Meet Mr. Boggs


About 10 days ago we adopted Mr. Boggs, a 5-week part Pyrenees/part “I don’t know” puppy. We had been toying with the idea of having an outside dog but I wasn’t sure I was ready to make the commitment just yet. Funny how one thing can lead to another, and then another, and before you know it your life has changed forever.

There was a Great Pyrenees at the groomers’ when I was there last. I had never seen one and marveled at how calm and gentle their personality….and how huge he was! The next day I was still talking about this big beautiful white dog with a friend who tells me he has a Great Pyrenees that’s going to have pups! My fate was sealed at that moment I suppose, even though I vacillated for the next 2 months.

We have three dogs already, Dakota, Dudley and Dylan. Before them were Dank, Damen and Durango Max. So your question is probably the same as everyone that knows us. Why not another “D” name?  Between my house and Atlanta is Boggs Mountain; there’s even a Boggs Road exit in Atlanta – it just sounded like a cool name. And, I figured any dog that might weigh 120 pounds deserved to be called Mister.

We don’t have much experience with dogs that live outside. While in Ecuador, we adopted a 6-month old Dalmatian that needed a good home. Tried to name him Davu, a Swahili word meaning “warrior” loosely translated. But everyone in the neighborhood already knew him by his Spanish name, Mancha. We looked this word up – it means Spot.

Mancha lived outside and quickly learned to bark at anyone suspicious but instinctively knew it wasn’t necessary to bark at the cows, horses or sheep that would graze all around our fence, something the rest of my dogs never learned. In fact, the two standard poodles, Dudley and Dylan, will search out any animal, dead or alive, just so they can bark at it, fight it or eat it.

Two summers ago, the two of them decided to spend the summer exploring. Every other day they would run up the mountain and not come home for hours. Then several hours became overnight, and overnight became a couple of days. The first time they ran away, I had slept on the couch anxious and worried over them when I sensed they were just outside the door. Sure enough, they were home. Obviously they were tired, hungry and sore, but Dudley had a gouge on his back that was bleeding. A deep cut that looked like the long fingernail of a witch had taken a swipe out of him.

The next day I’m sitting in the kitchen eating lunch when a big black bear came lumbering up to the window. It didn’t register at first but I finally realized – this is a bear and he’s walking right for my open kitchen door! I grabbed a pot and spoon off the rack above the island and started beating it to death. This got the attention of my 5 dogs inside and I slammed the door just in time. As the bear started to run away, it occurred to me I needed evidence of this ordeal! Where was my phone?!

the bear

There was no problem getting a picture actually – that bear hung around my house for two days. I would wait until he went up the mountain for a little shady spot to sleep and then walk the dogs on a leash with a pistol stuck in the waistband of my shorts. It was the middle of the summer, but I closed all the windows and doors for fear one of the big dogs would go right through the screen when the bear came down to tease them rolling around in the yard. It was nerve-racking. We surmised that Dudley must have gotten in a fight with this bear on his last excursion and the bear followed his scent back home. Eventually their roaming days ended and life has been relatively quiet….until Mr. Boggs arrived .

To my delight, Mr. Boggs slept until 5am this morning and went back to bed somewhat quietly after a quick trip outside. Exactly 50 minutes later, Dylan started his usual pacing. He’s the only dog I’ve ever known to drag his feet when he walks. And, it is the most annoying way to wake up. Just shoot me now. What’s worse, the dragging feet or the Marimba alarm tone on my phone. More importantly, once Mr. Boggs is awake again it’s all over.

So, I turn off the alarm and lead everyone to the kitchen for breakfast. There were two fights before I could even get to the coffee maker. Then I missed getting Mr. Boggs back out the door by a fraction of a second. And while I’m distracted, Dylan starts eating the puppy chow. I scream, startling him and now puppy chow is all over the kitchen floor. I think to myself, it’s Tuesday. Of course, it’s Tuesday.

I dated a guy once that said if something is going to go wrong it will happen on a Tuesday. In his world, Tuesday’s were jinxed for some reason. I hate to perpetuate this argument, but I declare some weeks it’s true in my world too.

The weather report is on the news. It says, “Winter storm warning – Tuesday 7pm to Thursday morning.” Seriously? It’s not raining or snowing so I check the radar map. There’s dark green surrounding the little pin that represents my neck of the woods. Last summer, I only got caught in the rain one day. This winter I’ve run in rain, sleet and snow every week. It suits me to live in a place with four distinctive seasons because by the end of one I’m sick of it and ready for a change of scenery. I find myself thoroughly ready for a new season today.

So, I put Mr. Boggs in his kennel, grab a pair of shorts and head for the gym. All the way I’m calculating – how long to get there, how long to get on the treadmill, back home – deducting this from how long Mr. Boggs might sleep.

Of course, I get to the gym and there’s not one treadmill available in the place. Its Tuesday I muttered.

When I was in my early 30s, I enjoyed weight lifting. There was a big, muscle-bound Teddy Bear at the gym that took a few of us under his wing and helped us transform ourselves. He taught us it was ok if your arms and legs would shake under the weight of the dumbbell. He’d count off the reps and sometimes on the last one, he’d say just one more or just two more. We would think we couldn’t possibly squeeze out one more rep but somehow we always did. I felt like my entire body was shaking sometimes. When you walked into that health club, you knew you were in a gym, you know? It was motivating just to be there because everyone there was really working hard.

This gym is nothing like that gym. If I tell you anyone 65 or older gets in free, no more needs to be said, right? So I’m waiting for a treadmill to open up, deducting the time I’m waiting from how long till Baby Boggs is undoubtedly screaming his little lungs out, thinking about the blog I recently read by a mother tossing toys at her baby while on the treadmill. How on earth do young mothers do it?! I hear the speed buttons going up and down, up and down on the treadmills; beep, beep, beep,  beep. Finally, a poor soul gives up and I jump on the treadmill he vacates.

If I could run with my eyes closed, I’d picture myself running on a beautiful, shady dirt road, winding through the forest, and it would most definitely be in a place where it is spring time… and, Wednesday.

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