Happy Dog Appreciation Day

This is Kevin. He thinks he is the library’s mascot. I don’t have the heart to tell him he’s not really, that he’s just a handsome good boy who can rock a bandanna.

Kevin is probably 9 years old. I rescued him from a shelter about 7 years ago. It’s been a weird relationship since day one. Right before Christmas I lost my dog Lexi. It was terrible and devastating and I vowed to never have another dog again. When life after the holidays resumed I realized that I was lying to myself. I had become a dog person. I needed a dog. So I started watching the APL’s website, searching for my next companion. One day I found her-she was an older golden lab. I was looking for an older dog and lab’s are known family dogs. I needed a dog that was good with kids and other dogs since I spent so much time with my sister’s family. Excited, my sister and I and my 6 and 8-year-old nephews headed down to meet her. I found her kennel and approached to meet her. Everything was fine until the six-year-old approached with me. This sweet looking old girl turned in to Cujo at the sight of him. Teeth bared, snarls, lunging at the cage. Yikes!
We quickly backed away and found ourselves in front of a fluffy little ginger dog. He was sitting sitting like a champ, staring at us with those golden eyes. He was practically a puppy and as Conor was OPENING HIS KENNEL I was saying no. But it was too late. I was going to meet Rusty.

The boys and I waited in the meet and greet group for Rusty. My sister ran home to get her dogs. This dog was nuts. He ran around the room completely ignoring all the humans and all the toys. His only interest seemed to be peeing on the walls (this has not changed). The boys were desperate to get his attention, but nothing was working on this spazz. Exasperated, Lucas, the 8-year-old, finally turned to me and said “I don’t think his name is Rusty.” Good point kid. He continued, “It must be something else. Maybe it’s Kevin.” You guys, I am not kidding. This dog’s ears perked up and he came over to us and sat! His name was KEVIN. Now, Lucas didn’t really pull the name out of thin air. They had recently seen Home Alone for the first time. My dog is named for Kevin McAllister…

At this point I had no choice. I knew this stupid dog was coming home with me, despite knowing that he had already been adopted and returned TWICE. Yup. I willingly brought him home. I immediately regretted this decision. For days he did nothing but bark in my face and poop all over the house. I discovered under the piles and piles of fluff he had mange. I learned on day one that he was afraid of cars, or walks, or noise, I don’t even know. He refused to take walks, but he let me stick him in the stationary tub for a weekly mange bath. This dog was a neurotic mess and a mystery to me.

Kevin’s first days. Turns out that expression is just his face.

I spent months cursing my nephews, crying, and walking around with hot dogs in my pockets desperately trying to get the hundreds of dollars I had spent on personal training to finally stick. And by training, I mean, going for a walk. I learned a lot about Kevin. Mainly, he does not care about your hot dogs if he doesn’t want to do something. It took what felt like forever, but eventually the baths ended and walks became a daily activity. Now, 7 years on, he still does not care what I think or say to him. His only trick is to sit like a champ. He would live in the car if I let him. He LOVES the vet, even when she is shoving charcoal down his gullet because he ate 3 lbs of Christmas melting chocolate (he was not sorry then, he is not sorry now, and he would totally do it again, vet visit and all). He is the master of the side-eye, loves sleeping in the fireplace, and he actually WANTS me to pet him sometimes. He is still weird and neurotic and frustrating, but I love him to death and can’t image life without this weirdo.

So, if you are dog lover, you might like some dog-related reading. https://dogtails.dogwatch.com/2019/06/04/2019-summer-reading-list-for-dog-lovers/

https://barkpost.com/life/dog-books/

Happy Dog Appreciation Day!

~Megan (and Kevin)

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