Sunday, March 7, 2010

the story of my boy and his dog

For Griffins 6th birthday I bought him a rescue beagle named Amy. Amy was from somewhere in North Georgia, and "housebroken". My friend Brian worked in a vets office and warned me to do research on all the dogs I was considering...I told him nonsense....this dog was the dog for us. I had spent a solid 30 minutes with her outside of Petsmart, walking the parking lot. She was by far the saddest, cutest dog there. My dad was sold on a similar beaglish dog that was a little more mature..but Amy came home with us. We tied a big red bow around her neck, drove Griffin over and had him wait on the front porch while we brough her out. She immediately connected with him, lovingly licking his sweet little face. He patted her head gently and licked her head back to welcome her to our family in her language. It was one of the sweetest moments as a parent I will ever witness. His love for that dog was instant and remains permanently imposed in the back of my brain, everytime I think I have had enough of her antics. He fondly named her Ashlee after a pretty older blond girl he thought very highly of.

Ashlee has been quite a test of patience, and if it were not for Griffin's die hard loyalty to her, she would be long gone.

Ashlee in Griffin's own words:
"Ashlee is very nice and she doesn't bite. She needs a lot of love, and loves to meet new people. let her lick you, just do it, don't get scared just let her. She's not going to hurt you. She does it cause she loves every person in this world pretty much. and she likes to sometimes sniff, that's pretty much all the time. and don't let her slip free from a lead or have a crack in a fence, because if she runs out it's gonna be hard to catch her, cause she kind of jogs a little bit and then stops and then jogs a little bit and then stops. its kinda like deja vu'. you have to get her in the car. and she's very nice. and dont let her get caught up under your feet because you could possibly trip. she likes to sniff in the direction where the other dogs are. thats usually what she does. otherwise, she's down with us having fun.she always snuggles with me, and licks me when i'm feeling down. Ashlee will run from sara. she is perfect for little boys that really love dogs. her head is brown. her ears are long. her back is black, her neck is white, her belly is white also. she's got beautiful brown eyes and a cute little wagging tale. and never leave legos out on the floor, her tail can demolish them and make them go all over the floor! and that is all." -Griffin Mark

She was always kind and gentle with the kids, but had a dark undercurrent of mischief as soon as you looked away. She got settled in and began stealing our clothes and toys and stuffed animals to make tunnels and burrows under the beds. She unleashed her howling bark, which she relentlessly wielded for hours and hours on end at the most inopportune times. She even recieved a barking ticket. An actual barking ticket. She dug up our back yard with a million little holes, peed EVERYWHERE, and savored the bathroom trash on a regular basis, and took off on exploring sprees everytime the front door opened. I hated her. Griffin would get very upset when I would call her "stupid dog" as I was steam cleaning pee, or chasing her down the block. We discussed getting rid of her very seriously many times, but Griffin always won out in the end.

We crated her for over a year, and finally she is broken of all her terrible habits. She is not a disciplined dog, she licks and jumps on visitors, and she lays around on the furniture. However, she obliges Sara's games of constant provocation and chase, and rough ear pulls and head smacks without reacting. The warmth of her ears and softness of her coat snuggled up tight have been much needed medicine many times the past few months. We have all grown to need her in our own unique ways. She is still especially connected to Griffin as if she knows she was brought into our family to fill a special need for him. He is a tough little guy and there are times that even as his mom, I am at a loss about how to help him. At times she is the only spirit that can get through to him and bring him back to himself. I have writing, Grant has coaches and being the class clown, Sara has the attention of everyone....and Griffin has Ashlee.


  1. Awwahh. It is amazing the how a dog can fill a hole that you didn't even know you had. I think that their unconditional love is something that we all can learn a lesson from. Makes me miss your kiddos even more! Cathi