While Thomas and I have shared much about our daily lives, family members, friends, and of course, our clients here on the blog, there are two very important team members who never get any recognition. They never complain, though. As long as their bowls are full, beds are soft, and heads are petted every now and again, they don’t mind that no one gives them any credit. But after reading a wonderful article in Garden and Gun Magazine this afternoon, I decided that a shout-out to Mickey and Goose on the blog was long past due.
Thomas and I are 26 and 28, have been married for 3 (almost 4) years now, and many (I mean MANY) of our friends are adding little ones to their families these days. While we definitely want children in the future, it’s not something we’re planning for currently. Even though we don’t have children, we do have two ankle-biters who keep our household quite exciting.
Mickey is a 7-year-old Bichon Frise, who prefers mud over baths, would take on any Pit Bull that crossed his path, and thinks he’s top dog in the Boutwell house. We would never tell him that he’s really a French lap dog who should be groomed daily, or that he is NOT the biggest, baddest dog on the block, because it would break his fluffy little heart. He thinks he’s 100% mutt and the size of a Great Dane. He would much rather live on a farm than in the city. He’s never met a chipmunk he wouldn’t chase, a cat he wouldn’t challenge, a lap he didn’t want to sit in, or a stranger who he wouldn’t gladly lick square in the face. From our front door he seems unfriendly, barking through the window above our couch, but I know that he simply thinks he’s doing his job, protecting us from the evil FedEx delivery man and that wicked Girl Scout selling her cookies. Once you enter our home, he’ll be the first to sniff your feet, and then wag his tail in approval, waiting for you to bend down and give him a little love in return. When we take him to the pond, he spends 90% of his time in full-sprint, with his nose to the ground, trying to smell every smell possible. He wants to explore every inch of the great outdoors, nose first. While my furry little man, given to me by my father when I was 19, certainly loves the outdoors, he enjoys the comforts of home as well. He’ll gladly sleep with me all day if I am sick, never leaving my side, until Thomas makes him go outside to do his business. Then he’ll begrudgingly get up, stretch, yawn and with some persuading from Thomas, go outside, only to return to his bed beside mine ten minutes later. When I sometimes have sleepless nights, and I move to the couch so that I don’t disturb Thomas, it never fails, that I’ll hear the quiet click-clack-click-clack of his paws behind me, and then his little white face emerges in the darkness. He always finds a way to join me on the couch during those sleepless nights, even though he knows that’s against the rules. After all, I couldn’t possibly say no to my furry little sleepless companion. On the days we work from home, he’s never far away. He can usually be found lounging underneath my desk around my feet or underneath my chair. He’s a spunky little guy, always overjoyed to greet me when I come home, usually with his once-stuffed toy fox in his mouth, wagging his tail wildly. It doesn’t matter if I just made a quick trip to the gas station; he’s always thrilled when I come back. While he’s always happy when I arrive home, he’s equally sad to watch me leave. As soon as we pull out our suitcases and start laying out clothes, Mickey pouts. He usually refuses to eat, lies in the window and gives me the cold shoulder. I’ll eventually scoop him up, give him some love, and then watch him sadly stare at me from the window as I pull out of the drive.
Goose is our other ankle-biter…well, he’s actually more of a
knee waist-biter. He’s our 5-year-old black lab. I gave him to Thomas for our 1-year (dating) anniversary. He was a precious ball of fur that fit in my hand, with a cute little squashed-up face, giant ears and even bigger paws. He was an adorable, clumsy mess. Now, at five years old, he’s still a clumsy mess with giant ears and paws, but the rest of his body caught up with the ears and paws. He’s 98-pounds of genuine love…on a day when he hasn’t stolen Mickey’s breakfast or broken into the bag of dog food. He has the best disposition of any big dog I’ve ever known. When my niece was a toddler, Goose never minded when she’d pull on is ears or try to ride him like a horse; he was just grateful for a new playmate. He loves swimming and playing fetch more than anything else in the world. Every day around two, when Thomas has been working at his computer for hours, he’ll run into the living room, find his bone, and then sit by Thomas’ desk, wagging his tail and whimpering ever-so-slightly. Then he’ll pace, from the back door to Thomas’ desk, waiting for Thomas to get up and play fetch for a few minutes. Afterwards, he’ll gladly return to his spot beside Thomas’ desk, at his feet, and nap until Thomas is done working for the day. Then he’s ready to play again. He’s the best snuggler ever, and while Mickey thinks he’s a giant Great Dane, Goose thinks he is a Teacup Chihuahua. He wants nothing more than to curl up right in your lap, and even though his size makes this quite difficult, it doesn’t keep him from trying. He is the sweetest, most docile giant dog you’ll ever meet. I love that big boy…even when he gets stinky or sheds all over my house.
Oh! The other thing I forgot to mention about Mickey and Goose? A very important thing? They are best buds. Mickey, who is white and fluffy and weighs fifteen pounds, and Goose, who has smooth, black hair and weighs 98 pounds, can often be found playfully wrestling or snuggled up sharing a bed.Our neighbors affectionately call them “Rob and Big,” for those of you who remember the show on MTV. Thomas and I’ve often called them Rocky and Bullwinkle. We’re quite sure that Mickey comes up with the schemes, and Goose is the muscle behind the big ideas…which have usually been disasters in our home. (For example, Goose would pull down the lattice along the fence in our backyard, and Mickey would find his way out into the pasture beside our old house. Goose would be left in the fence, crying, not understanding why Mickey could fit through the fence, and he could not.) Bless his sweet bones.
The verrry best thing about Mickey and Goose, though, is that they love us no matter what. Even when we have to leave four weekends in a row to shoot weddings, don’t get to play fetch because there is too much work to be done and don’t feed them at 5 o’clock on the dot, they still love us. Even when we have morning breath, messy hair and aren’t as chipper as we should be, they still love us. They are the silent partners in our business, our encouragers on the dreariest of days. They love us even when we make mistakes…even when we don’t say the right things…even when we don’t love ourselves very much.
There is not much that those sweet furry pups can’t fix…or at least make better…on a rotten day. That certainly makes them worthy of recognition, and even worthy of praise, here on the blog. So tonight I’m going to snuggle with those doggers a little more, give each of them an extra treat and love them a little harder before we head to tomorrow’s wedding.