Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I've got a serious itch

No not that kind of itch...
we want to wait a little while longer before baby #2

I've got a serious itch to get a dog!  

So quickly backing up - I realize I'm a pretty boring blogger.  So far all I've really blogged about is Kinley

But do I really have anything interesting to say anyways?!

I have a great appreciation for friends that are witty like Louisa and Katie, or heartfelt and inspiring like Emily, Casey, and Lauren.  I do have a lot in my head, but it just doesn't seem to make it all the way to this blog.  I have a night without the hubby and thought maybe I'd share a little of what I was thinking about.

So back to the itch...

We've had a pretty interesting story when it comes to dogs in our house.  

Both Trent and I love dogs and grew up with them.  We always knew we wanted to get a dog and definitely before kids.  So Trent surprised me 2 years ago with this doll

We named her Berkley and I quickly fell in love!  She was sooo sweet and cuddly, she needed me and I loved caring for her.  But Berkley was very very sick.  She was born with a very rare and hard to detect sickness (I honestly can't even remember the name of it right now).  But basically her sweet little muscular and nervous system were attacked with the disease long before we could get her the medicine and treatments she needed to get better.  

So at 7 month old, we had to put her to sleep. 

That was an awful awful night.  

Our breeder was so wonderful to us, taking care of so many of our expenses through the process and checking in on us.  From what we can tell, he's a brother in Christ and has truly loved us well through the whole situation!  He felt terrible because Berkley did contract her sickness from her mom (but every other puppy and the mom were fine...it was just Berkley who was permanently effected).  Long story short, he wanted us to have another puppy.

At first I couldn't even think about it - we had just cared for and lost a puppy - how could we take another?  And would this happen again?!  But at the same time we knew we always wanted a dog - and we LOVED this breed (viszla's), we also knew we wanted to get a dog before kids came along and it was getting closer to when we wanted to start trying for a baby.  Trent and I were also confident that our breeder was an honest and trustworthy individual and that he had taken EVERY precaution to make sure nothing like this would happen again

Did I mention that our vet had NEVER in 30 years seen this illness in a dog?!  We even took her to A&M and they said they had read about it, but never seen it.

So with a little hesitation, but excitement, we decided we were ready to get another puppy.  

Meet Landry

I know, cute right?!  We fell in LOVE with this sweet, SMART, dog.  I actually loved watching Trent with her, because Berkley honestly was never healthy, never wanted to run and play and just needed lots and LOTS of help.  Landry was completely healthy and ready to run.  I mean this girl could RUN!  Landry was such a great companion to us, she loved to cuddle with me in the morning while I spent time with the Lord, and she loved to rough house and run in the yard.  This dog LOVED frisbees, she totally had the catch-the-frisbee in your mouth thing down!  We took her to obedience classes and she literally was known as the class clown.  One day we were learning to call our dogs to us.  So I go to the end of the isle and call Landry.  She sees me and takes off towards me - runs right past and heads to the exit with myself, the instructor and several employees running after her.  She totally out-smarted us all!  She definitely knew how to make us laugh.

When she was about 5 months old we found our we were expecting Kinley. (actually that's when we decided to take her to the obedience classes!).  I was a bit nervous to have a one-year-old active puppy with a newborn, but I was also so very excited for our kiddos to grow up with their own puppy!  We knew we had work cut out for us, but we were so ready to make it work.  By the time Kinley arrived, Landry truly was so well behaved.  She had learned not to bark, not to jump and so many other things.  

Here is the first time Landry and Kinley met

I'm not kidding, Landry came up to her, smelled her precious little toes and then laid down at my feet.  She knew Kinley was something special!  In Kinley's first week home, Landry spent lots of time cuddled up on the couch next to me and as close to Kinley as possible!  

Then we lost Landry.

There was no way we could have known, but Landry had an extremely rare condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  Its a condition where the walls of your heart expand to the point where they just can't pump blood anymore.  

And guess what - our vet had only seen it 3 times in 30 years!  (and this wasn't the same vet as the first time)

There's lots more about Landry here in case you want to read.

What a mix of emotions we felt.  I was literally less than 2 weeks out from giving birth - which means my emotions were already crazy, we were learning how to be parents for the first time, and grieving a very sad loss.  We let the breeder know (which by the way, Landry's disease was NO fault of the breeders, the parents of Landry...it was just totally random).  The breeder just felt terrible.  Here he had given us this puppy that ended up being another tragedy for us.

I don't mean to be over-dramatic...we had a great year with Landry, we had just hoped for many more!

Now with a newborn, we know we are in NO position to get a puppy anytime soon.  But it doesn't stop this itch from coming back!  At times, I start weighing the pro's and con's of getting a dog.  And when exactly we should get a dog.  In between Kinley and the next baby?  Once we're all done with kids?  It seems the second is probably more wise, but I just hate the thought of waiting several more years!  But I can't help but think with 2 very rare dog situations, maybe we're just not supposed to have a dog right now.  

Any thoughts?


  1. You told Katie and me these stories when we visited, and they're just so sad. I'm glad I got to see pictures of the dogs, though!

    Anyways, we're considering getting a dog when Katie's cousins' dog has puppies (golden retriever). If you do decide to get a dog, they'd definitely have to be friends. I don't think you'd have to wait until you're done with kids. I think it would be really nice for Kinley to have a puppy once she can fully understand the concept - maybe in a couple years?

  2. Alex (McAdoo) had 2 of these GORGEOUS dogs! His mom still has them. They are just so cool & SMART! Im not sure of any illnesses with theirs but I've not seen any other dogs quite like them!
    What if you waited to get a dog when Kinley was old enough to want & pick one out? I think thats what we are going to do. I know we couldn't handle one right now so maybe in a couple of years! Good luck!