/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » our temporary dog

Last summer was chugging along just fine until one day in August when someone at our church said that they had to place their animals for adoption immediately.  It included 4 dogs, 2 cats, and a turtle, if I recall correctly.  Being the mushmelon that I am, I looked at the photos of the animals and began to consider getting a dog.

Why?  I have no idea.  We had a dog when Brendan was a baby – and she died of metastatic cancer when Brendan was 2.5 years old.  I had no desire to get another dog, and yet there I was, looking and photos and trying to decide.

We inquired about one of the dogs, a 15 lb. female who was so very cute – but she was already spoken for.  The family indicated that they had all of the dogs placed, save one.  His name was Cody and he was “a very sweet dog” who was “great with kids, loves cats (not to eat, though), and is an even-tempered dog.”  He was larger than I expected (and truly wanted) – 55 lbs – a Labradoodle by breeding.

Mark and I talked about it and decided that if the choice was our home or the pound, he was much better off in our home.  And so we agreed to take him in.  We got him a haircut, got him healthy (he had some digestive issues) that were solved by removing corn from his diet, and gave him pillows in his crate that he loved – his weight was very low for his size and his bony legs and “elbows” were much more comfortable on the pillows.

He thought himself to be a lap dog from the very first day – he jumped on the loveseat, wedging himself between Mark and me and proceeded to make himself right at home.  Brendan and Cody were inseparable – and one time when Brendan remarked that Cody was following him everywhere, I said, “Well, he just wants to be your buddy, that’s all.”  My son replied, “Basically Mom, we’re brothers.”   Well that’s one labour and delivery I don’t remember, but the point was made – the boy and dog were together.

And here we are now.  Cody is often called a “lummox,” because he really is a lumbering ox that forgets his size, but he has a heart of gold.  He comes to me for petting, snuggling, and other types of dog-codependence, and I don’t mind coddling him at all.  I bake him dog cookies, feed him kefir, yogurt, and cottage cheese to soothe his tummy, and in return, Brendan has a fantastic companion who accompanies him everywhere – to the backyard, the woods, and to the forts that my son builds perpetually.

But we cannot take him with us to Arizona.  We don’t know where we will end up living or if we will find a place to live before we leave here.  It’s much harder to find a place that permits dogs of his size (because he’s over 40 lbs, he gets lumped in to the category of “large breed,” even though he’s definitely on the small side of “large”).  And then there’s the heat.  June, July, and August are reportedly brutal in terms of heat and adjustment, so to adapt ourselves to it is one thing, but to force a dog who grows long, curly hair to adapt is another thing.  And there’s the issue of very little grass and places to let Cody relieve himself – it’s simply an unfair proposition to drag him out there.

I called the family that gave him to us and explained that we were moving unexpectedly and that we had to leave Cody behind.  I offered to place the dog with another family (imminently do-able, simply because doodle-breeds are such good dogs) or to give him back.  Happily, their “emergency situation” changed to where they can accept him back and really want him.

I never thought that we’d have a temporary dog, but apparently, he needed us on a temporary basis as much as we needed him.  I’m glad we ended up being here for each other – I wouldn’t trade the last 9 months for anything.

I’m going to miss this big lummox of a dog.  I’m going to miss how he follows me in the kitchen, hoping I’ll drop something, how he assaults us with his ever-wagging tail, and how he gives me big puppy-dog eyes when I let him taste the dough for his dog cookies.  I’m going to miss knowing that no matter what, Cody is protecting Brendan outside.  This great big dog has a great big piece of my heart and it just reminds me that I’m leaving part of me here in Michigan.

Be happy, Cody.  Be at peace and know that we’ll miss you, always.

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  • http://sharpenyourscissors.net Laura Webber

    I’m a non-dog-lover, and I got a little weepy over this post! Dave and I are really going to miss your family! If we are ever in Arizona, you’d better believe that we will be dropping in for dinner!
    .-= Laura Webber´s last blog ..Pickin’ Time!!! =-.

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    We are going to miss you guys as well, Laura! I’ve already scoped out the grocery stores down there to see who doubles coupons and does what specials – it will be interesting to get acclimated to such a different part of the country.

    And if you’re ever in the area, you’d BETTER stop in – we’ll roll out the red carpet for you and keep the A/C blowing cold. :) <3

  • Christine

    Oh man!!!
    I was already crying and now I’m weeping. I miss the dog for you! Please take me and the boys with you. Know that you have made a huge impact on my life.

    Love you all,

  • http://www.bucksomeboomer.com Bucksome Boomer

    I don’t understand not taking him with you because our dog is such a big part of our family. However, it seems like everything worked out in the end (almost like it was planned).
    .-= Bucksome Boomer´s last blog ..Thursday Thoughts: A Wrinkled Lady =-.

  • http://www.ultimatemoneyblog.com Mrs. Money

    Wow! That is great it worked out like that. How exciting you are moving!

    I know you might think this is silly, but we want to move up there to Michigan! I’d like my husband to work in Ann Arbor (he’s a chef) but I’m worried he won’t be able to find a job… what do you think? You’ve got firsthand experience on what it’s like there.
    .-= Mrs. Money´s last blog ..Run to the Doctor, or Tough it Out? =-.