Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Friend or Foe?

Trey and I have a dog named Winston. He is a Border Collie, and if you know anything about the breed, they are great at herding sheep and known for being the "smartest" dogs around. We were in college when Trey decided to get him. The conversation went something like this:

"Meade, I think I want to get a dog."
"Awwww...look at this dog for sale in Albertville Alabama. You could get him Friday when we go visit my parents. He's a Border Collie **quick google search** aww, look Trey, Border Collies are the smartest dogs in the whole world. You should name him Winston."

So I must admit, although I'll only do it once, I am partly at fault.

I was instantly drawn to the cutest dog there and scooped him up in my arms. The owner said, "That one has the personality to make a great working dog. I can tell he's smart. I don't know if he'd make a very good pet."

BUT I'm a woman. And if you missed it, he was the cutest one there. Enough said. "We are going to go with this one, thanks, pay the man Trey." And that's how we got the "smartest" dog in the whole world. Man's best friend. Right? I'll let you decide. Here is an account of memorable moments in our frienemy's life.

1) At 5 months old- Winston swallows a beer bottle cap. We call the vet who tells us to look through his poop and if it doesn't pass in 2 weeks, bring him in. We look through poop. We are PEOPLE looking through a DOG's poop. And I don't want to get stuck on the poop because this isn't that kind of blog, but do you know how much puppies poop? Evidently every time you go outside, if you're Winston. So about 4 times a day I would go over to Trey's house (Trey is an engineer and had class pretty much all day and night) and I would examine the poop. 2 weeks of this. Nothing. When Winston started throwing up, we took him to the vet, and they stuck an endoscope down his throat and pulled it out. $550. FOE.

2) At 7 months old- Winston can already: sit, lie down, jump, roll over, play dead, shake, high five, turn around, AND turn around the "other way". Good boy Winston! FRIEND.

3) At 8 months old- we took Winston to the dog park for the first time. We got lots of comments about how well behaved our dog was. People petted Winston and he loved it. He even played with the other dogs. It exhausted him, and he slept for 2 full days afterward. Thanks for making us proud Winston. FRIEND.

4) When he was a year old- we took him to Bear Paw (my parent's cottage in North Carolina). We trusted him because he had been so great with people! "He doesn't need a leash," I remember saying. Soon after, Winston was chasing a man down the hill, biting his ankles. Trey chased after Winston, as the man shouted obscenities at Trey. Something about "getting our dog under control." Thanks Winston. FOE.

5) When he was a year and a half old- my grandmother passed away. As I sat by the fire and cried, I remember Winston coming over, curling up in my lap, and licking away my tears. We sat and cuddled. With every tear that fell from my eye, Winston answered with a dry tongue. He wouldn't even let a tear get to my cheek. This eventually made me laugh, and I genuinely felt better. FRIEND.

6) 4 months ago- I had an awful stomach virus and felt like I was going to die. Winston took every step that I did. He would lie at my feet, run to the bathroom with me, follow me back to bed, and lie at my feet again. He was like my little nurse. It was so sweet. FRIEND.

7) 3 months ago- Trey and I decided to go shopping. Normally, we would leave Winston outside, but it was very cold, and we felt sorry for him. So, we thought we'd leave him in our bedroom. After "doggy-proofing" the room, we left. We were gone all day. When we returned, we opened the door to find our sweet dog asleep at the foot of our bed. WOW! We can do this more often. FRIEND.

8) 2 months ago- It was supposed to be one of the coldest days of the year, and since Winston proved himself a month ago, Trey decided to leave Winston inside for the day. I was the first to get home, and opened the door to dog. Oh no, Winston is hiding under the bed. And then I see it, a pile of poop so large that my first thought was, "Ok, who let the horse in?" Not only was there poop all over the floor. Winston stepped in it, ran around the room, jumped up on our comforter, pushed the comforter away, and walked across our white sheets. Oh, crap. Literally. FOE.

9) 2 weeks ago- It had been 2 months since his screw up, and I was sure that Winston had learned his lesson. The grass was wet, and I was just running to Chick-fil-a for a biscuit...he will be fine. I was gone exactly 8 minutes. When I returned, Winston had chewed my glasses in half and licked clean, a whole tub of Vicks Vapor Rub. Is that even safe? Evidently it's fine because the dog lived. FOE.

10) Today- I came home from the grocery store, threw the groceries onto the stove, let Winston in, and went to the mailbox to get the mail. When I walked back inside, the whole kitchen was filled with smoke. "Where is all this smoke coming from? Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. What's on fire? Trey's going to kill me. Oh my gosh." Turns out Winston had curiously put his paws up on the stove to get a closer look at the groceries, and turned on one of the eyes. The plastic bag had completely melted to the stove and the potato at the bottom of the bag was completely black. In one minute, the dog almost burned down the house. Thank goodness it was the bag with the potatoes and not the lighter fluid. FOE.

Winston definitely keeps us on our toes, but I can't imagine life without our little man.