"Raising a kid is part joy and part guerrilla warfare."
~Ed Asner

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Have I ever introduced you to my first son?  His name is Dakota Jackson.  He is a black lab/terrier mix and he just had his fourth birthday.  He is sweet and loyal with a little bit of sass.  He's very protective of the babies and me.  He's a lean, mean fighting machine, just kidding.  But he is lean and very, very fast.  He will always be my baby dog and I love him so much.  He knew I was pregnant with Izzie before I did.  He was always very protective of me during my pregnancies and always had this look of concern on his face. He still has that same look of concern on his face but it's for a different reason (mostly Beast) now.

Sometimes I refer to Dakota as my first born instead of my first son.  I'll be talking to someone and say something like, "Oh, yah, Dakota is my first born."  I don't realize I do this so I don't understand the strange looks I get from people.  I realize that some of you may be reading this and think I'm a wacko but I'm okay with that.  You can't understand unless you have a shared love for animals.  I love my dog.  I do all the things for him that I do for my other children.  I train him, discipline him, feed him, give him shelter, take him the doctor (vet), play with him, cuddle with him, and have loads of fun with him.  My children love him too and include him in everything...or at least they try to.  Yesterday Izzie decided to have a picnic in the living room.  She set everything up over by Dakota's bed and said, "I'm going to make Dakota breakfast."  Dakota was sleeping and didn't seem too interested in the plastic food Izzie was trying to feed him.        

Anyway, back to what I was saying before.  Dakota is my first son.  I love him very much and I will never forget the day we adopted him.  We went to 'Adopt A Pet Day' at the zoo.  He was up for adoption along with his brothers and sisters.  He was the only one that looked scared half to death.  His trip to the zoo ended up taking a few hours because of traffic and he was stuck in the back of the truck in a crate.  By the time he got to the zoo he was shaking and crying.  Add to that tons of people and other animals and he was terrified.  His name was Jasper, I know, and although I wasn't in love with the name, I was in love with him.  I wanted to adopt him right away, but Kris wanted one of Dakota's little brothers whose name was Butch.  He had a brindle coat.  He was feisty.  He looked tough and well...butch.  We filled out the paperwork and we're approved.  We still weren't sure which puppy we were going to get, but the woman told us that there was someone ahead of us for Butch.  That couple was still waiting to be approved.  Kris really wanted Butch, but the whole time he was filling out paperwork and they were going through the approval process, I sat holding Dakota.  He just cuddled right up in my arms.  Kris put down Butch's name as the puppy we wanted but here's the thing.  If the other couple ahead of us got approved then they would get Butch, but that meant we would still be able to pick out another puppy from the same litter...make sense?  Good...So the woman came up to us and told us that there was something wrong with the other couple's paperwork and they weren't going to be approved.  Since Kris put down Butch as the puppy we wanted then that is the puppy we would get.

At this point I put Dakota down to work out payment and a few other things.  Another family picked up Dakota and decided they wanted to adopt him for their little girl.  I will admit, the little girl was cute, but she was frilly cute.  The kind of cute that dresses all her little animals up for tea parties.  She was holding Dakota and telling him about all the things they were going to do together.  The family only spent about five minutes with Dakota when Kris and I found out that there wasn't a mistake with the other couple's paperwork.  The woman didn't understand why she was told there was something wrong with their approval, yadayada...The bottom line is the other couple was getting Butch and that meant we were getting Dakota....Yah!  The woman went over to the family that was holding Dakota and broke the news.  The woman and little girl were kind of holding Dakota together and they definitely thought they were for sure getting him.  At first I was sympathetic.  I  felt bad that the little girl was upset and I knew that Dakota was quiet possibly the best puppy in the world so I gave her a few minutes to say goodbye.  A few minutes turned into five minutes and then ten minutes.  The adoption woman was trying, very nicely, to retrieve Dakota from the clutches of this family.  The little girl said, "You said we could have him."  And the mother was starting to get angry because she did not want to give Dakota up.  Finally, I thought, okay people, you've had enough time with my puppy; hand him over.  I reached over and gently pulled Dakota out of their arms.  I'm usually not that aggressive but there was no other way to do it.  We just had to make a clean break.

We left the zoo and headed home with our new puppy.  Clearly we were not keeping the name Jasper and settled on the name Dakota Jackson.  You may think Kris named him, because of his truck and all, but actually, I named him.  You may also think it's unnecessary to give a puppy two names, but let me tell you that I have used Dakota's full name more than once.  And that's pretty much it.  It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship and lots of shredded diapers. (only in the beginning.  Dakota was a little jealous of Izzie when she came along, but he loved her and still does.)      

 Making the climb...


 King of the Hill!

 Oh, look who's posing now...

We love you Dakota.  We know you would say thank you if you could talk.  We saved you from a life full of dress up and tea parties.  

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