Sunday, December 11, 2011

HAPPY 2ND GOTCHA DAY, BABY BEAR!: Novel Alert

Edited: I started this post on Dec. 11 but Vito's Gotcha Day is actually today - Dec. 12! 12/12 - how lucky. :)

Vito's Mom taking over on VITO'S GOTCHA DAY!! Two years ago today, I went to pick up Mr. Vito Marino to come and live with me forever. It was sort of a long drawn out saga that brought him to me, which I wrote about in my 1st ever post on Vito's blog. I can't believe it's already been two years since that day, but I also can't believe this boy has only been in my life for two years. It feels like he's been here forever! In a wonderful way of course. :)

So this post is going to be chock full of pictures you may have already seen, or maybe not!

The first picture is the very first picture taken of Vito by anyone I know - it was taken on my parents' deck by my cousin (the Mom of Vito's BFF Trey!) on her phone - she emailed it to me to see if I wanted him. Ha! IF I wanted him! Can you imagine? Looking at this picture reminds me of how long ago it was & how far we have come. :) The caption was added by Vito's Aunt Becky ("The Treat Whisperer") as she was convincing me that I could handle him and his housebreaking issues. I'm blown away by how uneducated I was - especially thinking now that he still pees in the house on a regular basis 2 years post-neuter. And I could not care less. OK, that's not entirely true, but I could not love him any less. :)



Look how teeny & precious he was! The vet would not be happy at how I have "fattened him up" in 2 years.

This next picture was within 5 minutes of him entering my old apartment for the first time. He just plopped down and thank goodness I had my camera ready because it is still my very favorite picture of him EVER.

He arrived on December 12, 2009 and I ordered my Holiday cards the next day - using that picture!

He then sprawled out displaying the infamous frog legs - which I was unfamiliar with and spent the next year documenting. It still makes me smile and when he burrows up next to me on the sofa like that I still can't resist giving a good massage to those chunky thighs (which he appreciates).

The next one is still Day One. This was the first picture I took where I figured out the "dog alien eyes" are hard to avoid without a fancy camera or a smarter photographer than me. I thought there was something wrong with him when I saw this picture!



I can't imagine what he was thinking - he had been in 4 homes in less than 2 months. :(

Aunt Becky came to visit after we had been home for only a couple of hours. It probably wasn't the best plan but I didn't know any better. I should have let him settle in - but as you can see, he loved it.





Becky had a Pomeranian all through our college years (and way beyond) who passed away at about 15 years old, about a year before Vito came along. It was hard for all of us to say goodbye to Ziggy but hardest for Becky of course. The day she met Vito, she said how much she missed having a little dog. She especially bonded with Vito that first day because of that. (Now she has Rojo and Cracker Jack.)

The night Vito came to live with me, I got very sick. I think it was actually stress - it's so crazy to think about it now - but I really did stress so much about getting him. I was single and very set in my routines - and my routines consisted of not having any routines. Other than happy hour about 3 times a week. ;) I knew he was going to be the biggest commitment I had ever made - I was committing myself to something for at the very least (hopefully!) TEN YEARS! I was going to have to come home after work every single night and let him out - no more carefree impromptu happy hours, no more vacations with no-worries or dogsitters (thank you Uncle Michael!).

So that night, I woke up vomiting at 2 am. And again at 4 and 5. And for 3 days after that. I had to miss work. With this strange little creature who I wasn't sure I even liked and who smelled funny (partially explained below by the ear & wrinkle infections I was unaware of at the time - & partially just classic FRITO PUG!), and who wanted on the furniture.

Look at him!!


And yes - that's how naive I was. I thought I could keep a dog off the furniture. What?? I KNOW! And certainly not a pug. I knew nothing. But I learned it all in a matter of about a week. Why would I NOT want a dog on the furniture??? Lucky for Vito that I was sick, and that I consequently looooved having him snoring on my feet on his first few days in the house - it makes me sad to think about him being in a new environment after so many changes and someone not allowing him on the furniture!


This baby was NOT sitting or lying on the floor. He kept me company and kept my feet warm while I was so sick. And shedding? It took me about 48 hours to get over that too. Now I judge people who DON'T have pet hair on their clothing.

Look how emaciated he used to be!!!

That first week he came to live with me forever - while I was so sick - I got him neutered. If you read the first post linked to earlier - you'll see that the people he went to initially gave him back to me because he was still marking in the house. They promised me when I gave him to them that they would get him neutered. Again - so naive back then - now I would never give an un-neutered dog to someone for fear of them breeding him. But all was meant to be in Vito's case and he came back to me.

When I took him to the vet at 7:30am to drop him off for his neuter, as mentioned before - I wasn't even sure I liked him! It was cold out - I was sick - he wasn't housebroken and I had to take him out every 2 hours on a leash in my apartment backyard - he was still peeing on the furniture in those 2 hours while I was sleeping. But when that nurse took him from me at the vet's office and I had to LEAVE HIM THERE - I started sobbing in the lobby. That was when I knew - everything in my life had changed. Vito had changed me and I officially loved him. :)

Just three weeks after he arrived, I took him to Beginner training at Petsmart. He didn't know how to Sit, or Stay, or Leave It or aaaaaaanything. He had lived in a crate his whole previous 2 years of life. He was the underachiever of our class - but was the favorite of all of the other pet parents. :)


Judy the St. Bernard

Proud Graduate!

He did learn to Sit and Lay Down and Stay and Leave It eventually (and has since forgotten Stay and Leave It) and was rewarded with a dragon which supposedly was protected with something called "Chew-Guard Technology" - well, Vito should have been a test-pug on that technology because it only withstood about a day of chewing before he ripped it open. Goodbye $17! I learned quickly to not invest money on stuffed toys for Mr. Marino.



He had ear & nose wrinkle infections chronically after coming to me as evidenced by these greasy-ear pictures! All was eventually cleared up after a lot of vet visits!


Pick it up, Mom!

Action shot!


He was also an excellent guard-dog in our apartment his first year. Since then "we" have bought a house without such an excellent front window for his watch-dog talents, but don't worry, he is still on high alert for every siren or voice or twig-dropping outside. We are safe, thank you, Vito.



Here's a flashback to Vito's 1st Gotcha Day - thank goodness there's no snow on the ground this year. He told me he did not appreciate the snow that I ordered for him last year.


I hope my Baby Bear is as happy living here with me as I am with him. I can't imagine loving anything as much as him. (Please don't tell Vinny. Because I love him a whole lot too!)

Happy? Or maybe just comfortable.

Happy. :)

DEFINITELY HAPPY. :)

I LOVE YOU BABY BEAR, VITO MARINO! HAPPY 2ND GOTCHA DAY!

7 comments:

Payton's Gampy said...

There is nothing more special than the unconditional love given by a dog, although in the case of pugs there does seem to be some demands!
: )
I'm very happy that you and Vito came onto the same path!

Gampy

Payton said...

Vito, you make your mom so happy! And she loves you so much! What a pair! Happy, happy day to you, Vito Marino! Here's to many more years with your mom (and Vinny too)!
Love,
Payton

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Happy 2nd Gotcha Day Baby Bear Vito!
Oh how we enjoyed going down memory lane with your mom! How we enjoyed reading about how the love of you and your mom melted into each others hearts.
The photos made us smile, and ohhh we feel the love. You are a lucky puggy,, and your mom is a lucky mom.
We are so happy for you!
love
tweedles

Minnie and Mack said...

Happy Gotcha Day #2! The pictures of you are priceless. We really enjoyed hearing your story again. Here's to many more gotcha days with your mom and Vinny.

Drools and licks,
Minnie and Mack

Lola and Tucker said...

Happy Gotcha Day Vito! I loved reading this post and seeing these pictures. Yep, your a happy pug!

Hank said...

AWWWWW! Such a heart-warming post!

Sorry you were sick but it was probably for the best - gave you and your baby bear some bonding time.

Hanklin and I are happy for you both!

dw said...

A little belated (I was without my computer for a few days)... but Happy Gotcha Day, Vito! And I'm sure the wine helps, Gina! LOL!

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