14 January 2009

As many of you may know, we have a weimaraner named Scout. We got her 4 1/2 years ago as a puppy, the same week we bought our first home. We named her Jean Louise "Scout" Finch after the character in the book "To Kill a Mockingbird".

That's the short version of the story.

But, because the Marley and Me movie has recently been released (I have read the book twice, and am highly anticipating my chance to go and see the film), I've been doing some reflecting on the slightly longer version of our own dog's story. I imagine that one of the best ways to communicate Scout's story is in the form of lists. Let's begin:
List #1: Things My Dog Has Eaten
  • We went out for lunch as a family today, and when we returned, we found an empty 40-flavor Jelly Belly box on the play room floor. I sure hope Oliver will still use his potty chair if we don't have any more "dommo beans".
  • Along with the jelly beans, she also consumed one yellow crayon (I'll note here that she did have the good sense not to eat the wrapper.)
  • In her lifetime (that we know of), Scout has successfully swiped -and swallowed in one gulp - a total of 3 full sticks of butter from the dinner table.
  • She has also snatched meat from the grill on countless occasions, including - though not limited to - 8 raw hamburger patties, several cooked pork chops, and hot dogs of varying temperatures.
  • Once she ate my mother-in-law's lipstick out of her purse, without actually getting any on her lips.
  • Strangely enough, she was also tempted by a sealed bottle of prenatal vitamins I had several years ago. I came home from work one evening to find the bottle open and empty, and Scout, with little pink pills stuck all over her face and body. (You see, when Scout is really enjoying something, she likes to roll on her back on top of it. We think she must have licked the pills, then rolled on them, then forgotten about them.) That time I called the vet and actually had to force feed her teaspoonfuls of hydrogen peroxide every 5 minutes until she "coughed" them all up.
  • When Oliver was born, things really got bad for a while. Right away she started doing things while we were gone to let us know how she felt about being replaced. One night we came home from being out to find an entire bag of brown sugar scattered (and rolled on) all over our shag rug.
  • Brown sugar wasn't the only thing, though. She also trained us never to leave infant formula any less than six feet off the ground and behind closed cabinet doors. She ate that stuff like it was candy. We started to hide it like it was gold.
  • By the time Oliver was 3 months old, she was just shameless. We left her downstairs for just a few minutes one evening and returned to find that she'd eaten a chocolate cake we'd set out for dessert, while standing on my beautiful, white, Ethan Allen Chair (the one nice piece of furniture I'll probably ever buy - at least until Scout goes on to her reward.)
  • We'd really made it clear to Scout that night how we felt about the chocolate cake incident. Less than an hour later though, she made it clear to us how she felt about things by eating a bowl of ravioli and smearing it on the freshly cleaned, $900 chair.

List #2: Things My Dog Has Destroyed
  • Scout chewed the heel off a new pair of beautiful shoes before I ever got a chance to wear them.
  • She has destroyed her weight in gold's worth of breast pumping equipment.
  • We once arrived home to find our leather sofa on the other side of the room, with a great big tear in one seat cushion.
  • Another time, we came home to find that Scout was feeling insecure about leaving her bone lying around, so she'd decided to bury it in our mattress.
  • Once, we went on vacation to Florida and left Scout with my sister and brother-in-law. We received a phone call two days into our trip that Rebecca went on a walk with their greyhound and didn't take Scout with her. This is how Scout reacted:
  • When Christine and Steve came to visit at Christmastime when Oliver was newborn, they brought a gift for him and we left it wrapped under the tree while we went out for dinner. When we returned home, Scout had not only unwrapped the gift (an "Ugly Doll" named Ice Bat), but she had torn the ear off of it as well. Ice Bat has been repaired, but he looks like he's had a lobotomy.
  • Scout unwrapped only 6 gifts from our tree this year. She even took some upstairs to unwrap them there.
  • One afternoon in September 2005 I had the day off from work and decided to spend it planting mums in the backyard. It was hot, hard work, but by the end of the day it was well worth it. The backyard looked like an autumn wonderland. The next morning I woke up with on of the most serious cases of poison ivy I've ever had, and Scout and the neighbor dog had dug up and eaten every last mum in the flower bed. I spent the next two weeks in bed with poison ivy and it was years before I had the heart to re-attempt any backyard beautification.
List #3: Reasons We Keep Her Around
  • She terrifies strangers - mostly the bad ones, but we do also have some friends who are just plain scared of dogs. We keep her around for the bad guys.
  • She keeps our toes warm in the winter.
  • I chose a weimaraner in the first place while I was a design student because she coordinated so well with all the plans I had for our home. She is pretty to look at.
  • She'll lick your feet if you like that sort of thing. Sometimes I think that's the only reason Rebecca comes to my house.
  • Now that she's been reassured that she has not been replaced, Scout is the best dog a little boy could ever have. She lets Oliver tug on her ears and climb all over her while she contentedly chews her bone. He stirs her food with a big wooden spoon while she eats, and she makes room for him. She plays soccer with him in the yard and they chase balloons together in the playroom. She loves him.
And finally,
List #4: Some Highlights (and Lowlights?) of Our Time With Her

Brand new to the family.

After an "accident". (And by "accident", I mean, "Ryan and I thought it would be fun to have a second dog, so we chose a weim/chocolate lab mix at the Humane Society. Heidi was adorable and sweet, but only lasted a week and a half because the two did not get along.")

Not long after that, we decided to enroll Scout in obedience classes. That's a post all in itself. Here is a photo of her on the day of her graduation. Yes, I was a stay-at-home Mom to a weimaraner and I made a mortar board for her out of a cereal box and some aluminum foil. No, I am not proud of it.

This was taken a few days after we brought Oliver home from the hospital.
Scout didn't get that the Moses basket was not for her.

She had good moments with baby Oliver too.
And, she *almost* always respected nap time as quiet time.

This is just a funny picture I took because I have no idea how this happened.
I'm guessing she must have jumped through the swing.

And finally, a photo of Scout since she has accepted, nay, embraced her new life as Oliver's dog.

Have a lovely day, friends!


Social Work Sara said...

I just found your blog. It has been a long time. It is great to see that you are doing well. I have thought of you and your family often, and have at times found myself praying for you. I hope that this new year brings you all blessings.

Love from Alaska,
Sara Hart

ps. I am an aunt now. Becca was married in 2007 and gave birth to my nephew in December of that year. I love it!

Tracy said...

Hehe. I love those pictures and stories. The story of Scout on the roof makes me chuckle every time I read it and see the picture.

holly said...

Are you kidding me? I had no idea of the extent of his trouble making. I can't believe you guys have the patience to keep him inside.

Roger said...

And, how I do remember Scout's good friend Heidi! I am sure she can outrun any Greyhound and she still roams the countryside in Lenawee County (someplace). Memories of her remain on Steff-Ann Drive! :-)

Bev said...

As I recall, besides the lipstick, she inhaled my chocolate-covered coffee beans, and tried to open my zippered billfold. She most likely wanted cash for dessert!! ha

Btw, the jelly beans must be the Michigan jelly beans, huh? ha

She is, however, a beautiful weimeraner specimen!!!!

Christine said...

The fact that Scout and Oliver get along so well is reason enough to keep her, although I have to admit, you guys have more patience than I do. I'm afraid she would have been gone long before O came along if we were in your shoes.f At least she coordinates so well with your home. :)

Did I ever tell you that Cassidy (who, I have to brag, is the BEST dog ever) ate the ear off of Baylor's Ice Bat, Sr.? She NEVER chews things, so I am inclined to think that the Ugly Doll manufacturers lace the Ice Bats' craniums with doggie heroine. So we are well-acquainted with the lobotomy procedures of monsters here, too.

(Now that I think about it, Cass did recently eat my wooden spaghetti turner, so I shouldn't get too smug. But this was only because Jack had shoved it downstairs through the cat door; therefore, she thought it was a doggy toy. Or something.)

Krista said...

I just got here from your most recent post, and let me tell you, I am sick with laughter reading this. She sounds like a wonderful dog, and I totally LOVE the picture of her on the roof. What a character! :)