Christmas 2017 · Critters ❤︎

I Want to Wash My Hands, My Face, My Hair in Snow

Good evening dreamers! I hope you’ve been staying warm and cozy these snowy days, wherever it is you may be 🙂 How much snow have you gotten? Too much or not enough? The winter is young, so we have time, but I personally am dreaming of a white Christmas…

Alas, we are STILL in the evil grasp of  finals (just me? Or are you guys done now? Perks of a community college: finals later than everybody else, shorter breaks, and a pricey commute), so this one’s going to be another short and sweet one!

Yesterday afternoon I braved the sudden winter weather and stubbornly trekked on my regular weekend walk with the boys (I should say, the furry boys: Bear the white lion above and Rocky the brown baby below), snow or no snow!

Rocky's first snow with us

Not only was it gorgeous out, seeing the mountains lightly dusted in white and trees dripping gleaming cicles, but it was special for an entirely different reason.

As I mentioned in my post She wanted to kill my dog, we adopted our two-year-old Rottie around Valentine’s Day of this year (very appropriate timing for such a loving bond if I say so myself).

Making yesterday Rocky’s first snow with us ❤︎.

Not that Bear isn’t special too of course, but this Christmas season is especially merry with Rocky’s addition to the family. And I am counting on quite a few more snows with my baby (who knows, maybe soon my Boaz will show up, and Rocky won’t be my only man for the holidays *fingers crossed and prayers lifted*). Don’t tell my father, but if I move out in a few years after graduation, Rocky may just be spending Christmas–and every other day of the new year–with your’s truly. #shamelessdogthief

But anywho, I just wanted to check in with you guys and give a little snowy insight into my wintry weekend 🙂 This is the one time you can count on the pictures actually being from me, when it’s of my critters! If you’re skilled at photography, I’m begging for tips, because no one in my family shares that skill and I’m lucky to get a halfway decent photo.

To those of you tredging through finals, I’m right there with you my friends! To those of you blessedly not (whether it’s been over for a week now… or maybe a few decades), I wish you the best on this tenth day of my Christmas posts and until we meet again-

If the fates, allow…

 

P.S. I dug into my gingerbread house yesterday afternoon… not the tastiest, but since I haven’t had anything gingerbread in maybe two years, I had more than my fair share of the roof- but hey, that’s what a gingerbread house is for!

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Critters ❤︎

She wanted to kill my dog.

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This is Rocky, the very first day we met him.

Little did we know that we would be bringing him home that exact same day (funny how that happens huh? In the words of Lady and the Tramp and Turner and Hooch, “One night, that’s it.” Saw how that ended didn’t ya’?).

Mom came home one day and told us about an ad my cousin Megan had shared with her on Facebook. There was a lady in need of a good home for her dog, a two-year-old Rottie. House-trained, leash-trained, just one problem: he can’t be around kids.

This is where you, my lovely audience, unleash a collective “I told you so! You can’t trust a Rottweiler!” Now, I beg to differ, if you’ll only hear me out pretty please.

My dad used to breed Rotties when I was just a wee tot. Hannah, our last Rottie, passed away when I was in middle school, but she had one final litter when I was just barely old enough to remember them. We came home from Sunday church, all spiffed up in suits and dresses, and found Hannah under the garage stoop with a noisy, wriggling bundle. They hadn’t even opened their eyes yet, but dad let my brother and me very carefully carry two into the house- dutifully restraining our energetic bouncing just long enough to sit on the smooth kitchen floor, tiny sharp claws digging through my thin black tights while my puppy scrambled across my lap. Pitiful mewling noises came from their snouts, closed eyes and wet noses searching for their warm mommy, curling into us instead when they tired.

Still sound vicious to you?

You see, the problem wasn’t truly that he can’t be around kids; no, the lady in the ad had a different problem: she couldn’t discipline him. She wouldn’t properly discipline Rocky and, more importantly, she wouldn’t properly discipline her young daughter. From our hour and a half meeting on February 11th, I could already see how much this little girl constantly antagonized poor Rocky- to the point that he almost attacked her. And you know how that would go: the little girl tugs, pulls, chases, abuses until Rocky finally can’t take it anymore and defends himself.

Rocky would be put down. No questions asked.

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If we hadn’t been able to adopt him, we never would’ve gotten to unleash this big baby’s loving, protective side.

If we hadn’t been able to adopt him, I wouldn’t have the most loyal friend I’ve ever known. The happiest walking partner. The cuddliest bed bug. The laziest Hallmark-watching buddy. The grumpiest early riser. The trustiest confidante.

I wouldn’t have Rocky.

This lady and daughter had owned Rocky for about six months prior to our meeting; before that, his history is unclear, but we do know that he’s been abused (that I will get into in a later post… bring your tissues fellow dog-lovers, I still get teary-eyed thinking about what my poor baby’s been through. Please, comment and let me know if you’ve adopted an abused dog, and any struggles you’ve gone through in raising him or her). I will never know what some awful person did that caused it, but Rocky–my 140 pounds of muscle–is petrified of children. Screaming toddlers? Wailing babies? Dashing kiddos? Forget it. But he would never, ever intentionally hurt one.

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I can’t help it, Snapchat is my go-to for pictures

There’s this trail that runs by my church, and I took Rocky on it a couple times this past summer. It’s pretty nice actually, not so enclosed that a young woman like myself would be intimidated to go down it by herself and long enough to get a decent walk in. One of my first times trying it out, I discovered in the farther recesses of the forest a playground. Uh oh. My immediate thoughts were to turn right around and not risk it- but, as a training effort, I hesitantly decided to lead him past.

*I did not put any children in harms way with my experiment, don’t worry. I kept Rocky at a solid distance away from all the kids there.

He was skittish, nervous, and on edge the entire time, but we made it through unscathed and with a stronger bond only man and dog can experience. My point, though, is that Rocky was not aggressive. Rocky was so scared of being near those kids, but every tensed muscle was poised to run in the opposite direction- away from the children, away from putting himself or them in any danger.

And yet, he would have been put down, labeled a common violent aggressor.

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When we meet someone who is outright unpleasant, we want no more to do with them. Say it’s the Target cashier: you come up to her, smiling, and she barely grunts a tart “Hello” before brisquely sending you on your way. We make all sorts of assumptions about her character on the spot, based on our oh-so-infinite knowledge. But what we didn’t know is that this grumpy woman just lost her mother, her kid is sick in the hospital, and her husband’s skipped town.
In a similar manner, people judge a dog based on one attribute, one mishap. Whether that’s peeing on the rug, growling at strangers, or running from children, there’s not a dog on earth without what we consider to be a “flaw” in character. Too often, this universal “flaw” principle is applied to particular breeds: the Rottweiler, Pitbulls, you know the ones. These breeds are given a bad rep, just because some cruel, cruel person didn’t raise them right.
Rocky has been hit, kicked, burnt, and exposed to domestic violence. People that go through these extremes range from motivational speakers to counselors, theives to sociopaths. Each one has severe trauma- physical, mental, and emotional.
So can you blame Rocky for having a few fears?