Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hellacious Hounds and Other Furry Quadripeds

Our Hellacious Hound is a moody fellow. I suppose this can be attributed to his age: he's more or less a teenager in dog years. When he's in a positive space he's waggy and cuddly and generally sunny. But in a flash he can become growly and nip at your flanks. He is a wonderful watchdog but at the same time a barking nuisance -- and his bark is loud and shrill.

This is the HH we love:

This is the HH who disturbs the crap out of us:


When you have a kid with severe sensory issues, a kid who can't bear loud noises or disruptive, unpredictable behavior, a dog like Hellacious does not always work. And yet, we adopted him (adoption can be a bit like Russian Roulette), gave him a warm, safe home. We love him in spite of his character deficits -- just as we love each other in spite of OUR character deficits (and all four of us have some, believe you me). And you know what? He loves us back. We're his family. His home.

I can't bear the thought of betraying him by taking him back to the shelter. And yet. Benjy often talks about the dog he wishes he had. The dog who is all his, who is always gentle and quiet and sunny. Who never nips at his heels or growls. Whose only desire is a boy to love.

(Remember her?)

I wish I could get him that dog -- if she exists. But I don't think that dog and OUR dog would mix -- and as imperfect as our is, he's OURS. Benjy would be a pretty sad guy if Hellacious were suddenly gone.

So we'll make do with the sunny/barky/growly/waggy hound we have. We'll wield the corrective spray bottle. And sometimes, when we're not cuddling with our extremely fluffy guy, we'll all just have to plug our ears. 

Chocolate helps at times like that.

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