Dog Swapping


Several years ago my family started a tradition called dog swapping. It started about five years or so ago. When I got divorced the kids and I stayed at my dad’s a couple of months before moving into a duplex that didn’t allow pets. My dad assured me not to worry, that he would keep my miniature schnauzer, Buddy until I was able to move somewhere that did. Suddenly, Buddy began spending a lot of time with my dad. When my dad plowed his garden and mowed the fields, so did Buddy. Not only did Buddy go for tractor rides, but he went for four-wheeler rides and truck rides. When my dad bought a street bike, Buddy started prancing around in little denim vests and hats that sported the Harley Davidson logo. My dad was even taking him to work with him. Even though my time in a duplex was short-lived, Buddy’s stay away from home was not. My dad claimed that Buddy would not be able to handle being separated from my him. “Buddy” was too attached. It was obvious to everyone but my dad. Buddy would adjust to living back at home. My dad wouldn’t.

For a couple of years, I fought this pretty hard, but eventually I gave up. My children and I reluctantly agreed to let Buddy continue living with my dad, and we got a new dog, Gracie. The arrangement infuriates my stepmother because she thinks my dad “stole” Buddy from us. Dad fiercely disagrees. He says Buddy needs someone that understands and can relate to him. You see, both have gotten rather grumpy and snippety with age. So now the agreement is this: Buddy stays at my dad’s, and Dad has to bring him over whenever he comes and visits. The picture above is one of those recent visits. Although Buddy is always super-excited to see me, he never lets my dad out of his sight for long out of fear of being left behind. He comes in, jumps around excited to see me, loves on me a bit, and then jumps in my dad’s lap to sit there for the remainder of the visit. I think my dad has brainwashed him!

Recently my brother, John and his wife, Nohora decided that they needed to get rid of at least one of their dogs. They have a bull mastiff mix that Chris and I just adore. Whenever we have dogsat for them in the past, we would tease that Bruiser ran off, or something of that effect so they couldn’t get him back. Well, my brother decided that Bruiser could come live with us! This was extremely difficult for my brother to do, but it is kind of like the Buddy situation. Bruiser is still in the family, and John can see him whenever he wants. Plus, I sort of got a free security system out of the deal. He is a vicious looking dog, weighing about 120 pounds, but gosh is he a sweety! He’s like having a huge piece of furniture in the house. He is trained and lethargic, super loving, and gets along great with Dooley and Gracie. Here is a picture of him with Dooley.

All you dog owners, beware of my family. Do not bring your dog around us if you think we will fall in love with him. We will find a way to charm you into “giving” him to us.

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Published in: on June 17, 2008 at 5:38 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. This is the most adorable story I’ve ever heard. And I just love Buddy, but then again, I love all schnauzers. They’re weird little dogs though, there’s no predicting their people preferences. Mabel cries like a baby every time my mom/dad/sisters come over. She yelps and jumps from chair to chair she’s so excited. Hmm… maybe I should keep an eye on them, so they wont steal her away. 🙂

    I think it’s sweet that you all take care of your dogs this way. So many people just cart them off the pound, or worse… leave them on a curb, so I think your family is super special!


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