Any time I leave the house (or go to a part of the house where they can’t follow) for more than about five minutes, both Thomas and Dusty are waiting when I get home. When I walk in, Dusty about takes me out, in spite of his small size. When Dusty is done going crazy, Thomas wanders up and starts yelling at me. This can go on for anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour. I guess they miss me when I’m gone.
Actual conversation with my dog:
The scene: I’m in the kitchen, cutting up an apple. Max joins me.
Max: Pretty please? I love apples.
Me: No. I’m not sharing. Mine!
Max: But… Please?
Me: I don’t know why you ask. I don’t share with you and have no intention of starting now.
Me: Hope springs eternal?
Me: Are you ever going to give it up?
Me: But the answer won’t change…
Max: That’s ok. I’ll wait.
Me: Wait for what?
Max: It’s just a matter of time…
Me: *drops a chunk of apple*
Max: See? You always drop stuff.
Isaiah is happily singing to the dog…
Dusty, Dusty! I loooooooove you! Dusty, DUUUSTY! I loooove you to my TOOOOOOOES!!!!
He’s emphasizing his words with grand hand gestures and stretching his feet out in front of him, showing Dusty his toes and how far they are from the rest of him. He must really love Dusty!
There was a large bug flying through the living room. Dusty was lounging in the middle of the floor when he spotted it, rolled to his belly and lay there, alert, waiting for an opportunity to strike. After a brief moment, Thomas noticed the bug. His head popped up and his whole body stiffened as he watched from his perch on the couch. Seconds later, he leapt off the couch, flying toward the bug. The cat’s swift movement caused Dusty to spring into action, as well. Soon, the bug had landed in a corner and found itself trapped, with a dog on one side and a cat on the other, both poised to attack at a moment’s notice. When it attempted to make its escape, it met its doom–Dusty says it tasted delicious.
I’ve always loved animals. I grew up with various pets. Isaiah has been taking after me in that area and also adores animals. He calls all our pets “his” and spends as much time with them as they allow. It totally makes his day when one of them settles in his lap or sits on the floor in his room at bedtime.
We adopted Dusty when Isaiah was only a few months old. They were instant friends and have continued to stick together ever since. Dusty adores Isaiah and tolerates just about everything that Isaiah can do to him.
Max is a little older, so he puts up with more silliness than Dusty at times. He pretty much lets me do anything, as long as he’s getting attention or a treat. This means that he’s easy to dress up to join in adventures when Isaiah is playing. Once he’s dressed for the game, he happily trots along behind Isaiah, playing along.
Thomas is my cat. He’s 16 years old and has already been through one childhood, so he’s very patient. He sleeps on the foot of Isaiah’s bed at night and crawls into his lap when he’s sad or tired.
Isaiah and I spent my birthday hanging out together and having fun. Since the weather was nice, we were able to spend a good bit of it playing outside.
Isaiah wanted to blow bubbles, so we brought those out, then discovered that the wind had picked up and it was almost impossible to do it. He got over it pretty quickly and he brought out a stuffed dog to play with.
I put Isaiah in the tree I used to climb for a picture. He thought it was wonderful, so when I pulled him back out, he promptly climbed back up. He narrated every step along the way, telling himself what he needed to do to get into the tree. Once he got up there, he was pretty proud of himself and waved at me for pictures.
We headed off to look for sticks for his dog and I found a boxelder bug to take a picture of. Isaiah insisted that I needed to take “lots” of pictures, so while I was doing that, he sat down by some sticks with his dog. He gave it a stick to “chew” on, then pulled it away. He told it that he couldn’t believe he’d forgotten to bring the dog’s coat outside and that it felt really hot. He said it needed its temperature taken to see if it was sick, then declared that the problem was that the dog was allergic to the stick it was chewing on. He found it a stick that it wasn’t allergic to and life was good. They went off on a hunt for honey, which kept Isaiah busy until it was time for supper.
After supper, we had some ice cream cake that my mom made. Isaiah helped her decorate it this morning and was excited to get to show it to me. He’s decided that he wants ice cream cake for his birthday, too, from now on.
After supper, we took Max for a walk at the track. My mom and Max made their way around the track several times. Isaiah and I only got about one and a half laps because we got stuck at one end playing in the biggest puddle Isaiah had ever seen. I took a couple of pictures of him standing at the edge with a clear reflection, then let him play in it until he was soaked. He ran through it, jumped and splashed. He had a wonderful time!
We had a nice, warm day today. Isaiah made sure to keep nice and busy with all kinds of adventures, indoors and out.
Isaiah’s fun started with an adventure through the wilderness with Max. He pulled out some binoculars (which he calls “goggles”) and a toy hunting knife. With a little help, he had the knife tucked into Max’s collar and raced through the house with his binoculars, looking for things he could cut down with the knife (all pretend). When he found something, he’d jump up and down, wave his hand and yell “Max! Need my knife! Max, come!” Max would trot over and sit patiently while the knife was removed from his collar, used and replaced. I’m not sure who had more fun, between Isaiah’s shrieks of joy and laughter and Max’s tail wagging so hard his whole body shook. I managed to stop the long enough to grab one photo before the game continued.
Next on the list of adventures was a trip to the track for Isaiah to practice riding his bike. He’s been pretty nervous about it, not wanting to ride without someone holding onto him, even with his training wheels. After a while, I convinced him to try it on his own and he discovered that it was actually pretty fun to be in control of the bike. By then, the sun was setting and it was getting cold, so it was time to head for home.
We stopped by to say “hi” to Babe and Trina on our way home. They were both thrilled to see us. Babe was a little miffed that I forgot to bring her any bread, but she survived and was happy to accept the hay that Isaiah scooped off the ground for her. She gave him some kisses and we headed home to get ready for bed.
When I was 15, our family dog, Zach, a funny looking mutt, died suddenly of cancer. I had trained him and showed him in 4-H. He was my best friend. We had been preparing to go to the state fair dog show when he got sick. I ended up going to the state fair alone. When we got Zach, my dad was less than enthusiastic. He doesn’t really like dogs. Well… He didn’t before Zach. He got Zach from some people at our church because my mom had seen him and fallen in love and it was about her birthday. Zach became a huge, important part of my family. Even my dad loved him and enjoyed time with him. When Zach died, my dad said we would never own another dog. Never. He couldn’t deal with the thought of getting attached and losing another.
Well, after seven years as dog owners, DJ and I just couldn’t imagine living without a dog! We begged and pleaded. Promised we’d do alllll the work that comes with dog ownership. We kept getting the same answer, “never again”. One day, we decided to try a new approach. My dad is a pastor. We decided to use that to our advantage. What pastor would refuse to pray about anything? We made a deal with him. He was to pray about getting a dog, then, whatever the answer, we’d drop it. He agreed, promising the answer would still be “no”.
A couple weeks later, my dad gathered us in front of the computer (the desktop was the only one with internet ) and pulled up some puppy pictures. He told us we’d be meeting the breeder the next day and bringing home a puppy. As thrilled as we were to be getting a puppy, both DJ and I felt a little ripped off. I wanted a boxer and he wanted a Jack Russell terrier. My dad had chosen neither. In fact, he’d chosen a breed we knew nothing about! A corgi. The only thing we knew about them was that I’d seen them in the Thanksgiving dog show.
Turns out, after hearing our plea to pray, my dad did just that–and started dreaming about a corgi. My mom teases him that it’s because he has British roots and the queen has corgis. (He tends to be fascinated by anything involving British royalty. ) Beyond the dreams, none of us could figure out why he chose a corgi, but a dog is a dog. We met the breeder and came home with a bundle of energy. Within a couple days, he’d received the name Maxwell Edward. My dad wanted Edward because it’s a British royal name. My mom said that was way too big for such a little ball of fluff that would never grow beyond 30 pounds. She likes giving dogs middle names for when they’re in trouble, so Edward became a middle name. This bundle of energy is commonly known as Max.
Jump forward four years from meeting Max. Isaiah is three and diagnosed with SPD. He is likely somewhere on the autism spectrum. Our lives are full of meltdowns and stimming. Max is still here. Old enough to behave like a mature dog for the first time in his life. He also has a canine sibling, the “furball” Dusty. Dusty is a fireball and always in trouble. We love him anyway. Max plays hard for short periods, then goes back to his adult “duties”. Max is proving to be the best thing in the world for Isaiah. He’s calm when Isaiah is absolutely losing it. He lets Isaiah pet him backwards, play with his ears, put toys on him, snuggle too close and give lots of kisses. When he’s tired of it, he moans and walks away.
Today, I shared a picture of a very teary, post-meltdown Isaiah grinning at Max, who’s sitting just in front of him on an SPD page. A number of parents posted about their corgis and how amazing they are with their SPD kids. Looking back, maybe the choice of corgi wasn’t so random after all. God knew we’d have this quirky little SPD boy who needs a very special dog. He knew how great corgis are for SPD kids. He knew that Max has an amazing personality (the vote for Max over the other puppies was unanimous, something that never happens in my family). I am so insanely grateful that my dad listened to our pleading and God’s messages in his dreams and contacted Max’s breeder. Max has made all our lives happier, but he has completely changed Isaiah’s from what it would be without this furry rock in his life.
Max is quite the dog. He has a huge vocabulary of sounds, each with unique meanings. In the morning, we hear the corgi howl, as he gets his breakfast. He uses this as a greeting at other times, too. When he’s asking for something, he has a sharp bark. When he’s unhappy about something, he grumbles and moans. The list goes on…
Max’s face is just as expressive as his voice. He has a look for everything! Here are just a few of his expressions, captured in less than ten minutes. (Yes, he changes mood that fast some days!)
Our weekend has been pretty uneventful, but I have some random pictures that I’d like to share, just for fun.
Isaiah has started taking his naps on the couch. That seems to be the easiest place for him to settle lately and none of us wants to fight it, since it at least means he’s sleeping. Some of his sleep positions are pretty adorable, so I’ve been taking pictures most days.
I have a bunch of horse encyclopedias, as well as one each of dogs and cats, that Isaiah has been admiring from a distance for a while now. I decided to pull one down for him to look at while I was working on scanning pictures today. He was so excited about the big pictures of horses! Every page brought cheers and excited commentary on the contents.
My mom and I took Isaiah to the rodeo grounds to take some pictures. We didn’t get to stay long because we accidentally found a hornet’s nest and my mom got a nasty sting. We did get a couple really cute shots before giving up and going home to put bentonite clay on the sting, though.
Dusty had a minor run-in with a sticky plant outside the other day. By the time he got back to the house, it was wrapped so tightly in his very long hair that we couldn’t cut it out without cutting his ear, too, so we got him in for an emergency visit to his groomer. Since the weed was tangled to the skin, she had to basically shave his ear. Obviously, she didn’t want him to look terrible, so she made them match. I think he’s adorable! I wanted to get a picture right after his trim, but he wouldn’t be still long enough for me to frame the shot. I finally caught him resting on the couch earlier today.