A bit more than a year ago we watched “Marley & Me” as a family. After seeing the movie and drying our tears, we decided that it was time for us to get a dog. We had other reasons. One big reason was that Wyatt was deathly afraid of dogs of any size. He would run screaming and freak out for even the smallest of cute puppies. Another reason was that I grew up with pets. Be it goldfish, cats, dogs or even chickens, we always had pets. I didn’t grow up on a farm mind you. My mom is just an animal lover. I have two people in my immediate family that are horribly allergic to cats and that was proven the one time we had a kitten for about a week. Within that short span of time, Wyatt and Rachel both were having asthma attacks, pink eye and you name it! We were able to find a good owner for the kitty but I was let down.
We discussed all the above and we agreed that it was the right time. Now, I am not at all a fan of small breed dogs. To me, they are not dogs but more of a lap or couch ornament. I mean no offence to any small breed dog owners, that is just my feeling on them. We decided we would do like the movie and get a Yellow Lab. We started researching things like how they behave, training, diet, and other needs. We both understood that Labs need a lot of people time. They are very social dogs and have loads of energy. This wouldn’t be the ideal situation, but due to some detailed conversations with trainers and other owners, we felt like we could really make it work.
We found Lexie after responding to an ad in the local paper’s website. We saw the litter of yellows, blacks and a brown Lab. We wanted yellow and found one that was just darling. After a few weeks, we were able to pick her up and take her home. Lexie was a name that we were throwing around with several other options but when we really saw her, it just had to be her name. She was so cute! Perfect nose, great coat, and some brilliant, yellow eyes. That feature alone garnered the most attention and continues still. We bought her a full-size kennel and had her in there overnight and while Rachel and I were working. We played with her as much as possible and loved her to bits.
It’s simply amazing how that cute little baby dog really stayed little for about 15 minutes. Then she was suddenly full-grown and a monster of a dog! Soon, Wyatt began having a hard time playing with her as much as her tail alone would beat him down! He still loved her to death and liked to play around with her for short spurts of time. I would play fetch with her for 30 – 45 minutes at a time until she just wore out and plop down panting her tongue off. We really loved our Lexie. This love would soon turn to love-hate as she displayed some questionable behavior.
Her first big offence, besides some digging and chewing on the swing set, was when she chewed up our main internet service cable. The access box is on the side of the house and locked up. It’s about 4 foot from the ground and there’s several other boxes nearby, including telephone and other cabling for the satellite and electrical. Somehow she knew what target would elicit the most anger and frustration from me. The repair bill for this instance was $20. Over the year or so we’ve had Lexie, she’s cost us over $120 in just internet repairs! We bought Lexie for $100… A few times she left the cables themselves alone and chewed the little coupler that lets the two cables connect. Those “only” cost $3 each.
Lexie’s next crime was that she scratched through the drywall next to her kennel in the kitchen. Through the drywall, through the insulation and reaching the outside boards. This is a hole about 6-8″ around. This has not yet been repaired, however we’ve since moved the kennel away from any walls. Throughout the year, Lexie had chewed and tore through the thick plastic flooring of her kennel. Now she gets to rest on the bars and the cold floor. To preserve our hardwood floors, we had to move the kennel out of the kitchen and onto the front door landing that has tiling. In doing so, since that floor is somewhat slippery, she managed to nudge the kennel over far enough to have access to the carpet. Need I go on here?
Now Lexie, our sweet doggie, lives in the garage. We let her out to run and relieve herself from time to time, but she is in no way allowed out and about without supervision.
I reached out to several folks to find out if they could make a better home for Lexie. Since most of them are familiar with her hijinks, I wasn’t surprised when no one was too excited about it. My Uncle Charlie, who lives on a farm in Washington State, agreed to take her. He’s been pretty excited about it and we’re currently trying to work out her transportation. I think she will have so much more fun with them! She will have tons of space and be able to really be a good dog. It will be a transition to go from being mostly an inside dog to an outside, but I think she’ll be fine.
I feel kind of bad. I think that had we really considered things, we might have made another choice for a pet. I really love Lexie. She has a piece of my heart. She always will. I wish it would’ve been a better situation. Perhaps, in the future we will give the dog thing another chance and choose a more appropriate breed. I think Wyatt and Rachel will agree that Lexie has really made some great memories with us and she will be missed.