Wednesday, January 11, 2012


We have about 17 names for our sweet dog, Gnarls.  G-dog, Gnarly Boy, Gnarlsy, Gnoody, Bear, Brer Gnarls, Bubba and Bad Boy just to name a few.  Then there is his alter ego, also known as Snarls.  Mr. Snarls probably comes out to visit daily, and when he does, there is only one cure.  Time the powder room.

He sits in there for about 5 minutes and thinks about his transgressions, and usually comes out calm and repentant.  When we're lucky.  It's usually after a barking spell, when he tears through the house, slams himself into the window and mauls the blinds to try to get to the ferocious, 13-year-old golden retriever walking down the sidewalk.

Husband found this article below, Bad Dogs, written by Nick Heil in a magazine and saved it for me to read, and I just had to cut it out and hang it on the fridge.  It perfectly describes our relationship with Gnarls.

"Every time I see a dog lunging at the end of its leash, teeth gnashing, owner braced like a tug-o'-war champ, I think of my rotty-shepherd-Doberman-chow-wild-boar mix, Minnie.  Lil' Mins was rescued from the highway, a quaking, stick-limbed runt with a glossy black coat and horned ears, and I promptly enrolled her in obedience school.  She was just as promptly kicked out after jumping on the instructor, a mirthless woman who defended herself with a plant spritzer (a little too zealously, in my opinion).  Minners went on to a bright career in terror, snapping at kids, former friends, countless Texans.  Once, while I was skiing, she ram-charged a speeding snowmobile and got smacked ten feet into the air.  Another time, on a walk with my elderly father, she yanked him off his feet and dragged him along a gutter before he could let go of the leash.  The Puppy  Diaries?  Rin Tin Tin?  Please.  Min's biography would be called Snarly and Me.  Still, I'd take my rez dog over your hypoallergenic designer hybrid or preening American Kennel Club show pony any day.  I know that inside her beats a little golden heart that, no matter how misguided, really wants to be good.  Whenever Minoozers and I go hiking or biking; whenever she's perched next to me in my pickup truck as we sail silently through a midnight blizzard; whenever she curls up at my feet, patiently awaiting her next parking paroxysm or cat mauling, I think, warmly; I would take a bullet for that mutt.  And one day I probably will."

It's crazy how much this article mirrors Gnarls - all the nick names, behaviors and love.  I teared up reading it.

Husband adopted little Gnarls from the SPCA a few months before we met when he was only a few months old - after 3 different owners, a couple of which had abused him.  T gained his trust by letting him sleep in the bed, under the sheets mind you.  He actually still has to sleep under a blanket on his bed to this day.  He comes over to one of the sides of the bed and barks at us if he gets untucked.  We're already getting good baby practice in that aspect. 

I would say that Gnarly and my relationship got off to a bit of a rocky start to say the least.  With the jumping and practically ripping my arm off when I tried to take him for walks, I only hoped he would grow on me since I knew his owner was my forever.  And grow on me he did.  That puppy stole my heart, and I can't imagine our little family without him. 

He may be a little quirky and rambunctious, but our little first born brings me so much joy.  It's crazy to think that T has known Gnarls longer than he's known me.  Through dating, college gradudation, our first jobs, an engagement, buying a house, getting married and newlywed life - he's been hear brightening each and every day all along the way. 

We always talk about how we couldn't imagine life without him and his little personality.  How we can't wait for him to feel a baby kick one day since his favorite spot is laying his head on my stomach, how we can't wait to see him crawl around and play with our kiddos one day, and how weird it will be when he gets old and slow and mellow. 

He's just the best, and we love him so much!  Snarls and all.

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