I used to be a cat person. Don’t get me wrong; I still love cats. My sweet cat Opie, whom I had eleven years, was one of my greatest treasures. I am an animal lover in general, but I just wasn’t particularly drawn to dogs until the summer of 2008 when this boy came into our lives and stole my heart.
Melissa (my sister/roommate) and I had decided we might want to get a Boxer after Melissa went on a trip with our cousin and stayed with some friends of his who had three adult Boxers in their apartment. Melissa fell in love with those dogs and came home telling me how great Boxers were and how they had such fun personalities. (It feels strange to say “personality” in regards to a dog, but you know what I mean.) So I was fine with getting one, too. It sounded like a good idea to me.
We didn’t plan on getting a puppy, but rather we planned to adopt an adult Boxer from Louisiana Boxer Rescue. It turned out that we met Sayid at our cousin’s house and he was the last one of his litter. He was seven weeks old and ready for adoption. Our mom was with us that day, and after telling us numerous times throughout our lives, and kicking it up a notch after we told her that our future Boxer would need to be welcome at Family Night, how she would never welcome a dog inside her house, she fell in love at first sight with Sayid and said to him – and I quote – “You could come to my house for Family Night!” That sealed the deal. Melissa and I said, “We’ll take him!” We came home with him that day. We woke up that morning to go to a cousin’s birthday party and came home with a puppy. Needless to say, we had to stop at Petco on the way home for some basic puppy supplies.
We had ridden with Mama to our cousin’s party, so when we returned to my parents’ house, Daddy was in his recliner watching TV. Melissa and I carried Sayid inside and said, “Look what we got today!” Daddy just looked at us and replied, “Hmm.” Whichever of us had him in our arms walked over and put him in Daddy’s lap. Again – “Hmm.” Sayid took a little nap in Daddy’s arms. When we went to leave and go back to our house, Sayid peed on my parents’ kitchen floor. Daddy just watched all of this taking place, and with a little more emphasis, added his usual “Hmm!” Clearly, Daddy was a bit skeptical.
The puppy phase was a challenge, but completely worth it. Puppy kindergarten was a success. Also, I must give credit where credit is due. Melissa has been great at training him to do all sorts of tricks and commands. Sayid is very smart and has learned a lot, but the vast majority of the credit for teaching him goes to Melissa. Sayid goes to Family Night every week at my parents’ house. He goes to my parents’ house nearly every time Melissa or I go over there. He is over there so much that it actually feels strange to be over there without Sayid. He knows Grandnanny is good for treats (and he eats far too many of them at their house) and Grandpappy is always good for a game of tug of war. At the mention of their names, he’s ready to go. In fact, I once mentioned to him that we were going to Grandnanny & Grandpappy’s house, but then got busy with something else and ended up not going. Now when I mention going to their house, he follows me around the house and looks me right in the eye until we leave. He’s not going to let me fool him twice! Not when it comes to something serious like a trip to Grandnanny’s and Grandpappy’s house!
He always is happy to see us, along with anyone in our family or circle of friends. He always makes us laugh with those goofy Boxer mannerisms, like sitting in people’s laps or maneuvering his body into a kidney bean shape when he just can’t contain his joy. His little nub tail can wag so fast it reminds me of a hummingbird. He snores and he’s gassy (that part is endearing only to his family, I’m sure!) and he’s a big clown. He lets his brother, Shaq, who is an 18 year old cat, drink from his water bowl first while he patiently waits his turn, even though Shaq has 24 hour access to his own water bowl. (Usually he waits patiently. Sometimes he fusses at Shaq if he’s extra thirsty.) If he’s extra tired, he will put himself to bed early. His favorite place in the house to relax is my bed. He has a toy box in the living room and I usually end up gathering five or six various toys to throw back in the box at the end of every day.
Sayid is absolutely one of the great joys in my life. I wonder sometimes how he could have been the last one left in his litter. How could someone pass him up? He’s beautiful. The only thing I can think of is that he may have shown some aggressive tendencies. He likes other dogs, but prior to actually meeting another dog, he sure does come across as mean. But I think God knew he’d fit perfectly in our family, so maybe He saved him for us. Sayid is a gift. To know him is to love him. And to belong to him, like I do, is to be blessed immensely.