Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Man And His Dog

Which begins as a boy and his dog....

This post is a little delayed as we added a new family member almost a month ago. There have been so many of my blogland friends and others that lost their lifetime pals recently that I wanted to put off the news a little bit.

Some of you may know that my husband has had a lifetime love affair with Dobermans.  His mother liked to show them and Hubs also used them from an early age in 4H/County Fairs.  At 8 years of age he was already winning ribbons with his dog Dusty.

As you can see, Dusty was a red Dobbie.  Dusty also ended up getting kicked in the head by a horse and was never the same afterwards.  My skinny little husband had to carry around a piece of sawed off broom handle to chase Dusty down when he got loose...just in case the dog cornered him.

And this began his love of all things Dobie.

When I met him at 18, the house was full of Dobies.  This was rather shocking to my system as we didn't have pets growing up because we moved too much.  When I was real little my mother had a poodle...who only tolerated my sister, father and myself. When she was very old (and I was very young) they had to put her to sleep. That pretty much did it for my mom.

So the first time I go to the Hubs house when we are dating we got mobbed at the door.  And this Doberman came charging up to us with a full face of teeth showing.  He tells me not to worry it is a smile.  I backed out of the door.  Smile? Right. I was not real comfortable wading into the house through 3 Dobermans.

Of these three, Willow was Hubs' love.  I almost scanned a bunch of photos of family events that show something significant.....and Hubs down on the floor with the dogs playing instead of posing with the rest of the humans.
He loved that dog. I think it broke his heart to leave her when he left home and joined the military.

Jump ahead about 4 years and now we have two firsts.  Our first Dobie and our first child.

This is Duke and Bones. Bones had just had his first ever chocolate spoon (frosting) and as I went to get a cloth to clean him up, Duke stepped in to take over.  He was good about that. (Can I get a big YUCK moms???)

Duke was the biggest baby ever. He didn't like to go outside when it was cold.  We put a thermal shirt on him and pinned it up just to get him out the door.  Um....and did I mention we lived in Texas???? Serious wimp factor going on.  Duke started out his life as a show dog but developed a slight dip in his back at the shoulders that counted against he was placed in a home...ours.  He was incredibly beautiful and only 9 months old when he joined us.Sadly, orders to Korea had me moving back into my parents house with the baby and we had to find Duke a home.

A couple of assignments, and another child later we have Sable.
 Sable was found at the dog pound the summer the Gulf Of Mexico/Florida got pounded with so many hurricanes. There were many dogs that were just turned loose when everyone was evacuated because it is so hard to travel or to find a hotel that will take you with a large dog.
Sable was not the same quality of Dobie (that sounds so snobby!!) that Hubs was used to owning but she was amazing.  She was Hubs running partner and a great family dog.  But orders to Iceland where we could not take her cut her time short with us. Luckily Hubs moms Dobs had all passed away by this time and they were happy to take her.  So we did get to see her for many years after we returned to the states.  We did not take her back at that point because she had taken to Hub's dad so much.

So for the last 11 years I have kept Hubs at bay and denied him his next Dobie.  I'm so mean.  But Omaha he was gone more than home and I traveled to Texas all the time with the kids. My parents didn't have dogs so I could not really take a dog...or afford to kennel one.  No dog.

Then when we moved to Waco and bought a house we were on a 4 year controlled tour so we knew we were on borrowed time. I really didn't want the dog trail through the back yard or the dog smell in a house we were going to have to turn around and sell.  Call me mean.

Moving here we moved into base housing so we don't have to worry about selling.  So Hubs could stand it no longer.  Did I want a big dog right now with our future so uncertain?  No.  But Hubs wanted his running partner...and the teens Chihuahua would not play with Hubs and pretty much cowers ever time he walks in the room.  So I gracefully agreed to not stand in the way of the man and his dog.

 Meet Cinder.  She was adopted from a Doberman Rescue Society in a nearby city.  We had to go through placement home studies and paperwork and interviews to even be considered for adoption.  This absolutely cracked me up after having adopted internationally and all that we went through. Anyways, in the above picture you see her on the day she came home.  Her hip bones and all her vertebrae were showing as she had been picked up as a stray and was starving. It was so sad....and we saw her weeks after she had been picked up.  The society had her at the adoption event more to get her used to it than anything. She had just been spayed and was very under weight so they were not even interested in adopting her out yet.

But she chose Hubs.  And Hubs chose her.  And to make a long story short, with our history with Dobie's and rescue dogs, they went ahead and let Hubs take her.  
 And she is a sweet dog.  The Chihuahua hates her.....but whats to like when a monster steals your bed and your pack right??? LOL.  He will need to get over himself.

And a month into this new relationship Hubs has an amazing looking dog that loves to wrestle (and is too mouthy for the rest of us at this point...she is still a pup) and is learning to be his jogging partner.

And yes, she does gets LOTS more kisses than I do.  Lots more hugs and cuddles.  And hey, she snores too. So really, they just need a room of their own so we can all sleep blissfully and it will be all good.

And that pretty much explains my very busy month. Handling a dog this size with no information on her past means constant supervision. She is a professional counter surfer after being a stray and loved Mighty Mouses stuffed lady bugs...which are SACRED ya'll!!  We've had to find a high protein top rated food to put weight on her in the right way.  She plays way too rough for everyone except Hubs. She jumps on the fence -- and we don't want her to figure out she is big enough to clear it...or don't know if she already knows how to do this so she has to be supervised out back also for the time being. And she likes to insult the Chihuahua. He can't stand anyone to be anywhere near his hindquarters...even when being petted.  She will come up behind him and when he is rude and attacks her, she grabs his whole butt in her mouth...and then spits him out.  Or she flips him off his feet with her nose.  HYSTERICAL -- except to him. Oh my. I swear its like having a newborn some days and a 2 year old on others.

The good news is she is learning words (she recognized none of the standards).  She is very sweet when she is not wrestling.  She is house broken and has not had a single accident in the house. She is learning to be more gentle when playing.  She watches out for the little ones and even though she really wants to play with them, she seems to get that they really aren't for chewing on.

And she totally loves Hubs.

So, she's here to stay.


  1. First off let me say that this, "Serious wimp factor going on." cracked me up. Second, I understand his love for Dobermans, i've never had a full size one, but i've always thought they were beautiful!

    By the way, that is alot of moving and alot of pups to go through, that must have been exhausting. But it's a good thing you finally gave in and let him get one. :)

  2. I see you caught us making out...shame on you for posting that:-)

  3. debbie_suburbsanityMay 5, 2011 at 7:02 AM

    What a sweet dog! And story.

  4. Love this sweet, sweet story, Autumn. I have to admit that I have been scared sh*tless of Dobies ever since one bit me in the ass while I was babysitting. But this story? Well, it makes me see a whole different side of them. Thanks so much for sharing it....and congratulations on your new pup!

  5. Wendy - you know all the bites I have heard of with the dobies I've been around have ALWAYS been to a babysitter or someone watching THEIR baby - and usually to the butt. They are very family oriented and are called Velcro dogs because they bond so strongly (much like the labs). Top that with a personality for protecting what is theirs and you have one heck of a baby guard dog. I was put on the fireplace and made to sit once when my mother in law ran to the post office. Hubs little sister was only 6 and Big Bart (I called him Marmaduke because he is the biggest Dobie I ever saw) decided HE was in charge...not me. I took him very seriously and sat there like a good girl until my mother in law returned and he let me up. Dusty actually bite Hubs grandmother in the butt once when she came over to babysit. Duke tried to take down a door to get to Bones (who was crying for a bottle) when I left him with a sitter the first time (but I was smart enough to lock him up prior even though Duke was very familiar with the sitter and loved her).

  6. Cassie - its really heart breaking to leave a pet behind. They were well loved and we would have never said goodbye to them if it hadn't been for overseas moves. But we had them for several years so its not as quick of a turnover as it sounds. Hopefully this one won't need to be placed...but since we did get one watch us get orders to Germany or something. That's about the way our luck runs.

  7. Welcome the new addition! We feel your pain with a new puppy. She is very much like a 2 year old...even a 4 year old. A 4 year old that I am very familiar with. Many days I have to send both of them to time out. LOL

  8. Wow- I don't do dogs, but that really is a sweet story. Andy really wants a boxer. Luckily for me we just keep getting orders, so I have been able to avoid it so far. Eventually we will get a controlled tour and I will be out of excuses... but so far, so good!