I have had dogs my whole life. They were outside dogs because my dad, who is from another country, was raised to believe that animals are dirty. When I was in college and lived all alone in North Bryan (very shady part of town), my boyfriend at the time gave me his puppy Chase, to protect me. That was the first time I had a dog indoors and he quickly became my best friend. We went everywhere together and he slept on my bed where he kept me warm in the cold winters. The house I was in didn't have central air or heat so I had to rely on Chase and a space heater, but rent for this 2 bedroom was only $200. Can you imagine? Anyway, a few years later, a stray that my brother took home to my parents had puppies. They were beautiful, white puppies, and I had to have one because Chase was also pure white-except the underside of one ear that was golden with a white heart. I'm not a prejudiced dog lover, I love most dogs, not just white dogs. I like spotted dogs, brown dogs, black dogs, long-haired dogs, short-haired dogs, big dogs, and little dogs, but there is just something about pure white fur that I love.
So I named the puppy Chipper. Why Chipper? I insisted that it had to start with "ch" just like Chase, made sense to me.
I had to move back in with my parents for a short while after my college graduation and my dad protested every day about the dogs being in the house. He hated how he had white dog hair all over his black socks. He hated how they would roll all over the carpet and leave clumps of hair behind. He moaned and groaned about those dogs.
Chipper and Chase were both indoor dogs until a few years ago when Chase turned 14 and was unable to control his...let's say...bathroom issues. Lauren was just under 2 and Caleb was almost 6 months old and we just couldn't keep the house clean with Chase using the bathroom all over the place all the time. So out they both went. Stephen built them a nice doghouse and they also had a huge deck to provide shade and play under. But there was guilt on my part because I knew they weren't getting as much love and attention when they were outside.
In June 2007, Chase was unable to stand for very long and started to fall over, even down the deck's steps, so we had to put him to sleep. It was the hardest thing I had ever had to do. My other dogs passed away when I wasn't home. I never had to take a companion and leave him, knowing what was going to happen.
So last Thanksgiving when my mom came to our house, she asked if she could take Chipper home with her for awhile. I was expecting my 3rd baby, it was getting cold outside and Chipper could stay inside with my mom, AND she would keep my mom company. Also we were geting ready to put our house on the market and it just looks better if you don't have a dog when you're trying to sell a house. So we agreed it was a win-win situation for us all. We knew that soon we'd be in a new house with a great backyard where we'd give Chipper a lot more attention.
But my mom passed away in April.
When we went up to Fort Worth for the funeral, we were totally expecting my dad to ask us to bring Chipper back to Aggieland with us. He surprised us. He asked us if Chipper could stay with him just a little while. He said my mom loved her so much and he liked that Chipper would bark when anyone would come to the house, even my brother. We hadn't sold our house yet and we weren't ready to have Chipper back so we said sure, we'd get Chipper the next time.
When we went back in May, he again asked us if we could wait a little longer. We were to move into our new house in 5 days and knew we didn't even have grass in the backyard so again we told him he could keep her a little longer.
Now we are planning on going up there for Lauren's birthday and he called the other day to ask if maybe he could give us money to get the kids a new puppy so he could keep Chipper. I really feel bad for him. I know the obvious solution is for my dad to just get a dog of his own but he has no idea how to train them and a new dog would not have the ties to my mom. I even suggested that he go to the shelter for the next few weeks until he finds the perfect dog, that way he would be rescuing a dog, saving a life. He won't do it. He told me that he does understand if we want to bring Chipper back with us this time, he knows the kids love her and have been waiting to play with her, but I guess he just had to ask. I wish there was an easy solution.
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