight to PetSmart. He was so cute and well mannered just barely filling up a corner of the buggy. We grabbed everything needed for a brand new puppy and headed back home.
I will never forget my parent’s reaction when they realized what actually went down on our short trip to the “movies.”
Momma was in the kitchen making dinner when I snuck inside to lure her out to the truck. When she set eyes on her first grandchild her mouth dropped, “Your Dad is going to kill you.”
Humm, had not thought of that one. Well, of course it crossed my mind as we were on our way back home and the realization of what we had done started to set in. Seriously though, what was I supposed to do? I had wanted a “Sonny Bubba Bleu the First”-doggy well before his momma ever came into heat. How was I supposed to ignore my heart and listen to my head on this one, all the while starring those droopy eyes and long ears in the face?
I did not even have time to get an argument ready before the front door opened again.
“What are y’all doing? That better not be no damn dog. Y’all are going to piss me off. Don’t PISS me off.” And the door slammed shut.
Oh, wait. He was not finished.
The door flew open again, “It ain’t staying here. I am tellin’ ya right now. It is NOT staying here!” And the door slammed shut… again.
Well that went well.
No need for an argument, it went from 0 to 60 in three seconds – flat. Mr. Big wanted to crawl in a hole. No literally, he did not even come in the house after me; he used the outside entrance to our basement and hid out there for the rest of the evening.
I do not remember what all was said during my conversation with Dad but I knew he would never tell me I had to give him back. So, it was settled – we were parents! Check that. Who am I kidding, I was a single mom.
Sonny is the most precious living thing I have ever had the chance to know. He is polite, sweet, cute, smart, and full of nothing but love (hints his nickname – Sonny Nugget-Butt-of-Love). However, as expected during the early days of motherhood, there were some not-so-Hallmark moments. Let’s take potty-training for example: Why yes, yes of course it is a sore point for most new moms but I can promise not many had it as difficult as I did…
Our first trip to the vet
Growing up I picked out a German Shepherd, Zack; he was an over-protective watchdog with more smarts than most humans I know. In middle school, we got Sammie, our black lab. Sammie was full of energy and still is smart as a whip. Angus, the Great Pyrenees, joined our family my senior year of high school. Angus is one of the best dogs you could ever have – beautiful, massive, regal and stoic. We have also had a few cats but aside from leaving paw prints all over our vehicles; we do not see them too much. So technically, Sonny was my first pet.
The day I took him to the vet for the first time the sun was blazing. Great. The waiting area of the vet’s office Big recommended was outside. Sonny was straddling my arm, nestled close to my body, and shaking uncontrollably. It was my first time taking an animal to the vet, my little dude was slightly freaking out, and I was sort of nervous (as any other Mom would be). The next thing I know, I have a warming sensation in my belly. A sudden burst of confidence or an over whelming sense of calm you might ask. No. It was puppy pee.
Hesitating to make a scene in front of my fellow animal-parent peers, I just barely pulled Sonny away from my white t-shirt to survey the amount of pee I could count on running down my shorts and on to my bare leg at any moment. But what can ya do? I was waiting outside of a residence-turned-veterinarian’s office in BFE. We were a good 30 minutes away from home, I was NOT getting in my car with clothes still wet with pee, and nor would I give those seasoned pet-loving Vets the satisfaction of knowing their younger counterpart could not hang. I gritted my teeth and let the warmth trickle down my leg. Welcome to Motherhood.
He’ll be comin’ round the mountain
I carted that dog around with me everywhere I could. That summer I was taking a five-week math class and depending on my work schedule I tried to make it home as much as possible because Big was stuck in summer classes too. So, up the mountain Sonny and I would go, stay a few days, and back down to do it all over again. He rode pretty well, aside from the fact that he wanted to climb over the console and into my lap any chance he got. I quickly learned – Sonny was going to have to be a backseat rider.
One afternoon, I had just barely made it out of town and into the curviest part of our trip home when the unthinkable happened. We were jamming to the iPod when the stench hit me in the face. “Shew-wee Sonny, did you fart??!!” As I looked in my rear-view mirror and slammed on the brakes I shouted, “NOOOOOO, SONNY!” I had caught him in the act… and clearly, too late.
My precious little lovebug had SHIT in my backseat, and ironically, I was pissed.
I found myself on the side of a mountain slinging shit out of my car as passersby honked, catcalled, and hollered from, what I am sure was, a shit-less front seat. Fabulous. If I could throw worth a crap (or had any aim what so ever, for that matter) I would have hurled it at their vehicle but I decided to save myself further embarrassment.
How he managed to bunk up in the backseat of a car in motion with MY driving (down a mountain no-less) is beyond me.
Fool me once, shame on you
We recovered from the car-shitting incident with windows rolled down, a thorough cleaning, and a stern talking to. I was bound and determined to make him a “carry-on dog” while I could so, to play it safe, I permanently positioned my rear-view mirror to face him whenever he was in the car.
He had to go back to the vet one last time that summer for his rabies shot. Thankfully, the little “peeing on Momma” incident seemed to be a one-time deal. We may have had to wait forever before our name was called but we were in and out of the doctor’s office in no time – back across town we went.
Now, remember how I mentioned before about the “waiting room” being outside? Well, we had spent nearly an hour sweating our balls off under a tree in front of the vet’s office before he got his shot and I loaded him back up in my car. So, you could imagine my surprise when I turned to check on him and found shit in my backseat again.
This dog had managed to get in my blind spot and take a shit in the backseat… AGAIN. AGAIN, I found myself pulled over on a backwoods road throwing crap out of my car.
From that point on, Sonny road anywhere and everywhere in a clear Rubbermaid tub… in the front seat of my car. He wasn’t getting shit by Momma anymore, literally.
I can honestly say, after that first summer of growing pains the last 3 ½ years have been a walk in the park. Sure we have our embarrassing moments every now and then (like last weekend when he loved and nuzzled all over a dead fish while taking a stroll at the lake or when he faked sick because Mimmie brought her dog, Max, over Easter and we refused to let them hump each other for an entire week) but having this sweet nugget to tuck in every night is a treat. I have never had so much love for something in my life. Which brings me to my next point…
Most couples bitch over money or politics or what movie to see over the weekend. Now, do not get me wrong, there is not much Mr. Big and I do not bicker about, however, all things Sonny just so happen to be our most explosive fights (random, I know). Odd, huh, especially being that Big single-handedly brought Sonny into our world four years ago.
Mr. Big seems to think that Sonny, who has been an inside dog for the last four years of his four-years-long life, must eventually become an outside dog in order for our relationship to progress. You see, he is not a fan of inside animals, dog hair (but who is), or even hound dogs. He does not understand why a grown dog like my Sonny could not just “adjust” to life outside in a doghouse at the back of his property; or why I would not even entertain his gracious offer to let Sonny stay in the garage. Well let me enlighten you folks.
This dog may be a little smelly. We may have had to deal with an interesting chain of events throughout our potty-training phase. We may be confused by his sexual preference or his infatuation with women’s underwear and feminine hygiene products. He may have long ears that sometimes fall in his water bowl, balls that nearly drag the ground, or a nose that rests on your foot under the dinner table while you eat but he is my baby and you are damn right I will cramp your style before I cramp his. And here is why…
He lets me watch all the trash TV my little mind can handle without so much as saying a word. He rushes to meet me in the driveway when he knows I have been shopping all afternoon for things I do not need, refusing to be anything less than excited for me. Sonny will gladly eat anything I cook without so much as a, “but we had this last week” or a “I think it needs a little extra salt.” That dog will go anywhere I want to go just to get to ride next to me in the car. He does not pass judgment but nearly pees himself when I choose to pick up walking again… even though he knows it won’t last more than a week. He loves me all “dolled up,” dressed down, in the rain, or in a mood. He loves me when I am gone, when I am home, big, or small, or with a ‘tude.
This dog is only two thumbs away from being my personal life coach/shrink/BFF and here you are wanting him to “just learn to live outside” after spending his entire life in the lap of luxury! Are you kidding me?
I told Big he could pitch a tent outside and I would invite him in every few days or so for some gravy over his dry food…
Sonny and I will be staying at Nana’s and GrandBob’s for a while.