A big birthday!

Nittany, our Lhasa Apsa – Bichon Frise, has a big week coming up. The grand dame is turning 14. In doggy years, she’s two years shy of celebrating her 100th birthday.

She doesn’t get around like she used to, she walks gingerly up our stairs, she needs the occasional help getting off our couch, but she still has a hearty appetite, and the vet says she’s doing great.

When the kids were little, we had talked about getting a dog as a pet. My wife and I both grew up with dogs in our house and knew the kids would love a pet, but we worried the work would fall on us. We had a hard enough time taking care of the kids and ourselves, we couldn’t imagine an extra doggy mouth.

I fell first. I’m not sure what changed my mind. I just remember the idea taking shape in my head and feeling an incredible need to make it work. My wife thought I was crazy, but over time the idea started to take root in her mind too. I researched local dog shelters, rescue organizations, and kennels and what we would need when we brought the dog home.

Life took over though, I seemed to be on an endless treadmill during those years, and I forgot about the idea. If it was going to happen, it was going to happen, if it wasn’t, it wasn’t meant to be.

Sure enough, a month or two later, we had a Saturday with nothing planned. We didn’t need to take the kids anywhere, we were all hanging out and my wife said she had been thinking about it and really liked the idea. Of course, we took a leisurely drive to “window shop.” We may as well have just said we were buying.

The first puppy we saw, which we all named Wild Bill, seemed to have boundless energy. The second puppy we saw, Nittany, seemed just our speed. We filed out the paperwork and two weeks later we were able to pick her up and bring her home. From those first moments, she’s had us wrapped around her little paw.

I’ve written much in the past about how she’s a crazy loon. I could go on-and-on:

–Her favorite activity is to sleep in our bed with us, so as soon as the sun goes down, she tries to coax us to bed. She’ll lie down at the bottom of our steps, near our living room, and look wistfully up the stairs. It’s as if she’s putting her paw up to her mouth in a yawn and saying, “Geesh, where has the night gone, time for bed anyone?”

–She’s a herder and doesn’t like that the kids have left the roost. Her favorite time of the year is when everyone is home, because then she considers her “pack” to be all in their rightful places. Of course, in these moments, my wife and I find out how she really feels about us. We go from being her favorites to being chopped liver. We rank second behind the kids. Thanks Nittany, we love you too.

–She wakes my wife up regularly in the middle of the night to go outside to do her thing. In 14 years, she’s never woken me. I’d like to say I’ve trained Nittany, but I can’t take any credit. She just prefers my wife. (Okay, I’m grateful for this one!)

Oh, she’s crazy alright, but I can’t imagine life without her. When her time comes, I’m going to be lost without her.

28 thoughts on “A big birthday!

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  1. Aw, I loved reading about Nitanny. She’s enjoying a long and happy life.
    We have a 12 year-old Woodle (miniature poodle x welsh terrier). They all seem to be able to train us without any difficulty. 😀

    A happy forthcoming 14the birthday, Nittany! xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She’s a good faker, ha ha! Nah, she’s a part of the family. She’s definitely missing our two oldest now that they’ve left. I’m okay in her eyes … but just not the same as the kids!!!! Yikes!!! Ha ha ha . … good thing I know my place😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed hearing about your loony dog Nittany. We had Angus, a yellow lab who was flunked guide dog school for 15 years. We’ve been to heartbroken to go through it again. So we are content with our silly Olive the cat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nittany really is a loon. Yesterday she was bored with me, today she won’t leave my side! What a psycho! Ha ha. We love her. Sorry to hear about Angus. I keep asking my wife what she’ll want to do in the future. I suspect we’ll be too heartbroken too! Hang in there

      Liked by 1 person

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