Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Boys' Best Friend

When we broke the news to our oldest son, then 6, that we were moving away from San Clemente, a beach town in south Orange County, to a rural town in North County San Diego, he was not thrilled. He was anxious about moving away from his home, his friends and relatives, his school, and all the activities he enjoyed. To ease his apprehension, my husband threw in a deal: “We’ll buy you a dog!” This was news to me and I really wasn’t in the mood to consider adding a fur child to our already hectic life.

Much to my dismay, the family began talking about our pet to be. Suddenly our conversations revolved around what kind of dog we would get, what size, what color, etc. As their conversations swirled around all the possibilities, my head swirled around all the work and costs. I knew through all the promises of teamwork with the dog, that I’d be the one to ultimately provide care for it.

So as they cheered and talked excitedly about this soon to be pet, I moaned and groaned. But then we started our search for the dog and found a rescue group in San Diego for Labradors. As I browsed online through the multitude of adoptable doggies, I couldn’t help but feel a tad bit excited about bringing one of these beautiful animals into our home. The funny thing is that as I continued researching and warming up to the idea, Kevin starting hesitating. I told him there’s no going back now. The kids would flip if we retracted his bargain. So he left it up to me and said, “Go for it.”

Although we had our heart set on a yellow lab initially, our coordinator persuaded me to look for the right dog, not the “right color”. I’m so glad she finally convinced me to flex. As soon as I met Rascal, I knew he was the dog for us. He is a big black thug of a dog. His shiny coat is stunning and his calm demeanor is just right for a house full of rowdy boys.

We brought him home while Kevin was away for work and he’s been our big buddy ever since. Ironically, because I was the one to care for him when we 1st brought him home, he is a total mama’s boy. Boy, am I glad I changed my mind about getting him!

Rascal has done a few things for our family that I’m so grateful for.

He has taught my boys responsibility. Charlie and Jack are in charge of feedings.

He gives Luke a comfort zone to show affection, which can be a struggle for kids on the autism spectrum. We’ve noticed Luke hugging us more since we’ve brought Rascal home. It brings tears to my eyes.

Rascal even pretend plays “vet” and gives a stellar performance as the “patient".

Sure a dog may is man’s best friend. However, in this house, our dog is boys’ best friend.


The Mama Monster said...

Awww this warms my heart!!!! A old friend of mine has three autistic children (her daughter has a Aspergers) and they work in dog rescue and the kids have done so well since being around the dogs! =)

~The Mama Monster

Mommy of three said...

Sooo cute! I love the vet pic.
Love from,

elsiee said...

sweet, sweet, sweet! your boys will be better men because of this lovely doggy gift you've given them!