|Jude and Mason, being best buddies|
Let me begin with stating I was never a dog lover growing up. I always had dogs in our house growing up, but I could take them or leave them. I loved them and didn't want harm to come to them, but I didn't spend a lot of purposeful time with them. However, while in college, I worked for a family who had a beautiful golden retriever and I fell in love with him. I think part of it was because he was so good with my client who had special needs. He was so patient and loving and it made me realize how much dogs really understand about us. I knew then that I wanted to get a bigger dog eventually.
When Justin and I married, he also wanted a dog. He always wanted a Plott hound, which is the state dog of North Carolina, our home state. They're also from German decent, and so is Justin's family, so we decided to go with this breed. (They're also a very loyal, intelligent, and gentle breed.) Justin found a breeder and in July of 2007, we became "parents". Mason was a very good puppy. He was house trained easily and had tons of energy. He was a typical puppy, in that he would chew certain things (my crocs and Justin's socks specifically) if left for him to chew, but he never did some of the crazy damage you hear of other puppies doing. We grew to love him quickly and he became a part of our family, making the haul to NC from AL every trip we made.
A year after we got Mason, he some how got into some really heavy poison in our neighborhood and we almost lost him. I had just found out I was pregnant with Jude and I was so emotional. He was in the ICU for 3 days, but our boy pulled through. (I won't mention the bill to his vet visit.) After that, Mason had to relearn many things and he's never been quite the same. I do thing he suffered some permanent damage, but he's still so loving and gentle.
When Jude was born, Mason was impressively possessive and protective of him. From the beginning, where Jude has been, Mason isn't far to follow. They play and wrestle, share dinner more than I'd like to admit, and bring much laughter to our home.
I must also add that Mason has endured our many adventures of moving. He did great in AZ, with the exception of his MANY escapes from our back yard while our neighbors dogs were in heat. He's also done well with adjusting to apartment life. He's always had a pin or open yard so we were unsure of how he would do. He does need his daily walks, yes, plural, walks. Just going outside to go potty does not do it for him. He must have at least 30 minutes of hard, go all out play to be manageable inside, but he's worth it.
Though the immense amount of black hair and the extra time it takes can sometimes drive me up a wall, I am so thankful we brought this black sweet baby home with us. He is involved in so many of our wonderful family memories and I am thankful that God gives us relationships and companionship in ways we sometimes forget.