Somehow, in all the flurry of activity recently, we neglected to mark the passing of Gomez's greatest achievement; that of staying alive for six months. And it is GOOD and PROPER to reflect on the past six months! Hasn't VH1 taught us that even YESTERDAY is ripe for nostalgic plunder? (I love the '90s? Yeesh!)
So plunder we shall! All hail the rubber-faced weirdo, as he turns 6 months old! Turn back the hands of time, and re-live this wacky tale with us...
We first saw our little manatee at the breeder's place, at 4 weeks old. The intent was to check out the litter and see if any of the puppies stood out, demanded attention, etc. At first, none did. They were all the same, all cute, bumbling little stooges. Being so young, what the hell could they do besides roll around and grunt? They were just wobbling hairy potatoes, scarcely out of the womb. What kind of personality could they possibly.....
Wait. That's the one.
Uh, I think that one has bonded already. Literally. Who has chosen whom, I wondered? This pup was a diamond in a pile of tater-tots. He was the most focused and determined of the bunch. Not bossy, but strong and curious. He even had a physical heft that his litter-mates lacked.
Four weeks later, we're taking him home. Two months old and still resembling a manatee/potato more than a boxer. He seemed perpetually stunned by life, a quality I'm sure he gets from me. And no, it doesn't wear off. At this stage, he lived almost entirely in my lap.
At nine weeks old, he was still mastering the art of stairs. The slick hardwood surface of the inside staircase sent him skidding across the landing like a greased chicken in a bowling alley...always good for a laugh. The deck stairs (pictured) seemed easier to negotiate, but it obviously took the concentration of a brain surgeon.
At eleven weeks, he began developing that quintessential Boxer trait: Severely Advanced and Terminal Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder Sicko Craziness. At random times, he would stare into your eyes in a desperate attempt to make telepathic contact. Once telepathy was achieved, it became clear that he had nothing to say. All you heard was the echo of birds and crickets in his empty, cavernous mind. Sure, he's smart. But he's an idiot. And that's marvelous.
Regarding the obsessive/compulsive thing: At twelve weeks, Gomez discovered that the greatest, most magical thing on earth is any damned stick he could find. In the photo above, Marian is off-camera, simply holding a stick. And Jumping Jesus, Gomez just can't believe it. GOD-DAMMIT, he says, THAT'S A FREAKIN' STICK you got there...
At 13 weeks, he was fully in the gawky adolescent stage, where his body looked like a mixed bag of pieces and parts: feet growing faster than his torso, head growing faster than his feet, damn...it's a miracle this mess of an animal could even stand up.
Four months old here. He still had the leash-walking manners of a demented speedfreak, but he was well-behaved at the vet, despite all the horrific things they did to him in there. This photo was taken just after the visit where he came face-to-face with a fully grown neapolitan mastiff in the waiting room. It was surely the biggest creature he'd ever seen. Nothing like a dose of sacred humility: Don't ever think you're the big man in town, 'cuz you may turn a corner and have to face one of those beasts. Afterwards, he still had to negotiate the mind-numbing array of smells that 18th Street/Adams Morgan had to offer. He slept a very long time after this.
The Obsessive/Compulsive thing evolved a bit, and Gomez becomes more discerning in his freakouts. Here, he has abandoned all his previous toys in favor of a disposable flowerpot, worth about nine cents. It became his best friend for nearly a week. OH, how they romped and played in the sun...
...which brings us to present day. Six months old, and he's probably around 45-50 pounds, definitely forming his adult set of jowls, and still as bright-eyed and insane as the day he latched onto Marian's nose, declaring her "mummy."
We should definitely stage one insane barn-burner of a one-year birthday party. Assuming he (and we) live that long.