Friday, October 10, 2008

Furry Babies are Children, too

Dunken Emmit Key is our first born. He was born May 25, 1998, and he was a wedding gift from Momma and Daddy. When we were planning the wedding, deciding on the breed of dog we wanted was actually one of the first and most important decisions we had to make. My mom was somewhat frustrated with us. We spent valuable time when David was not in Dahlonega (I robbed the cradle, David graduated a year after me. . .) visiting dogs. Yes, we looked at the AKC books and narrowed our search down to a Pug or a Westie. We found friends who had each breed, and we went to visit them. We are nuts, I know. We ultimately decided on the Westie because we were headed to Germany just after the wedding, and we learned that Pugs sometimes have trouble breathing at high altitudes. I was leaning toward a Westie anyway because Momma had always had Scotties. And now Daddy has a Cairn Terrier (like Toto). We are partial to Terriers, wouldn't you agree? (Since Daddy has to live in Illinois, he said he needed his own dog. We got her from the shelter, and we still cannot believe that anyone would not want her!). We are just dog people, I guess!

We have had our Dunken our entire married life. He is truly our baby. I was at a army spouses coffee when I was 9 months pregnant with Jessa. We went around and introduced ourselves. I said "I am Dana Key, my husband is the assistant DTO, and I am obviously pregnant with our first human child." I got tons of gasps and strange looks. And then I clarified that I was not a crazy person who thought I had an alien child!
Dunken has flown to and from Europe at least 10 times (I actually lost count). He has eaten at restaurants all over Europe - the German ladies even brought him his own plate. He has been on the ICE train, on ski slopes, the Rhine River Cruise, to Paris, to Berlin, to Salzburg, everywhere we went. I refused to go to England while we were in Germany because Dunken could not go. We have a birthday party for him every year. One year, we even invited all of our friends with dogs over. I made dog biscuits served on a platter and special cupcakes for all Dunken's friends.

When we left Ft. Polk, we had to pay a $100 non-refundable pet deposit at the hotel. The silly front desk clerk actually suggested that we leave him at a kennel overnight for $20. Through my shock at her thinking my Dunken is "just a dog," I said I would sooner send my children to a kennel - at least they could tell me what happened! He goes everywhere with us. We even stayed an extra night when we went to Sea World so we could have a place to leave him while we were at the park! Dunken is very much a part of our family.

Dunken is also chock full of issues. He has a protein allergy, so I actually had to home cook fish and veggies for him for 2 months when Jessa was a baby. I had to create a recipe for homemade dry food and treats. He was harder to feed than the actual baby!! He is allergic to several medications and even some types of stitches. Our military vet in Germany said if he ever went into private practice, he wanted to live near us! He has had a tough time here and there, but he is always precious and always our baby.

I am posting this now because he is sick. He had to get a shot and some sedation on Monday because his skin was itching and inflamed. And he has had an upset tummy ever since, which may be unrelated. He has been taking Pepto and eating soft foods. He is at the vet's office now to get some fluids and Imodium. And I miss him SO much when he is not underfoot. So I am thinking of him and missing him this morning, and I wanted to share how special and precious my first born is with all of you. . . Feel Better Dunken!

1 comment:

midnightsun said...

Lovely pictures. It's a shame America doesn't allow dogs in restaurants. There's no harm in it.