Step 1: Admit You Have a Problem

Roman and I realized last night that we have become one of those people. You know who I am talking about. You’ve seen them in the park and snickered at them. You may have even seen them on TV and laughed at their silliness. You joke about them with your friends, and vow you will never become like that. I know, because Roman and I once did the same thing. But Roman and I have succumbed to the pressure and become the very people we used to laugh at quietly to ourselves.

I’m talking about those crazy dog-loving people. You know, the ones who treat their dogs like they are people and allow the dog to run their lives. Some of you are laughing right now because you are thinking of that crazy dog-loving person in your life (us, perhaps?) and wondering what in the world is wrong with their brains. Others of you are wondering how it took us so long to realize that we had a dog-loving problem.

Roman and I realized the extent of our dog-loving-ness last night. We went to the high school last night to watch the 4th of July fireworks (Happy Birthday America, by the way). We were going to bring our beloved four-legged child dog, but then realized that he would probably be afraid of the noise and bark the whole time. Upon arriving to the high school, before we even got out of the truck, my best friend exclaimed “Where’s Duke?” We replied that we had left him at home because we were worried that he would bark the whole time, to which she replied, “Oh my gosh, you left him at home??!!???”

Whatever could she mean by that comment?

And then my sister-in-law made the same comment. And then my mother did. And then some other friends did too. And then I realized, we have become one of those crazy dog-loving people.

Which reminds me of a conversation my mother and I had just a few hours before the fireworks. We had gone to her house for some yummy steaks and way too much food. Of course, Duke was with us. Roman went out into the yard and started snapping some pictures because our child dog looked especially stunning last night…

Mom: Look at Roman out there taking pictures of that dog. What is he going to do when you guys have children?
Me: Probably continue to take more pictures of the dog. Probably take more pictures of the dog than our children.
Mom: What is Duke going to do when you have children? You’re going to have to give him away so that he won’t be so depressed by the lack of attention.
Me: (with a high squeaky voice because my mother just suggested we give away our child dog) Whatever! That dog is going to be great with our kids. He will love them. He will be a guard dog. And he will probably be in most of the pictures that we take of them!
Mom: laughs hysterically

And I’m not even going to get into the fact that Duke now likes to lay next to me with his head on my pillow. For two nights in a row I have woken up to his nose in my face. He lays there like a little person. Except he’s not so little. He’s over 70 pounds and can easily pull me to the ground.

Yup, it is very obvious that Dukey Bear is me and Roman’s pride and joy. People ask me when we are going to start having kids. What? We had a child back in November. November 29th, to be exact. At about 5:30 p.m. His birth name was Jabo, but when we adopted him we changed it to Duke. Duke Casterline. Otherwise known as Waggy Face, Dukey Bear, Dukey Head, Dukey Face, Puppy Dog, Dumb Dumb Head, Stretchy Puppy, and Hey, Don’t Eat My Cat. Can’t we get a little bit of a break before we have another child?? This one hasn’t even turned a year old yet, for goodness sakes!!

But there are two things that I will never, ever do. I will never hold my child dog. Mainly because he weighs too much. I would strain my back. I will also never put sweaters on him. That is just too far. Also, Dukey Bear would not like them. We tried putting a T-shirt on him once and that did not go too well. Besides, he’s so gorgeous already, why cover up his pretty self with a sweater???

But in complete and utter serious-ness. I really do love this dog y’all. And I really believe that sometimes, God sends these furry children animals our way to bring a little bit of joy in a dark world. There have been many days that I have come home from a bad day at work to be greeted by his happy little self. Or maybe Roman and I are having an argument, only to be interrupted by a dog (who acts like he can talk) which leads us to laughter and forgiveness.
This not-so-little-anymore puppy was adopted from a shelter. His mom was a golden retriever, but we have no idea what his dad was. We paid $85 dollars for him. And have since paid a lot more than that for puppy shots and medicine when he got sick. But that dog is some of the best money Roman and I have ever spent and we would do it again in a heartbeat. Because I know that Dukey Face was crafted by God especially for us. And he will forever hold a place in our hearts as the first child dog we had in our married lives.
But I can’t wait to go get his nails done tomorrow. Those things hurt when he sits in my lap.

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