Before we had our first human baby in October of 2009, we got our first fur baby in August of 2005. For about a year, I’d been dreaming of a Lhasa Apso puppy. I’d done research and found out they don’t shed (my husband has bad allergies), they have friendly dispositions, they are loyal, they don’t get bigger than 20 pounds and they are good with kids. Plus they are so incredibly cute!
The day the ad appeared in the newspaper with Lhasa Apso puppies 20 miles away, I was on it. I told my husband we’d go to just look at the puppies. He agreed to go while giving me a knowing smile that I wouldn’t be able to leave without one. We picked Buckles over his brother and sister because he came over and chewed on my husband’s shoestring. He curled up in my lap on the way back to town where we headed straight to PetSmart. We had no supplies for him.
His name came from a street. For a few years we’d drive by Buckles Street and remark how that’d be a good name for a dog. When I was pregnant, we teased our families that we were driving around looking at street signs to think of names for the baby.
Buckles’ cuteness was so infectious that my in-laws decided as soon as they saw him that they wanted to get his brother. We went with them the next night and picked up the other boy who would come to be Shadow.
The two puppies were fun together. We’d visit one another and watch them play. It was fun! Both dogs worked their way into our hearts, to say the least. Each June my mother-in-law hosts a party for their birthday (June 25). She even put together a cookbook filled with dog food recipes that showcases the boys on the cover.
When we found out we were pregnant, we wondered how Buckles would feel about a new member joining his pack. He did really well. He had to get used to her. At first he completely kept his distance, but within a couple of months, he was sniffing her. She was smitten with him.
Buckles is the motivator that got my child moving in almost all forms from rolling to crawling to walking. His name was one of her first words. She has always been fascinated by him. He’s been patient with her. I have many photos of the two of them together. Now when I sit on the floor to play with Lexiana, Buckles comes running with his ball so he can play, too. He’s been great at leaving her toys alone. She’s learned what toys are his and will insist on handing them to him or putting them in his bed if he’s not interested.
They both have their moments. He can get grumpy with her if he’s trying to sleep and she’s wanting to play. She can get overly affectionate with him. But, mostly they get along well. She thinks he’s hilarious. I think he loves her just as much. When she cries hard (which happens less and less often as she gets older), he comes to be near her. He’ll sit and let her name all his parts from ears to eyes to nose to paws to collar. He endures her hugs. And sometimes he even endures her pretend feeding him a play baby bottle.
A few months ago, she started giving him dog treats. I think she’s as excited as he is. If she could reach the dog treats, he’d be on chubby pooch.
I think of them both as my kids. One is easier than the other. I keep his food and water bowls filled, let him out to take care of business and he’s happy. The other is a bit more maintenance right now. But, watching the two of them together is priceless. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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