This Saturday it will 8 weeks since we adopted our lab/hound Gus from the shelter in Waldorf, Maryland while we were docked at Naval Air Station Patuxent, making him an official boat dog. There have been many ups and downs since welcoming Gus into our lives. Some of the downs include:
- Over $200 in vet bills in the first week of having him to make sure that his biting and gnawing at himself was nothing more than skin allergies
- Cleaning up pee accidents in the master cabin during the first few weeks as we learned his special signal for needing to relieve himself
- Being woken up in the middle of night so he could be lifted into the cock pit in order to use his potty pad
- Cleaning up spills when he doesn’t quite suat squarely on the potty pad
- Contending with pungent odors wafting through our cabin when the potty pad is needing a good rinsing
- Investing in just the right chew toys to help Gus to avoid chewing on lines on deck, shoes or charging cords that are left dangling within his view
- Catching him chewing a hole in the hatch cover
- Sacrificing dinner date nights to stay with Gus so he wouldn’t bark and bother the neighbors
- Taking twice as long to get work done because of needing to attend to Gus’ needs
But with all of those downs, here are the ups:
- Gus is such a loving dog, he attracts people to him and we have engaged with some wonderful strangers through our mutual love of dogs who we would probably not have met if we did not have Gus along for the ride.
- Dog owners have amazing attachments to their furry family members, and Gus has sparked beautiful memories for people who have lost their pet rekindling in them feelings of joy and contentment.
- Dogs are wonderful listeners. Being the extrovert in this family, sometimes I just need to talk through things and my introverted son and husband are very appreciative that Gus now gets to hear my ramblings instead of them.
- Gus has reinvigorated our evergy levels. Gus is high energy and we have had to amp up our energy to keep up with him. I love playing on the floor with him and wrestling him for his bone.
- Gus has given me a new purpose. Having only had one short stint with a dog when I was in high school, I never imagined that I would become so attached to a non-human being. But Gus has come into our lives and given me a new purpose. I am so grateful that we are at a time in our lives when we can devote ourselves to giving a living being a home filled with love, adventure and fun. I appreciate so much the opportunity to share our wonderful life with someone else.
- The love in this house has multiplied 100-fold. Gus wakes up every morning wagging his tail and ready to lick my toes when I step out of bed and his high energy, loving heart has rubbed off on all of us. By focusing on Gus we are getting in touch with a deeper love that just seems to multiply. I love watching the men in my life love on Gus and receive his affection in return. Loving hearts then have more love to spread to other people, and I am humbled to see how Gus is multiplying the love in our home.
Quantitatively, the number of downs exceed the ups, but the quality, intensity, and value of the ups far exceed the down moments. I am excited to have Gus in our lives and thrilled that he will continue to thrive as Take Me There’s 4-legged mascot. Gus the boat dog has definitely won my heart!