Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rookie mistake

1 a.m., settling in to finally sleep. Trying to get comfortable, wrestle covers from the dog, scootch 60-pounds of snoring dead weight out my space.

Felt something odd under my back. Round. Rubber. Tossed it out of bed. Thump.

Ball! In an instant he was full-on awake, sat up to consider the sound, the jumped out of bed to find the ball. Ball!

Rooted around for five minutes in the dark trying to find it, ignoring pleas to "Come!"

Finally, after a strange shuuuuushing, cascading sound, I gave up and turned on the light. The way the closet is designed, you (meaning if you are the size of a toddler or a pit bull) can walk in one set of closet doors and out the other. There's a bit of wall in between

1:07 a.m. Everything was quiet, still and in it's place. You could see Hathaway's head in one set of closet doors, his tail sticking out the other set. He looked up with a sheepish grin, lime green rubber ball in his mouth, then came back to bed.

Back in my spot, I turned out the light, told him to drop it and tossed the ball out of the bed ...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Muscle mag?

Josh, at age 5: Hey Mom, do you know how to sew?

Mom: Sort of, why?
Josh (flexing his scrawny arms): That's good, because I'm rrrripped.

If there is one word that describes my dog ... well, there's not. However, the first word we hear absolutely everyone else use to describe him is "ripped."

I have the only dog at the dog park with pecs.

Looking at Hathaway is a lesson in anatomy. You can see every muscle in his medium-sized doggy body. He has muscles in places I didn't know dogs have muscles. And yes, it's cliche, but his muscles have muscles. You get the picture.

So my 11-year-old daughter says the other day: "Hey mom, is there such a thing as magazines for weightlifters? Maybe we could get a picture of Hathaway on the cover."

I doubt he'd end up on the cover, but it might be worth looking into.

Friday, November 20, 2009

This is Hathaway and his friend Carmen, a beautiful Rottweiler, at the dog park today. Sunny and 60 near the water in Massachusetts in November. It doesn't get any better than that.

Hath has his eye on Carmen's ball, possibly because he doesn't have any of his own, most likely because tennis balls are his version of Trident. He chews them like gum. He also likes to take a ball if he thinks he'll get chased. He's been running like a greyhound with really short legs lately. Go, Hathaway!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Who's training whom?

The dog has some serious springs. Hathaway can jump more than 4 feet high. He can jump up to kiss my face when I'm standing. He can hurdle the end of my (now his) sleigh bed, and the children have encouraged him to jump onto the couch ... from behind. Yes, he leaps over the back of the couch and sticks the landing on the cushions.
But will he jump into the back of the SUV? Uh, no. Most of the time, he looks at me and sits down. Sometimes he thinks about jumping in, sniffs and then sits down. Sometimes he'll put a couple of paws up, sniff, then look at me as if to say, "Well, do you want to go to the park or not?"

And what do I do? I grab those meaty thighs and boost. I wanna go for a walk at the park!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


We found this recliner curbside during a walk through the neighborhood.

This is the third try at this picture. I'd get him to sit, and he'd start looking around, so I'd say "Hathaway," and he'd hop off the chair and come right to me. Glad he listens, but I was trying to be creative ...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Come hell or any water

The dog does not like water except to drink. He made that very clear early on when I had to drag him out for business in the rain. Hathaway's fur is very short, a lot like a horse's coat, actually. When he gets wet, he is instantly wet to the skin. He hates it.

But his dislike of water goes beyond that. He doesn't like to get his paws wet. It's pretty funny to watch him try to get through a puddle without getting his paws wet. Maybe if I lift this paw, I won't feel it. It's still there. Maybe if I lift this paw, I won't feel it ... nope ... maybe if I lift this paw ...

And yes, he can balance on two legs but hasn't figured out how to move forward. Usually he tries to go around puddles or stay under the umbrella.

Today, a nor'easter is blowing through, but it wasn't too bad early this morning when we headed to the dog park and he actually hopped out of the car for a walk. It was drizzling, but we walked the loop, then played with the other hearty souls who were out. Even played a little fetch and I managed not to throw the ball into a puddle. (When that happens, I'm the fetcher all of a sudden &@!*#$.)

But then it started to rain harder. Hathaway looked at me, then trotted off at a brisk pace. I thought he was getting the ball until he went right past it. It took another 20 yards before I realized he was headed for the car. He didn't look back once and he didn't stop until he got there.

Friday, November 13, 2009

There's a pit bull in my ... fridge?

OK, so the fridge may be the only place he hasn't gotten in to.

He took apples from the bushel bag shortly after they were picked. Plucked three right out of the bag and left a couple of bits of skin and three spots damp with apple juice and drool on the carpet as evidence. When I moved the bag, he pulled it off the counter, survived the cascade of fruit raining down upon his big head and ate three more apples. Moved them to the top of the fridge where they were safe.

He took Cheetos from Josh's lunch box. And of course there was the day he tried to make coffee; pulled the grounds from the trash and dumped water from his dish over them.

He's a very smart dog and I wake up each day with a list of ways to try to out-think him. Today, as the trail of empty candy wrappers is my witness, I did not succeed. We came home today to find an empty Trick-or-Treat bag. Can't blame Hathaway on that one. It's my fault and the boy's that it was overlooked and left out (they have heretofore been safely shut up in a closet which requires opposable thumbs to open). I have a feeling Hathaway's treats are going to be a gory trick several hours from now.

Some things Hathaway has eaten: Mushrooms, bananas, strawberries (and chewed up their Tupperware container for good measure), tomatoes, clementines -- peel and all, sunflower seeds, an entire loaf of Wonder Kids bread, popcorn, egg shells.

Some things Hathaway has not eaten: Lettuce.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Meet the pit bull in my bed

This is Hathaway. We found him at the animal shelter in Brockton, Mass., quite by accident, but sometimes that's the best way of finding something.

When we went to look at the dogs, I had no intention of bringing one home, especially not a 2-year-old male pit bull with the head the size of a battering ram. But he looked at me with his big brown eyes. And the kids looked at me with their big violet and hazel eyes, respectively. And then they used logic.

"Can we just take him for a walk?"

They didn't say "sucka," but they might as well have been thinking it. We walked Hathaway and played with Hathaway and wrestled with Hathaway and petted Hathaway. His kisses weren't slobbery. He didn't look like he shed much. He didn't bark. He was housebroken. He listened to commands. And he was really cool looking.

But that day, we left him there. Still had to think about a 2-year-old pit bull "mix." And not just that -- he had a skin issue and was already returned once because of separation anxiety. He had broken two crates and a door. Apparently his head was shaped like a battering ram for a reason.

I went back twice to visit and play with him and talk to the staff at the shelter -- formerly the MSPCA and now the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Mass. I said I had to be sure with two young kids in the house. The caregivers said fostering was an option.

We brought him home on Aug. 29, adopted him outright on Sept. 10, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Life with Hathaway is a daily adventure, to be chronicled here daily, with any luck. The goal is to entertain doggy style and maybe to show pit bulls in a different light.