It occurred to me the other day that we have had our gigantic dog for five years this month. Our sweet Shepherd/something mix died in May 2006, and by October, the boys were ready to get a new dog. Jon wanted a Rottweiler, so we went to PetSmart to see what kind of rescue dogs they had. I planned to just look and see what was available; the boys planned on bringing a dog home. There were some sweet little dogs (under 30 pounds) that were totally housebroken. And they had very little hair, which I thought was a plus after years of cleaning up blond dog hair. I was ready to take “Honey” home with us, but the boys suggested we see what other dogs were there.
And then they saw “Hoss.” Seriously. That was the name he came with. Hoss was a Rottweiler in a ginormous cage, and his sign said, “The Gentle Giant.” Hoss was very sweet, but didn’t seem to want to interact with anyone. Traci, the girl in charge of him, suggested we take him for a walk around the store. Traci saw us coming. Traci was tired of feeding Hoss, I think. Traci saw two boys who said, “Mom, we want this one!” and decided to strike while the iron was hot. Traci also said Hoss, who had been seriously neglected by his former owner, currently weighed around 115 and probably wouldn’t ever weigh much more than 120 pounds. I should have looked more carefully at Traci’s nose to see if it grew when she said that. Traci also said she thought Hoss was a purebred Rottweiler, but he didn’t have papers. Hoss probably ate his papers, if he ever had any. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Rottweiler whose head could rest on the dining room table without stretching. And he has a prettier head than most Rotties; it’s not as boxy.
We put Hoss on a leash and the boys walked around PetSmart with him. He loved the leash. He totally ignored all the other little dogs. One or two medium sized ones thought they might like to take him on, but after he sized them up and realized he was still the dominant male, he just kept walking. Several people said, “Oh, my…look at the feet on that dog.” (That, along with Pinocchio’s nose, should have been clues that the dog was going to get much, much bigger.)
Although my soft-hearted Jon wasn’t sure he could rush into a new dog after all (we all really loved Tony, our former dog), I soon realized we either had to take Hoss home with us or leave Wesley at the store. So, $300, one extra large kennel and one very large dog later, we headed out the door. Every employee in the store – and I mean every single one – said, “Is that Hoss? Hoss got adopted!! Hey, Hoss!! Congratulations, Buddy! Hey, everyone, look! Hoss has a family now.” The place was buzzing with excitement, let me tell you. All I could think of was, “How long has this dog been here?” I guess that explained his disinterest in interacting with people. He had been there so long, he was more like a circus animal, so why bother getting excited? My last question to Traci was, “Is he housebroken?” She paused for a second before answering, “Mostly.” Mostly? What did that mean? I found out a few hours later and realized I should have asked more questions before taking Hoss home with us.
“Mostly” housebroken meant whenever he saw a cardboard box, he wanted to “mark” it. That’s not good news for a Stampin’ Up!® demonstrator who always has cardboard boxes with orders in them around the house. (No, none of those got marked. I kept them well away from the dog after I discovered his love of marking his territory!)
Oh – did I mention that Mike was in Denver when we adopted Hoss? He got home that night and was greeted at the door by the new dog. Hoss accepted Mike, but didn’t realize Mike was here before he was, so Hoss thought he was the dominant male. When Mike unpacked his clothes from the trip and left them in a pile on the bedroom floor while he went to get a basket for them, Hoss decided to show his dominance by marking the clothes. Mike was not pleased. He washed his clothes, and brought them upstairs to put away. Sadly, he left them in a basket on the floor, and, well, Hoss had to show his dominance once again. After the second washing, Mike had a serious discussion with Hoss about who was the real dominant male in the house.
He’s been a wonderful dog. He’s very laid back and is friendly to anyone we welcome into the house. We found out, though, that his hackles will rise up when someone comes in without being asked. There wasn’t a threat, so he didn’t get aggressive at all – but he did stay between me and the person, and he growled a little warning. Contrary to what Traci told us, Hoss’s weight topped out at 185 pounds. He doesn’t like “outside,” although he does like to take walks. A walk for Hoss is 5 steps, sniff around. Take 5 more steps, mark a mailbox. 5 more steps, sniff, mark a tree, take 5 – SQUIRREL – steps…Not much exercise there at all. We put him on a diet, so he stays right around 155 pounds, which looks pretty healthy for him.
So happy anniversary, Hoss! You’ve been a wonderful addition to the family, even if it is a lot like having a small pony living here. He’s only fallen in the pool once; out of 4 dogs that we’ve had at this house, only 2 have fallen in the pool. Unfortunately, Hoss fell in in the middle of winter after a huge snowstorm. On the plus side, though, he didn’t panic. He was just kind of like, “Huh. I was up there, and now I’m down here. Funny.” Mike & Jon got him out, he shook off the icy water and went back to playing in the snow. He loves the snow, so here’s a Christmas card for Hoss.
Stamp set: Christmas Greetings; Ink: Cherry Cobbler; Paper: Silver glimmer paper*, Not Quite Navy card stock; Other: Simply Sent Everyday Elegance, Cherry Cobbler quilted satin ribbon*, Northern Frost decorative strip, Big Shot, triple layer doily punch, In Color glimmer brads, stampin’ dimensionals (*available in the Holiday Mini Catalog; all other products available in the 2011-12 Stampin’ Up!® Idea Book & Catalog)
This card was inspired by two of my friends – Jean Fitch and Jackie Susnik. Jackie used the doily punch to make snowflakes, and the general layout and card design is Jean’s. If you checked out the blog hop over the weekend, you saw some of Jean’s & Jackie’s great creations!
The Simply Sent kits are a fun way to create a really quick card, and they make great gifts for crafters and non-crafters! Through October 31, if you buy two kits, you can select one of the coordinating stamp sets free! Details here.
That’s enough blabbing for today, I guess. Have a wonderful day, and thanks for stopping by.