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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ode to Gordon

Guess who had a birthday this weekend?  That's right - this guy!  He turned 5 on November 13th, and I figured I needed to blog about him.  That little kitchen decoration - sadly that is about where he ranks these days!
I was thinking back on our time with him.  Of course, I cannot find very many pictures of him anywhere! There were some in my classroom, but who knows where they are now??  Storage?  The back of the guest room closet?  Hmm, needless to say, this won't have many pics!
We got Gordie the Christmas we were first married - 2004.  We were not (and are still not) dog people, but I thought it would be fun to have a puppy.  I was not ready for a child, and I thought a puppy would be cute and a lot less non-committal.  Anyway, I was set on a dachsund named Herman, but Heath saw a couple with a baby pug in their purse at Panera, and thought he liked pugs better.  Man, does he regret that Panera trip now, but God knew what he was doing!!
Anyway, we found an article for pugs in the paper, but it was in the town of Albertville (about an hour or so away).  So, we set out on Christmas Eve to "look at" puppies.  When we got there - wow it was disgusting - they took us out back to the pin.  There was a tiny, 6 week old black puppy shivering in there.  I was sold!  I picked him up and Heath (the planner) said "What are the temperaments of pugs?"  The country man said "Ell, they's about like their owners.  And lookin' at her (me), looks like this un'll be hopper (hyper)."  Hmm.  I laughed, and we set off on our way.  We headed to buy all of his gear and show him off!  We stopped at Kate's house in Springville on the way home, and I used to have a picture of that day.  Of course I lost it (hopefully not forever), but he was SO tiny!  
It is hard to name a dog!  And a child for that matter.  But, anyway.  We went back and forth all the way up there about what his name would be.  I think human names are funny, and Heath was more traditional.  I swear he suggested Black Beauty, but he denies it.  Anyway, we passed an insurance (I think) billboard that said Gordon Henderson.  And that was it!
We got to my parents' house, and my mom said, "Get that THING off my carpet!"  She doesn't love dogs, and that has pretty much been consistent all of Gordon's life.  That night and the next few weeks, we had a crying, not so good at sleeping puppy. After having a baby, I don't think I will get a puppy again!  I could do it with Turner because of mother's love and stuff, and I guess that is what got me through then, but it is annoying to listen to them cry!

Gordon's first Christmas card - he was a year old and some referred to him as "the Christmas gremlin" - I am fully aware that he is beautiful because he is so ugly

Anyway, Gordon has been my class mascot at school for the last 5 years.  They LOVED hearing Gordon stories, and though most classes didn't even meet him, they could write paragraphs about him, and he really helped out when we were studying adjectives!  I gave them Christmas cards of him every year, and they would throw down the candy and toys and books I gave them, and keep that stinkin' card as their favorite.  Crazy.
I had a student who was Indian and had autism.  We will call him K.  K talked about Gordon every single day.  He would say "You have a dog?" Yes, K, I do.  "It is a pug?"  Yes.  "It is a boy, it is a girl?"  You know it is a boy!  "It is a black pug."  Yep.  "Gordon is not day-ed (dead)."  No, K, you know he is not dead!!  Every day, same conversation.  Hilarious.  
And I had several kids beg me to bring him to their houses.  And I did it on several occasions!!  That is why I love second graders - so easy to make them happy!
2 years ago I had a little boy, M, who also talked about Gordon every day.  He was an odd bird, and I was pretty obsessed with him.  He called him "Gerden".  Every single day he would ask "Did Gerden die last night?" Odd, looking back.  And then he would say, "How much longer till lunsh?"  We had some speech problems!
Last year for Boosterthon (our school fundraiser), our team was called the Hollywood Pugs.  Heath brought Gordie to school that morning.  I wish I had the waiver that my principal made me create in case something "dangerous" happened with the pug.  Hilarious.  I put a picture of him, and made the parents sign off that their child was able to pet him, etc. and wouldn't hold us responsible if something were to happen.  Sometimes I think this world has lost its mind when it comes to crazy stuff like that, but the kids wanted him to come so bad that I just made a joke out of it.  Anyway, Heath brought him that morning for a little class pep rally - he had on a Boosterthon t-shirt.  And all the kids gave him (the dog) high five.  Awesome.
I was trying to think of my favorite stories of him.  So many times I thought it was fun for him to sleep with us.  Heath never thought that was fun, and ALWAYS took him back to his cage.  Looking back, I can't believe I thought that was so fun.  Babies really change you!
When he was just a few months old, I came home from school.  That first year I really used to race home to make sure he was okay.  Bless him, he is so low on the totem pole now!  Anyway, I walked in from school to the gated kitchen and could not find him anywhere!!  I panicked, of course.  All of a sudden, I saw his tiny puppy bed (that he could rest his head on now) sliding across the floor?!  I realized he had bitten a hole into it, then flipped it on his head and gotten stuck.  He was so hot when I pulled him out!
Another time, the first summer we had him, I went out of town for a week.  When I got back, I accused Heath of neglect (how true now!  Ha!) because the pug had a TICK!  I freaked out (Heath was at work), called the vet, and cried on the phone with them.  Seriously.  They told me how to get it off, and I am pretty sure they were dying laughing.  
Last fall, I was 30 weeks pregnant.  I decided to take Gordon on a long walk.  We made it to the end of our neighborhood, and he kept stopping.  I thought he was just being dramatic.  I kept yanking his leash.  It was still hot outside, looking back.  Anyway, then he laid down on the grass and started breathing heavy.  I teased him for panting and overdoing it, and he wouldn't move.  I finally had to pick him up (big and pregnant!) and hike up the huge hill to our house.  He weighs about 25 pounds, and I am not strong.  I called the vet, and they told me he was overheating and PASSING OUT.  Oops!

Gordon's Christmas pic from last year - taken the night I was in labor with Turner - who knew?

My last Gordon story happened today.  Now that he is kindergarten age, he thinks he is so free!  He is in an electric fence in our backyard.  Yesterday morning, our nosy neighbor caught Heath outside and told him Gordon was 2 doors down.  The battery on his electric collar was out, and he had escaped.  Anyway, fast forward to this morning.  Heath put him outside to feed him, and we forgot as we went to church and a long lunch.  Around 2 when we got home, I heard Heath yell "Crap!"  He told me what was going on, and my heart sank.  Keep in mind, a few weeks ago my loving husband loaded him in his cage one afternoon and told me he was taking him to the pound.  As he was promising it was a "no kill facility" I dropped to the floor and started crying!  I blame the hormones, but we have history with this guy.  Needless to say, we kept him.  So, I was freaking out.  Heath set out on foot to find him.  A few minutes later, all 3 of us left with Turner in the stroller and began walking the neighborhood.  I found some big scary woods at the end of our neighborhood and was convinced he was either in there with big animals, halfway to Auburn, or dead in the road.  That is because I saw a cute bulldog on 280 the other day, very sad.  Luckily, we walked back to the house, and found a note on our door.  Our sweet next door neighbor, Martha, had him in her backyard!  That is one thing about living in a retirement community (kidding, Heath), these folks don't let much get past them.  She said that 4 cars stopped to help her catch him because he "thought it was funny to run from her."  Silly pug.  

People have asked if Turner and Gordon interact - they have just started.  They are equally curious about each other.

Look at the love - and don't remind Heath about the scratches on the pantry door in the background!

We love you, Gordito.  Daddy just hides it - showing tough love.  Pretty soon Turner and I will team up on him and he will realize how much he loves you.  Here's to a long - and hopefully not too dangerous with small children running around - life with us!


  1. by far this is still the ugliest dog that scared me to death when you got him! :) I do live for the Christmas cards though..I won't lie :)

  2. We love Gorn, although he looks like a hairy black catfish.

  3. Chris and I just read this and laughed the whole way through!

    I hate we wont get another scary picture of gordon this year for Christmas... and for the record I always thought he looked more like a charred pig than a gremlin. - chris

  4. Kelly, this is hilarious. Thank you for the tribute to Gordo on his 5th bday. It was a treat to read!

  5. That first Christmas card is truly scary.

  6. I needed this today. You have me rolling! I'm LOVING that Christmas card! Yikes. :)

  7. I usually tell Shaun about your posts but this time I had him to read it for himself. Hilarious!! I have laughed myself to tears twice reading this.