today’s secret word is: HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY BOWSER!! (okay, wordsss)

BirthdayPeeWeeAs the story goes, my boyfriend and I had been browsing around for a dog.  We hadn’t gone ahead and settled with one due to various circumstances.  First, we rescued a pit bull and she was amazing.  I won’t go into her sad story, but let’s just say she could be the poster child for why pit bulls shouldn’t get pegged with such a bad reputation.  She had been through a lot, and she was the sweetest and most mellow dog you’d ever meet.  Our neighbor across from us decided she wasn’t going to meet the dog, she was just going to have the management post “breed restrictions” all of a sudden.  Ultimately, we had to give her back to her rescue agency.  Not to worry, she has since been adopted to a new home.

Anyway, we went through that and there were other factors.  We weren’t sure if we should have a dog when we live in a 1 bedroom apartment.  It’s harder to find future apartments with a dog and it isn’t necessarily fair to the dog space-wise.  There was also the boyfriend feeling reluctant to take on the commitment to a dog.  Hell, I was just glad he was self-aware enough to not just make some rash decision “Sure, let’s get a dog!” and then realize the work and time involved and hide under a rock.  I would look on line daily at rescue sites.  We knew for sure the dog was going to be a rescue.  I firmly believe in adopting vs breeders and puppy mill purchases.  I say this for myself personally, I know people who want a pure breed and go to a reputable breeder …sure, okay.  But let’s just say for myself, if I could own a piece of land and collect abused and abandoned dogs so they can live a nicer life, I would.  I can barely make rent, let alone buy a plot of land to save all the dogs …and there are a lot of dogs out there in need.  So in the meantime I’ll stick to saving a little at a time and put some volunteer time at the shelter.  I hope perhaps more people will read this and do the same.  There’s your preachy moment of the day.

I started getting in the frame of mind that I was going to find a Boston Terrier in need of a home.  It’s funny how you can get so tunnel visioned with what you think you want, you negate all the other possibilities.

I work at a Trader Joe’s and next to it is a pet store.  One brisk November day while I was at work, I get a text from the boy (that’s just an endearing term for my fella) telling me there’s a dog adoption going on at this particular pet store and we should go take a gander at the pups.  Yes, he was looking around at dogs too, regardless of his cautious feelings on the subject.  Mind you, I just enjoy watching dogs play around.  I’m one of those people who can go on a puppy cam and get mesmerized.  It’s ridiculous, I know this.  We all have our thing.  With that said, we just thought it was for fun.  You know, go look at the cute animals.  We get there and I see stacks of cages containing mainly Chiuauas and various Terriers.  Though both are incredibly cute, they have a bit too much energy and yap for my taste.  Then I come across a little makeshift pen containing three very young puppies.  Two of the dogs I wasn’t even sure what they were and the other was a baby lab.  One of the mystery breeds was running in circles around the lab and trapped  underneath the lab was the other mystery breed.  I don’t know if trapped is the right word, he wasn’t putting up a fight.  He just let the dogs prance on him and he’d answer with a lick or a gentle slap and then go to a corner and eat some newspaper.

I learned his name was Bowser.  Loved the name from the start.  Usually when you adopt a dog it has a silly name like Peanut or Fluffyfoo (yeah, I don’t know either).  He was abandoned in a field under a trailer with the rest of his litter (as it would turn out that other “mystery breed” running circles around him was his brother) and also he was the runt.  If the poor little guy couldn’t be any more pathetic, the rescue people had stuck a shirt on him that said “100% mutt.”  T-shirts and other such outfits on dogs are kind of against nature as it is, but it was too big for him and he kept tripping over it.  I would later find out he trips, stumbles, runs into things and falls down often all on his own.  He’s just endearingly clumsy.  I held him for a while and I tried to part with him and put him back down.  We were told we could foster him for the weekend and see how he did with us.  He did great.  We went back very reluctantly to give him back.  He was such a mutt (as his t-shirt so  plainly explained) it was hard to tell how he was going to grow.  He’s a mix of cattle dogs, I know that much.  He looks like if you took an Australian Cattle and shrunk him with a Corgi.  He also look like about five other dogs.  Let’s just say he turned out to be a slutty happy little accident.  He’s beautiful.  We go to give him back and she says we can hang onto him for the week (she knew this dog has us).  That was all we needed, it was an immediate bond.

The agency estimated he was three months old when we got him so that makes his birthday in August.  We decided to look up famous birthdays for the month.  As it would turn out, there are a lot of interesting birthday picks in August.  It became a toss up between him sharing a birthday with Steve Martin and Paul Reubens (you may recall Reubens from a previous blog…).  Paul won.  What can I say?  He’s just that cool in my book (not to mention only 1 person I spoke to picked Steve over Paul when I was determining his birthday).  So today is Bowser’s birthday!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOWSER …and happy birthday Paul while I’m at it!  It also happens to be Mother Theresa’s birthday.  Big day.  Interesting blend.   That’s just a coincidence though.  I pick Paul over her too. I am going to do my best to not be crazy dog lady and have a cake he can’t even eat or force him into a party hat.  The idea is to not torture him.  I’ll do things he likes, give him a little extra breakfast, a special bone for a treat, extra time at the dog park…  I think that’ll suit him just fine.  Heck, every day is that dog’s birthday.  There is a long running joke that he has such a good thing going for him we dryly wish him a happy birthday pretty much daily.

That’s how fantastic he is.  He comes first.  It comes naturally to spoil and nurture him.  All he wants is to be around us and love.  All dogs are inherently loving and loyal, but Bowser takes it to another level.  When he was first found you couldn’t touch him without him screaming, but quickly he grew to adore and trust unconditionally.  From our first meeting, he has retained that gentle soul.  Something that shocks and delights me daily is to see how Bowser has effected the guy who was apprehensive of getting a dog.  He has proclaimed that he can’t imagine life any other way than it is with the dog.  It warms me to see how much Bowser has opened him up as a person.  You wouldn’t think a goofy little mutt could do such a drastic thing, but he has really bettered both of us in so many ways.  Every single day he brings me so much happiness I can’t properly explain it.  There is also the great feeling of knowing we’ve given him a truly wonderful life that he may not have had otherwise.  The amount of joy he delivers almost makes me feel guilty of overindulgence. He also happened to work out perfectly for the apartment too.  He weighs in just shy of 28 pounds and he has such an enormous amount of different breeds in him there is no way a property manager who allows dogs can complain about his size or use a breed restriction.  Woot.

You may not have signed up to read a love letter to my dog, but its his very first birthday and he is one of the most important things in my life, sooo VIVA LA BOWSER!

I think eventually, a Boston Terrier would make a nice companion for Bowser …or some other pup.  I’m keeping a more open mind for the next time around.  The boy is now sold on wanting more cattle mixes, this one has worked out so perfectly.


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