August 30th, 2010 5:24 pm by Kelly Garbato

My little monster turns eight years young today!

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4/11/10 – Peedee, chillaxin’ under the bench swing with a Big Gulp-sized bowl of water. Such intelligent eyes, no?

It’s hard to believe that he’s been with us for nearly eight years – all but for the first seven months of his life – but the calendar does not lie. (Nor do the wrinkles slowly lining my face, apparently.) I can still remember the day we brought him home – not like it was yesterday, but close enough. Shane and I had visited a Saturday adoption day held at a local Petco. Our goal: to find a similarly aged – though more active – friend for Ralphie the dachshund. At the time, he was fat and lazy and rather sloth-like –

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Chubby Ralphie, circa December 2001. He does not want your pity, nor does he appreciate your judgmental stare.

– more of a failing on our part than his. (Too many treats + too little exercise? You do the math!) Anyhow, we hoped to remedy that by bringing a more active dog into the household. We went to visit a four-year-old Lhasa Apso girl, but wound up with a seven-month-old rat terrier! The Lhasa Apso – whose name escapes me – seemed even lazier than the Ralphster; not exactly what we were hoping for. Upon noticing us, a volunteer quickly steered us toward Peedee’s cage. Before I had a chance to protest, she’d plopped this little pup-like ball of energy onto my lap. Two licks and I was in love – even though an hyper-energetic, not-yet-housetrained puppy was most definitely not what we were looking for. But love can’t easily be reasoned with (seriously, give it a try!). Within minutes – seconds – we’d decided that Peedee was coming home with us.

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Peedee’s Petfinder photo. Hello, mischievous eye gleam! (March 2003)

Only…we hadn’t expected to be able to bring him home that very day, then and there! We didn’t have any cash or extra dog supplies on us, so we ended up walking to the nearest bank to make a withdrawal (a longer, sweatier trek than we’d guesstimated) and buying a leash, harness and cage for transport at Petco (one reason why it hosts adoption fairs, I imagine). Several hours later and Peedee was home.

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3/15/03 – Ralphie and Peedee dogging around on his first day home. Here, you can see that the play is 100% consensual and mutually enjoyable.

Ralphie and Peedee got on well – for the first 24 hours, anyway. Ralphie enjoyed having a new friend with which to play (especially since he’d had to bid farewell to Shadow when we made the move from New York to Kansas some months earlier), yet Peedee’s childlike rambunctiousness quickly wore his patience thin. After a week or so of minor spats – with puppy Peedee constantly trying to initiate play, only to be smacked down by a grumpy Ralphie – I was at my wit’s end, convinced that we’d made the wrong decision (for Ralphie) and that we should return Peedee to his foster mom. The situation was “bad” enough that Shane even placed a call to LL Dog Rescue, who thankfully convinced us to hang in for a few more weeks before coming to a final decision.

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3/18/03 – Come day three, Ralphie’s still up for a little happyfuntime – just in small doses. Meanwhile, “moderation” is a concept foreign to his new young friend. Cue: turmoil. (The look on Ralphie’s face in that last photo? Totally his “Back the fuck off or I will end you!” expression. Bad. Ass.)

I say “bad” with scare quotes because, upon retrospect and with many more years of guardianship experience under my belt, I’m fairly certain that we were overreacting. I’d wanted to find a new BFF for Ralphie, and when the two didn’t immediately click – or rather, clicked and then clashed – I think I panicked and started second-guessing myself, my judgment, and my ability to solve the problem. But, with a little help from his rescuers, we rode out the storm and are the better for it. Believe me when I say that we’ll never come close to making a mistake like that – the mere memory of which makes me feel terribly guilty now, and reduced me to tears back then – ever again. We came so close to choosing another path – a path without Peedee, and all the precious times spent with this sweet, sweet soul.

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6/25/07 – Coyly mugging for the camera, Peedee happily gnaws on one of his approximately 821 toys. Despite the awful backdrop (1982 called; they want their plastic blinds back!), this is one of my favorite photos of Peedee. (Granted, I have many favorites, but still.) His expression – so playful and inquisitive – is just priceless.

Peedee is a gentle, curious, empathetic little guy. A bit anxious and territorial (like his mother, I suppose), but also friendly and loving. Warm and cuddly. Protective of his friends – and even, when pushed, his “just a housemate,” Jayne. (The two merely tolerate one another, but to be fair, this isn’t specific to Peedee; Jayne doesn’t get on well with anyone. Another story for another day.) And the smartest little fucker I’ve ever known. (Wherein “fucker” is most certainly a term of endearment, fyi.)

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7/3/10 – Peedee tries to steal a wad of tissue (probably necessitated by a bout of sneezing cause by his irritating dander!) from from the living room table while I amuse myself with a Big Salad, crappy tv, and a camera. Yes, those are my unkempt feet off to the side.

Peedee’s always scheming. Even in his sleep, you can practically see the wheels turning in that little head of his. He loves to nom on discarded paper products – empty toilet paper tubes, used tissue (the more soiled, the better), envelopes – and is forever pickpocketing and otherwise thieving them. (Just try to hang onto a tissue for more than five minutes while Peedee is around. Seriously, it won’t happen!)

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9/14/03 – Peedee paws at my chair while dog noises emanate from my ‘puter speakers on a continuous loop. The barking and howling? Totes my fault, for a change.

Bark, bark, bark. Sometimes I instigate it – sometimes just to hear his half-assed attempts at a howl – but usually not. Birds. Squirrels. Sirens. Car engines. Thunder. Lightening. Rain. Doors opening. Doors closing. Dogs on tv. Dogs on the radio. Dogs on the internet. An impending meal. A disinterested human. You name it: all are barkworthy to Peedee. And oh, what a shrill, ear-splitting bark it is! Enough to induce a headache after 90 seconds (on a good day) and contemplations of a dog-free (-less) life (on those not-so-good days).

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10/14/09 – Even though they quarrel, Peedee really does love his lil’ sister O-Ren. Here they are, caught unawares, mid-snuggle.

But come nighttime, Peedee is a snuggling machine. Kaylee and Jayne aren’t much for spooning, but our first three dog-kids are all big on bedtime cuddling. I’m the coveted prize, whereas Shane is what you’d call “slummin’ it.” (Sorry, hun, but you know it’s true!) Lately Peedee has been the first to bed, reserving the spot where he knows I’ll end up. Quality time.

So yeah, Peedee rocks. He’s the bestest most awesomest dog evah! (Okay, so I say that about all the dogs…except for Jayne. Joking! It was a joke!), and when I think about how we almost gave him up…well, it breaks my heart a little. It also makes me want to spoil him a lot. And not just on his birthday, though today is as good a day as any.

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3/9/06 – Warm laundry zzzzzz’s!

I can feel I’m about to start rambling, reaching and grasping for some eloquent prose with which to close this post, so instead I’ll just say later, gator. Go spoil your own friends now, why don’t you? And when you’re feeling frustrated or impatient or depressed or just plain blah, remember that they won’t be around forever – and while this realization can add to your frustration or impatience or depression or blahness, it can also help you to treasure, value, nurture, and enjoy these relationships in the here and now. Like right now, kay?

I love you Peedee, with all my heart. Yesterday, today, now and forever. Stay sweet, baby.

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My, how he’s grown! It’s hard to demonstrate with side-by-side photos – mostly owing to the fact that Peedee’s always been on the tall side, what with those long, lanky legs – but he only weighed as much as little Rennie when we adopted him; eight years later, and he’s nearly doubled in weight!

Top: Ralphie digs for critters; Peedee digs to watch the dirt fly. 8/29/03

Bottom: Peedee & Rennie, on vacation in New York in July 2006. (On second thought, maybe this isn’t the best choice of photos; Peedee and Rennie look almost equal in size, so pokey is her little body!)

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5/4/05 – Peeedee: World’s Most Awesome Doggie. Yes. Yes, you are.

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12/13/07 – I call this one “Dog Pile During a Blackout.” In other words, a thing of beauty!

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10/28/08 – Peedee waits patiently at the back of the pee line. (Hey, that’s the best place to be!)

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9/6/09 – Peedee loves his daddy!

Oh yeah. Today is also my sister’s birthday! I should totally call her, don’t you think?

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  1. Molly Says:

    Aw, happy birthday Peedee! I hope that he has a wonderful day! <3

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