mr. bikini

In ALL, FAMILY MATTERS by Stephanie Klein25 Comments

_mg_0966I feel like a traitor. I had twins, so you can’t ask me, but I imagine if you ask any parent to two or more children, they’ll insist that they never thought they had room to love anything as much as their first child. And then they had their second, and wow, were just so stunned that they could make room for even more love. These people give me ‘rhea.

I don’t think of love as something you make room for, like a new ottoman or dessert. I know it doesn’t have to be immediate, that we can certainly grow to love things we didn’t love initially. I’m still waiting for this endorphin love thing with exercise to kick in. As far as our new Beagle, Mr. Bikini, goes, I’ll say this:

Getting a dog once you already have children is VERY different from bringing home a dog before kids are involved. Linus Paddington was initially training wheels for the Wasband and me. He was our surrogate child. I spent weeks reading about his breed, even bought the hardcover book on Toy Fox Terriers. I took him to puppy socialization classes, paid a fortune to send him to Biscuits and Bath. I even considered, I kid you not, taking him to a doggie laser light show on a Saturday night. Linus was my baby. I spent my weekends consumed with him, knitted him a sweater for the love of Christ. I had different outfits for him, a Burberry coat, and different collars and leashes to suit the occasion. He slept under the covers, curled up against my inner thigh. He was, without a doubt, my furkid.

People can lash out at me all they’d like for my decision to let Linus live with my sister Lea, but I know it was the right thing to do. It only takes one tiny slip up in his behavior, and I’d have a deformed maimed child. He bit several humans in the face. My friend Erin needed stitches. Others needed to go to the hospital. It was my own fault for treating him like a little husband instead of a dog. So when Phil came to me this time and asked what I thought about getting another dog, I said I’d feel like a traitor. I also admitted that I did’t have the energy or emotional bandwidth, except I’d never use the term "emotional bandwidth" because it makes me sound like a douche, and one of those assjunkies who talks about "room for love." But I knew the work that would be involved and admitted to not being up for it. Phil said he would train him, and take full responsibility, so who could argue with that arrangement?! He’s a sweet pup.

The first few weeks with him was like starting a new relationship, where your last relationship kept popping up in your head. Even last night, when I was tossing and turning at 3am, I listened to his little body, in his crate, rising up and down in a soft snooze, and it calmed me. It made me think of Linus and the way he slept. The difference is that while Mr. Bikini is loved, which he is, especially by the sprouts, he’s a dog. A family member… I’m still waiting to for that to grow for me. It’s only a matter of time.

4 YEARS AGO: Fizz
5 YEARS AGO: You Are What You Listen To?

Comments

  1. Maybe you are just not a beagle person. Don't beat yourself up too much about it if you don't fall in love with Mr. Bikini.

  2. Just yesterday I had the conversation about how much my love has been redefined for my dogs. It was after I spent thrity minutes getting my screaming son to sleep and the little a-holes barked at a passerby only to wake him up…again.

  3. You will. But I will warn you, like most dogs, beagles are very loyal to one owner and if Phil is doing much fo the training, well, Phil will be his master so dont be hurt if he prefers Phil to you.
    I'll say this about beagles, and I know many would disagree, they are one of the sweetest breeds of dogs. They're playful and attentive, and so lovable. Give him lots of puppy massages. This worked wonders for mine to calm him as he grew up.
    My dad disliked dogs, like strongly disliked dogs, but when I moved home for a year when I was 22, my dad became so attached to Dave (my beagle) he cried when I moved and even asked if I'd leave Dave behind. As if! ;)
    Good luck.

  4. i like how you've been putting links to past years' entries. i still read the blog regularly, but i relate to the older posts more because i am closer now to where you were then. so, thanks. this new blog structure is really working for me.

  5. I think you may have done the right thing in rehoming the dog since biting is a serious problem, especially around children, though I might have suggested that you enlist the help of a qualified animal behaviorist after the first bite. However, I am concerned that you would contemplate getting another one. I find it difficult to handle when a person buys a dog, fails to teach that dog bite inhibition and then rehomes it, or drops it at the local shelter for someone else to deal with. If anything, I just hope you, or your husband, do your research and prevent this one from growing up and becoming another biter. Please rush out and buy any of Ian Dunbar's books on raising a puppy, since this will prevent you from making the same mistakes. http://www.siriuspup.com/about_founder.html

  6. Lost Question…

    On the flight back, Ben is reading. Jack asks him, "How can you read?" And Ben replies, for the sake of humor, "My mother taught me." A funny, quick line. But when I thought about it afterwards I realized, didn't Ben's mother die in childbirth??? Is this a slip-up by the writers or is this a clue?

    FROM SK: I believe it's just Ben being Ben. You know LYING. Cause Ben does that. I also think, as I stated in my live Lost Blogging (which I'll now do every week, since I love the guess work) I think Ben was roughed up going after Penelope. And the old friend was Charles Widmore. What about the "grand-dad?" Could that actually be JACK in the future?

    I also wanted to bitch-slap Kate when she told Jack not to ask what she did with Aaron. WTF is that noise? I think Aaron is the anti-christ. Maybe he becomes Jacob? He is Christian Shepard's grandson. Or maybe Jacob is Jack in the future. I don't know enough about the bible or The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Or Ulysses. Or all the other literature they pull from.

  7. Meh. I think dogs and babies are an accident waiting to happen, regardless of temperment. They are animals.

  8. I for one applaud you for being able to recognize that a house with small children would not be a good place for Linus. You saved yourself the heart break of having an injured child. The best thing you could do for the furkid was to find him another loving home, and you did just that. There are many people out there who would think nothing of discarding their animals in that situation.

    Mr. Bikini is adorable. I am sure you and your husband will teach the kids to take great care of him.

  9. We had a beagle when I was a kid, named Patches. My father used to say Patches was dumber than hair, but I remember he was sweet and happy, too. And yeah, pretty dumb.

    It sounds like a more grown-up relationship, your relationship with Mr. Bikini versus yours with Linus. Maybe less needy, or that you have different ways of fulfilling your needs rather than by babying a pet. (No judgment here.. when my roommate's 14-year-old poodle goes to heaven, I'm gonna need to take a week off from work.)

    And I love that picture!

  10. Mr. Bikini is absolutely adorable. I'm a huge fan of Beagles (my furbaby is a beagle-pointer mix). One piece of advice — Please, please, please be very careful with him off-leash in an unfenced area. Beagles are hounds, and if he gets a whiff of something he wants to track or chase, he'll be off in a flash.

  11. I am one of those softies who makes pets part of the family. I know not everyone feels this way but a house is not a home without a pet. And Mr. Bikini is one cute pup.

  12. relax Stephanie, Mr. Bikini is not ever going to be Linus, but he will make a great pet for your kids and they will remember growing up with him and love him , and he will return that as well. By the way, he is completely adorable in this picture.
    How is the Lineman doing?

  13. I must say that you look skinny in the picture. Your legs look so thin, not too thin, just thin.

  14. I have a picture, in my first daughters baby book…the moment my 'furkids' became 'dogs'. Precious, and unmistakable.
    My furkids were two cocker spaniels, one blond, one red with freckles on her nose. Groomed at regular 6 week intervals, didn't know what a crate was, dog beds that went unused because truthfully they slept on the couch.

    The picture, is a white lacy bassinet, holding our first born daughter her second day home from the hospital. You cannot see her in the bassinet. What you do see, is two beautifully groomed cocker spaniels, standing on their hind legs, paws over the edge of the bassinet, staring in at the tiny new creature we brought home. I love that picture!

    I still love my dogs, just differently now, 20 years later. My current critters still get pampered, just differently. they have the fanciest outdoor doghouse on the block, complete with water misters for hot days, and a fan to blow that misty breeze in their direction, and the fluffiest pillows I can find…but they're ouside dogs, who don't travel with us on vacations, or sleep on the couch. Life changes and is different, but, there is still room for the love.

  15. Linus was your baby, now you have babies, ergo Mr Bikini is not your new baby. It is as it should be?

  16. Personally, I think you made the right call on rehoming Linus. He was a proven biter, and kids are proven pains in the tookus to animals. It wasn't, in my opinion, really a question of *if* he was going to bite one of them, but *when*. I adopted a dog late last year, and he ended up having to go back to the shelter after he gave me a warning bite and peed on the girls' stuff. I hated doing it, but it wasn't worth the risk, to me, that the shows of dominance would shift from me and their stuff to one of them. I've always believed that pets are family, but their place on the hierarchy HAS to be below that of the humans.

  17. man im so behind in reading your latest post that i didnt realize you named him mr. bikini. cute!

  18. How can you betray your first dog like that? Ship him out nowhere land and now you take a new dog?? You should feel like a traitor cus you are one.

  19. I have beagle too.. and they are the sweetest, smartest, most frustrating thing!! I grew up in a dog home, where we at times had up to 4 dogs, and aside from my loved Rottweiler, Winston, Sir Short Dog I (Shorty) is the best dog ever… So much personality!! He will love your family equally, and wait for the noise he makes when he hasn't seen you for awhile!! I have never seen a dog go so nut-so, even if I just walk down to the mailbox!! The vet here says most beagles are like that, and I love it!

  20. As someone who had twin (Stefanie is now our guardian angel), I wondered with Veronica in tow, if I could love Isabella. I agree. I didn't make room, it's just an automatic. As an owner of a Dachshund, mutt, golden retriever/chocolate lab, chocolate lab/?, beagle, and 6 beagle pups (oops), horses, goats, chickens, rabbits, and cats (I don't think I forgot anything), I have gone from pet "parent" to pet exhausted. I love them, but concur with your thought on how it changes after children. I love my pets and cry when they pass (read my blog about the horse), but it loses a bit of the "aww factor." I love your site. Keep it up!

  21. The first thing I thought when reading your post was that I wanted to google doggie laer light shows in nyc. My boyfriend will say I'm crazy but I can't help babying my dog

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