Monday, 31 January 2011

B is for...Betty

DogfaceThis is Betty (aka Dogface).

She used to be my baby before my daughter came along.  She’s 15 now and I’ve had her since she was 2.  She had a horrible mixed-up life before I came to own her.  She was a funny old dog who had lots of issues – mainly aggression towards other dogs but sometimes towards people when she didn’t want to be stroked or fussed.  These issues settled down but never entirely went away.

I really thought we’d have to give her away to a family member when my daughter was born, especially as when I was pregnant and  uncovered my stomach she used to growl it.  But a funny thing happened…the more and more I watched her actions when I was pregnant, the more and more I noticed how she would sit and guard me when visitors were at the house. It was like she was protecting the precious cargo I was carrying and didn’t like me uncovering it.

When my daughter was born we made all the right moves to introduce them.  My husband took a baby sleep suit my daughter wore the first day she was born back to the house with him and let her sniff it. Then, when we came home the next day, he took Betty out for a walk whilst I carried my daughter into the house and took her on a tour of each room. After 20 minutes Betty was brought into the house which was clearly filled with that ‘new baby’ smell.  Everything was fine.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

My daughter will be 2 this March and Betty has never shown any aggression toward her. Infact, Betty goes out of her way to avoid my daughter (wise move, especially when she's got her crazy push-along wooden duck!).  I have noticed that Betty has aged so much in the last year.  She's stopped playing with toys completely and sleeps most of the time.  The other week she decided to relieve herself in the kitchen – my husband wasn’t impressed as he was seconds away from letting her out.  He ranted that he couldn’t believe she had done it blah blah blah.  I explained that she was the equivalent of about human 100 years old and that it was obviously because she couldn’t hold it in after she’d woken up suddenly.  Poor Betty.

It’s got me thinking about how much I love Betty and how much I’ll miss her when she’s gone.  I know people without pets may not understand how much joy and love a pet like this can bring to you but then if you're that person you are probably not reading this now.  If you are, thank you.  She’s given me so much joy over the past 13 years and despite all her weird habits (like not being able to put the windscreen wipers on in the car if she was with me because she’d try and attack them through the glass) she has a heart of gold.  She just didn’t have the best start in life.

It may be pathetic and soppy but this is my blog dedication to her as I don't think she's got long left :'(

Part of my A to Z posts
SAHMlovingit
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12 comments:

Nic's Notebook said...

Aww this has made me all teary! I know exactly how you feel, I am a huge animal lover myself (3 cats & 2 pups) - I hope Betty continues to bring you happiness for a while yet. Just don't forget to tell her you love her every day!! x

Vickie Ford said...

Love love love it and I can fully understand how sad it will be, we lost Fudge over the summer and it was the most heartbreaking thing, Chris still cant go to his parents house without anyone else in tow because he doesn't like the feeling of being alone in the house.
We thankfully still have Toby and again like you drives me crazy with some of his antics but I will miss him awfully when he goes.
We love the Dogface xxx

Claire said...

I totally get it. I love my two pooches and had similar concerns. It is a huge relief when it works out. Lovely post x

Emma said...

I know how you feel, I've had dogs all my life , at least you are appreciating her now,I feel like I didn't appreciate my last dog enough once my son was born and was a bad mummy (to her, not my son!) not only that but we had to leave her in England and it still breaks my heart to think of her now.

myevil3yearold said...

Good idea! I need to dedicate a post to my Apollo. He is 12 years old and obese and the vet tells me he is going to drop over any day.

We were told he would eat a baby if we ever brought it home because he would be so jealous. He could do it to because he is an inside dog and weighs 144 lbs. He has never showed an aggressive side until Boo was brought home and a stranger (to Apollo) tried to pick Boo up. Apollo about gnawed off a hand. He really thinks both kids are his. Emma puts bow clips on his ears. She paints his fingernails. I know we may have about only a year and my kids are not prepared to lose him but neither am I.

alyson said...

its true they are such integral members of the family, she has had a lovely life with you Heather - thats all we can ever give them, our love, time and attention, and youve done that in droves

wendy_mcd83 said...

Awww! I'm totally not a pet-person (some really awful childhood experiences with animals...future blog post??!!) However, I think it is wonderful when someone can give love and commitment to a family pet...the love is definitely reciprocated. Your post is really moving and Betty sounds like a lucky dog to have been a part of your family :) Sometimes I feel guilty that I don't 'do' pets...but then I remember! *shudders*

Melissa said...

I wanted to thank you for visiting and following my blog.

I can relate to this because we had a family dog that passed away a few years back. No pet could ever fill her shoes. She was part of the family. We still put a bow on the tree for her every year.
:(

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I can totally relate to this, too. Having four dogs is the most wonderful gift. The house is full of love, unconditional and beautiful. They are amazing creatures. In fact, you have inspired me to write a blog post having just thought of people who are missing out on this lovely emotion of pet-love.

CJ xx
p.s. looks like you've inspired a few more blog posts too!!

helloitsgemma said...

this is such a sweet post, I love the A-Z idea. Hey Betty you rock old lady!

MLMB said...

Oh what a beautiful post. So gorgeously written. Made me totally fill up. She's a beautiful dog and you are a wonderful owner. Betty is truly honoured to have you as her mummy. Taking on an adult dog is difficult. Their quirks are challenging as we are finding too... but as you say... it is also wonderful. I'm so pleased she is so wonderful in her own way with your beautiful daughter. My son has autism and our dog is bringing him friendship no other child has the patience to give him. Dogs are wonderful and it wasn't till we recently brought one into our lives, did I truly realise that. Your love for Betty shines through your beautiful post and she will love you forever and always for it :) xxxx

jazzygal said...

Aww...such a lovely post in honour of your gorgeous dog Betty. Pets really do become part of the family and are badly missed when they leave us :-(

xx Jazzy

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