Archive for May 31st, 2016

The Wonder Dog

Last week I shared about Shiloh (Loving the Beast), and today I introduce, Duke, the Wonder Dog.

If you know our family, or have been reading this blog for awhile, you will know that not everyone in our household had a great love for the Beast. It was a love-hate relationship between the Beast and hubby … she loved him, he hated her. But, in her final year, the hate faded away, and a mutual bond was had.

A few weeks after our household was without our Beast, the unexpected happened when hubby said we needed to get another dog.


He even promised to walk it each day!

The hunt began, for a new fur friend. As our kids are all sixteen and up, this time it would not be intended as a pet for our kids, but a companion for hubby and I.

We had one main need … hair, not fur. Hubby had, sacrificially, lived on allergy medication for the better part of the past ten years, and it had to end.

The evening I found Duke, online, at a nearby rescue, and made plans to meet him first thing the next morning.

When I arrived, and introduced myself, the employees laughed. You see, our last name is Wheaton, and Duke is a Wheaten Terrier breed.

I discussed with the manager Duke’s past, personality and requirements. Duke originated from a puppy mill, and came from a loving but busy household. He also had recently bit a biker. That was NOT in our list of ‘musts’.

I took him for a walk. He was rather stand-offish, I was rather fearful. I then returned him, and said I would talk to my hubby.

The next day, I returned with hubby, for a walk. Duke was like a different dog, excited to smell my familiar body. We said we would discuss and get back to them. Two days later, Duke entered our home, excited to sniff, lick and explore every person and thing in his reach.

Duke is not a perfect dog. He can never be off leash, for fear he might bite another person. He has introduced us to the term counter surfing. He loves to use underwear as chew toys (and, recently, an expensive mouth guard). He struggles to invite visitors into our home (though that is improving, thanks to an amazing trainer). He has pooped on one daughter’s bed … twice! (his actions are not helping their relationship!). When excited, his go to is mouthing (open-mouthed teeth on your hand … not biting, but not very friendly). He SNORES!

All that said, he is perfect for us … hubby and I, and he is our dog.

Duke has made his way into the hearts of our family (though one thinks he is rathery). He loves to ecstatically greet us when we come home (known as the Wheaten greeting). He wants to be with us wherever we are, sitting on the couch, laying at hubby’s feet at his desk, watching me cook, hanging out with us as we do yard work (even though he much prefers being indoors).

Hubby would say I chose Duke because I love a redemption story, and I do. 

At twenty-six years in, this marriage was in need of a symbol of redemption in our life together. Our kids are living more independently each day, and soon our nest will be empty. We have the scars of mistakes, hurts and offences, the failures to love, honour and care for each other that need, not erasing, but redemption.

At this point in our marriage relationship, we need a symbol of a fresh start, a new phase in our life together.

And so, that is Duke, our symbol of redemption … the one that symbolizes a shared future.

As we work on redeeming the loving puppy from the wild animal, we are doing it together, with our eyes fixed on a common end.



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