Before we had kids, I remember Mike and I wondering could we ever love our own child as much as our dog? There was no way that he or she would be cuter than Dexter. Not to mention his loyalty, his companionship, his charm. We were in doggie la-la-land, and he had it good. Treats, long walks, tummy rubs, sleeping in our bed. It was doggy utopia.
Then Olivia came. Dexter who? Treat money was spent on diapers. Long walks were now with a stroller not a leash. Tummy rubs? I had to hold the baby. And the few precious hours of sleep I got were not going to be spent with a smelly dog, for we no longer had time or money to groom him as often ourselves or professionally. He knew his position in the food chain had changed (there was rarely food in the bowl), and thankfully never took it out on her, instead he started running away.
It was fun, driving the streets of our neighborhood in my pajamas, on four hours of sleep, hanging a squeaky toy out the window and yelling with my newborn in the back seat. Good times.
Well, thankfully life has improved greatly for Dexter over the past three years. Olivia learned to throw a ball. She started walking and later holding the leash herself. She loved to be outside and even moved to a big bed where there was plenty of room for Dexter.
But best of all was when she started eating. Food fell from the sky in what must have seemed like a dogs version of those raining Skittles commercials. A regular smorgasbord for Dexter, and I was never going to complain for I never had to sweep.
Then came Thomas and it is was like Dexter knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel. He loved on Thomas from the beginning, licking his toes and head, laying next to him on the floor, letting Thomas pull his hair. Never once has he run away, even when the dog bowl was empty. And now it is time for the pay off. Cheerios, black beans, crackers, veggie puffs, cheese, banana bread. Dexter is in dog heaven. And I am glad, for he deserves it. He's a good dog.