I’m sitting here watching him with my son, a boy and his dog, watching Little Bill. Actually, my country son pronounces it “Bee-ull”. Two syllables. Anyway, back to the dog. You see, I’m a “dog person” who married someone who is not.
After going with me to a dog park and pretending to enjoy himself on our first date (if he hadn’t there would not have been a second), James informed me much later that he could never live with a dog in the house. They smell. They stand too close. They bark and shed and are “gross”. Anything “dog” my husband thought was foolish. A bakery for dogs opened downtown; “stupid” he proclaimed. Every so often I would gauge his willingness by suggesting we rescue a dog, or go to Pet Helpers. “As long as it doesn’t live at our house, you can adopt any dog you want”, he’d say.
This went on until our son slowly but surely developed a full-blown obsession for dogs. He learned that dogs say “woof woof”. He lived for the moments he could see our neighbor’s dog and was always on the lookout for “Bups” when we were out and about. I sat back and watched as my husband’s heart slowly, slowly began to soften. Too bad he didn’t fixate on the new Volvo station wagons…
Well, the rest is history. James saw Meaty the bulldog on Rob and Big one night, proclaimed English Bulldogs the only acceptable dog for the Gardner household, I spent months trying to find us one that didn’t cost $4,000, then a friend swooped in and told us about Bettis.
Bettis, the charmer. He’s 4 and has to be the best dog in the world. My husband agrees. And Brooks, well, Bettis has a magical hold over him. Anytime he’s in a bad mood, I tell him Bettis needs him. He’s learning to “take care” of him and loves helping me feed him and hold the leash while we go for walks. If we’re having too good a time at the playground and he starts to throw a “don’t wanna leave fit” I tell him we’ve gotta go home and see Bettis. He stops, picks himself up off the ground and comes along willingly. Every Mom needs a Bettis.