Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Wonder Twins (or, My Husband the Dog Lover) by Hilary

On our first date, my husband arrived at my house exactly 3 minutes early to pick me up. We had agreed on 7 p.m., but he had told me on the phone that he is always early and that he would be there at 6:57. At precisely 6:57 the doorbell rang.
My dog, Louie (who, at the time, was my right hand man), came with me to answer the door.
My husband was pretty friendly with Louie.
It wasn't until later that I learned he is not a dog person. He does not like dogs at all.
They lick you.
They shed.
They sniff you.
They smell.
They eat stuff.
They breathe loudly at night when you're sleeping.
They bump your elbow when you're drinking coffee.
They lick you.
(You may be getting the idea already, but I'll spell it out for you: my husband is a little high-stress. He even vacuumed our tent the last time we went camping.)
So it was pretty ironic this past summer when he got a promotion at work and became the sergeant of his police department's k-9 unit.
And I have to say, I think this experience is transforming him. I'm not saying he'll ever go camping without a vacuum but they say dogs decrease your stress level. A friend even told me recently that she saw a science fair project in which a student proved that petting a dog lowers your heart rate. Well, I think it does!

This is my hubby and his first k-9, Bo, on their first night together. 
Although my hubby complained about Bo's shedding and his excess energy, he was very sad when his department sold Bo to another department. 
He got his second k-9, Cyrus, the next day. 

Guess what? My hubby loves him. Cyrus comes when you call him, barely sheds, and barely smells. He does lick you.
In the evenings, I see my  husband rubbing Cyrus behind the ears when he thinks I'm not looking.
Cyrus is doing so well in training that we've dubbed him Cyrus the Virus. You know, like a WWF name?
Well, a few weeks ago, we decided to bring home one of the department's other new dogs, Zoe:
She's not doing so well in training. All she wants to do is cuddle. But she likes being the alpha - so we thought we could increase her play drive by letting her fight it out with Cyrus the Virus over some new toys:
She always, always wins: 
But they still love each other (here they are cuddling): 
And here they are, napping.
When we'd let them out into our yard, they'd run around together. If a car passed by on the road, they'd both run along the fence as it went by. One afternoon, my husband went out to call them in for dinner, and he found them both on our trampoline.
My husband started calling them The Wonder Twins. Even he enjoyed having both dogs around. But alas, we had to give her back to her handler after a few days. 
So now we're back to just Cyrus the Virus. 
He's made himself right at home: 

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to say that Bo and Cyrus the Virus (and even Zoe, although we had her for only a few days) are changing my husband. He never used to talk to our dogs, besides to tell them things like "Get the hell out of the way" or "shut the hell up." 
But now, he's more relaxed, more easy-going, and more fun. 
And the other night, when he put Cyrus in his crate to go to bed, he said, "Goodnight, buddy." 
For that more than anything, I love Cyrus the Virus. 
I think my husband's promotion into this unit happened for a reason. Do you believe in things happening for a reason? 

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