The post I wrote a few days ago recounting the Christmas when I got my childhood dog Charley must have done a number on my husband.  As of yesterday, we are now the proud owners of a rescue dog named Rocky – a mix of Plott hound and Collie.  Despite his towering height, he is a sweet, gentle and playful soul, a little over one year old and perfect for our family.

Here he is – His Sweetness!  My head is still spinning around in circles trying to get used to being a dog owner again for the first time since I was in high school.  Here’s how it happened:

A month or two ago, I decided that since Em could not have a dog of her own (re: Phil’s allergy), it might be fun for her to go to the day camp offered by the Boulder Humane Society over the break.  There she could assist in caring for the animals, learn about the great work that shelters do and perhaps be inspired to volunteer more regularly.  As the date got closer, however, I started feeling sick to my stomach.  I knew how difficult it was going to be for me to pick her up, see the animals, and not be able to bring one home.  In fact, the night before her first day of camp, Phil said to me, “Do NOT bring home a dog.”

Of course I wouldn’t.  I could never make that decision.  However much I yearned for a dog, my husband is much more important, right?  Right??? Yes, of course!

So Phil dropped Em off at the camp.  He called me a half hour before I was to go pick her up and said he was having a slow day at work and would get her himself.  An hour later, he emailed this photo to me with “Call Me” in the subject line.  I called and said, “You better not be calling unless you plan to bring that dog home with you.”

Turns out he’d gone onto the Humane Society’s website, found Rocky (previously called Jerry), and fell in love.  After a half hour of playing with him at the shelter, he wasn’t having much allergic reaction.  He filled out the adoption papers and brought him home.  He’s sneezed a few times, but that’s it, which is pretty much a miracle considering other dogs will often cause his eyes to water and swell and his nose to stuff up to perpetuity.  Seems as if it was meant to be.

I’m trying to restrain myself from falling in love too hard too soon.  There is still a chance that Phil won’t be able to handle the regular exposure and we’ll have to take him back.  I’m am trying.  But right now he is curled up at my feet as I write this, and it’s hard to imagine him ever not being part of our family.  We’ll take one day at a time – which hopefully turns out to be his lifetime.

Now, in addition to buckling down on my writing, I’ll be crate-training, potty-training, and command-training Rocky.  He is nowhere near under voice and sight control.  I fantasize about being able to run and hike with him, but right now he runs me instead of the other way around.  Any of you dog lovers out there have some good advice for us?  Wish us luck!

Categories: Childhood, Dogs, Family · Tags: , , ,



  1. What a beautiful dog with a “take me home” face. Hope it works out with Phil’s allergies. Might consider an obedience class for you and Rocky. It will give you some solid advice on how to proceed. Good luck!

  2. Hi,
    A big smile overtook me when I saw the photo of Rocky: he’s irresistible!

    Your story included feelings I could relate to having had a dog to L-O-V-E!! years ago.

    Rocky snoozing at the foot of the table, on a lovely carpet complementing his coat, is the personification of family life and love.

    So happy for you,
    Nicole Rigets

    • Thanks so much! It’s funny you mention his coat because I was just thinking the other day that his coloring goes so well with our house!

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