Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Hondo the Hound
It took 34 years, but I finally got my first dog. My parents never liked pets. They seemed to think they would make the house smell and/or go to the bathroom indoors. One time, my sister and I tried to sneak in two stray cats that we found outside. That was met with much anger by my Dad. Consequently, we never had a dog or a cat, or a fish or a bird for that matter.
Now that we have three kids that are starting to grow up a little, I want to make sure they enjoy that idyllic American childhood that includes baseball, sports, camping and having their own dog. I missed out, so I want to make sure they don't.
Melissa and I already have two cats. Our middle child Alexander wants to love them so much. Our male cat Corgan does not share the love. Alexander still tries to sneak in some hugs or head rubs here and there, but Corgan's hissing and occasional paw swipes don't make it a good fit. He still tries with our female cat Sophie, and because she is more relaxed he is able to sneak in some hugs and carries before she scatters away.
Since the cats were not an option, the next logical choice was to look for a dog. A Labrador retriever seemed like a good fit temperament wise, but after checking on two of them, it seemed like their size and energetic disposition was a little much for the young age of the kids. So we moved onto a beagle. Smaller and size and energetic but relaxed, it seemed a good fit.
We initially had trouble finding one. Most rescues have a serious list of requirements, including no kids under the age of five. So that disqualified us from most. It left us with the Humane League and Lancaster SPCA. One day, they posted two new beagles on their website, but someone swooped and in and took them before we could make it down town.
We had sort of given up on finding one for a week or two before they posted two more on their site. Not wanting to waste any time, we went down on my lunch break to check them out. I was thinking that we would just look them over and make a decision later, never thinking that we would end up adopting him before we left.
At first glance he wasn't all that enamored with us. I guess you can chalk that up to the stray/shelter process. But he wasn't outright angry or mean and he seemed to at least tolerate us. Not wanting to miss out again, we just took the dive and said we would take him.
With our last two kids, while we were in total agreement over their names, they were technically Melissa's choices. So I wasn't going to be denied with naming the dog. Much like the kids, we had a ton of girl names that we liked but never had more than a few boy names.
I always liked the name Hondo. It came from the old John Wayne western movie of the same name and there was also a guy that played for the Celtics back in the day named John Havlicek that went by the nickname Hondo. Al Bundy from Married...with Children also loved the movie. It seemed to me to be a good old western style tough guy nickname and I loved it. Thankfully, Melissa relented and that's his name.
Hopefully he will grow on us and we will grow on him. He already follows us around the house from the kitchen to the living room and back and forth again, never wanting to leave our side. I think that's a good sign. Now the boys (and girl, if she wants), have a dog of their very own they can grow up with.