Bieber Fever, or Who Let the Dog Out?

I've waffled on the dog issue ever since my cousin's dog Snoopy bit me on the nose when I was 4. I ran up to tell him goodbye, and he jumped up and snapped me in the face. I remember ice to calm the swelling and the feeling of utter betrayal.  


Ever since then any canine that can put his paws on my shoulders gives me the official freakout, and that's many of them, since I'm short.



But I dearly loved Snoopy's litter-mate, my Aunt Stephanie's dog Bandit, who always hugged me on the leg (naive much?)



I used to take him for walks and I adored him even though petting him left a doggy smell on my hands.

I became obsessed with Cocker Spaniels after watching Lady and the Tramp. My Aunt Jane had one and I loved her beautiful curly ears.



I became convinced that she was going to surprise me with a Cocker Spaniel puppy at Christmas, especially when I heard our present was in the garage. Imagine my disappointment to find a brand new bike, my other phobia. I never learned to ride a bike, and I never had a dog either.



I never really gave any serious thought to a dog after that, although over the years I have owned rabbits, cats, turtles, and even strongly considered getting a de-scented skunk.



I figured my love for animals was mostly substitute baby love and put my energy into breeding my own litter. But when my eldest son, Jarvis,  turned out to be emotionally fragile and sensitive, a friend, a dog expert,  recommended we get a dog. Someone he could cuddle and play with when humans were proving to be too much for him. Maybe even a trained therapy dog.

She recommended the puggle, a mix between a pug and a beagle, a dog she herself owned.



She thought the dog's size and temperament would work well with our family. I considered it, but we never really pursued it too much. But recently our 6 year old, Linus, has been asking for a dog. Linus, a classic middle child, always feels like he is getting the short end of everything. I wanted to say yes. "Someday," I'd tell him. Someday, we'd get a dog.



We weren't sure when someday would come. Someday, when we have a bigger yard? When everyone is older? It seems like the right combination of things would need to happen to make this work. And I wasn't sure what that would be.

Then, sometime last week, I got a message in my email box that piqued my interest.

We are needing to rehome our puggle due to allergies. He is 2 yrs old, up to date on all shots, heart worm and flea neg. and has been altered. He is potty trained and LOVES children. His rehoming fee of $100 (neg. to the right home) includes his kennel, blankets and toys, huge bag of dogfood, his bowls, collar and leash. We are located in evansville.

Now THAT seemed like the right combination of circumstances. What a perfect dog for our family! The price was right. I emailed the woman right away, and emailed my husband too. He agreed that it seemed to good to pass up. So we waited. And waited.



After a week I had heard nothing, so I got kind of cranky. I assumed the dog had been adopted out and put it out of my mind. Then, the lady contacted me. The dog was available. I was thrilled. We talked for a few minutes. The dog really sounded ideal for us, even if he was named "Justin Bieber."



We worked out a time for us to come visit the dog, and then it was time to get down to business.

Under no circumstances was I bringing a dog into a house with a blanket of toys on the floor.  Perhaps a dog would be more motivating than say, my birthday. I tossed a My Little Pony from McDonald's into a give-away bag, and Alice started crying. "What do you want more? A My Little Pony or a dog?" I asked, "A...d-d-d-dog," she sobbed. Ok then!



30 minutes before we were to meet, the lady called, with a voice that was full of bad news. Bieber was missing.  She said they had put him on a chain in the front yard before they left for the store and when they came back he had disappeared.

I felt like I'd been sucker punched. This was the second time I had allowed myself to get really excited about this dog, only to get let down. I went and told the kids that the dog was missing. They were upset, but not as upset as I was. I hadn't even met Bieber yet, but I felt like it was my dog that was missing. I hated letting my kids down.

I sat for an hour, drinking Dr. Pepper for some form of chemical solace, and stared, and wrote.



And at 3:00 the phone rang again. Bieber had been found! He was not stolen, he had not run of the little girls had stuck him in the clubhouse. My emotions had whiplash by this point! But we gleefully loaded into the car to meet the possibly newest member of the family.

It wasn't love at first sight. Biebs is a little more energetic than I am used to (maybe that would be good for me!) But he's sweet, and loving, and the kids liked him. And after we left, I found myself missing him. So I think that's a good sign. The way things have come together, and the positivity my family feels for this guy really makes it feel like he's what we've been waiting for.



Now the only problem is what to change his name to?  Jarvis wants to call him Conan O'Brien, and he wants to dress him in a suit, sit him at a desk and film him while playing audio from the Conan Show.



Linus wants to name him Ocean,



or Domino,



and that kid is so cute it will be hard to turn him down.



Alice wants to call him Boy Boy.

Felix calls everyone "DaDa."

Maybe he'll answer to all of them.