PK and the Gang

Bringing Eastern Europe to Eastern North Carolina

Archive for the category “Rex”

The Dog, Dyngus Day, and Staring at Phones

It's true. My wife is hot and she is an amazing Vanna White.

You might have already seen it on Facebook, but here’s Becky mailing off the application!

The past few weeks have a bit of a blur, if I’m to be quite honest. Between preparing for holidays and having extra events at work, life would have been hopping anyway but when you add on the fact that we’ve actually mailed in the application to the agency we’ve had extra homework. Becky and I have had to make copies of pertinent documents, fill our paperwork, write up our spiritual journeys, get doctor’s notes, and get everything notarized (thanks to our dear friend, Kathy) and we managed to get it all mailed off. Thanks to everyone for the prayers and good thoughts and for those who are wondering we still haven’t heard anything. With our luck, we managed to get everything mailed off during Holy Week and it arrived on Maundy Thursday, just a bit before the end of business. I suspect, since this is a Christian agency, they were closed on Good Friday, obviously shut down for the weekend, and are probably shut down for Easter Monday. Which means the clock doesn’t start until tomorrow. We were told that typically it’s a two-day turnaround (likely the shortest wait we’ll have on this journey) but, since we have to have a doctor’s note and it may have to be sent to Poland, it could take about a week. Of course, this coming Sunday is the canonization of Pope John Paul II, so I understand Poland is a little crazy right now getting ready to celebrate their favorite son. So when will we hear? I don’t know but rest assured I’ll let you know. If they want to play with us, and they have been encouraging that there’s no real reason they shouldn’t, then we sign the contract and we’re officially working with them. Then comes more paper work, more notarizations, more waiting…par for the course as far as I understand.

Nothing suspicious at all going on. Boys getting ready for a water attack on Smigus Dyngus in Sanok, Poland.

Nothing suspicious at all going on. Boys getting ready for a water attack on Smigus Dyngus in Sanok, Poland.

It’s Easter Monday or, in Poland, Śmigus Dyngus (pronounced SHMEE-gus DIN-gus) . I’ve enjoyed learning more about Polish culture recently and Easter (and the surrounding days) is something they take seriously. Śmigus Dyngus has a long tradition in Poland. Boys traditionally tossed water on girls who they thought were attractive and in recent years girls have joined in soaking the guys. Traditionally, there were poems to be said, ransoms of decorated eggs to be received, and, in some regions, a drunk rooster pulled through town on a cart. Now, it seems to be more of a feeling of “Don’t leave the house unless you have to – the neighbor’s kids are waiting outside the door with Supersoakers.” Proof that while traditions may change the poignant beauty of them does not. In all honesty, the Polish traditions, rituals and pageantry that are part of Easter weekend are amazing and I look forward to including more of them into our family celebrations (this year included kielbasa and a lamb (in butter form) on the table for Easter lunch).

Today is also the anniversary of Rex joining the family! Well, technically it was the 9th but I can be horrible with dates. Rex was adopted on Easter Monday two years ago and so in my head Easter Monday is Rex’s Gotcha Day no matter what year it is. To celebrate, we bought him some Beggin’ Strips (we spare no expense). It’s weird to think that it’s been so short a time. Hopefully, the time till PK is here will seem just as fast.

Our Fur-Child

A very dear friend of ours recently made a comment about how her relationship with her dog has taught her an amazing amount about our relationship with God. It was deep and profound and blew me away. I know the dog in question and, while an admittedly awesome little spud, I’ve never looked at any dog in that way. That little comment got me looking at my relationship with our dog, Rex, a little differently. Aside from noticing the points about our relationship with God, I’ve also noticed that Rex is our fur-child. Our practice baby, if you will.

Rex isn’t familiar to a lot of you, so I thought that I’d introduce the youngest member of our gang – at least until PK gets here. Rex is adopted – I guess it’s a family trend. Becky and I adopted him from the Carteret County Humane Society the day after Easter two years ago. When we showed up, I had a strict check-list of things we were looking for in a dog: 1 – surrendered by a family so that we knew some of its history and it would have a little training 2- Fixed so that I didn’t have to deal with that 3 – Pretty laid back 4- Housetrained. As we were walking around, we found ourselves surrounded by loud barking dogs begging us to love them. In the last cage, Becky spotted a tri-color hound who sauntered up to the fence and just stared at us. When we got closer, he put out one paw and just stared at us. I had a sneaking suspicion that this dog was coming home with us.

As we talked to the volunteers, I found out that the dog was likely abandoned when he failed his hunting trials since he was found wandering the highway. He also wasn’t fixed. On top of that he was cryptorchid (he only had half a chance of ever fathering pups) and that vets might not honor the certificate for a free neutering. He had no training – house or otherwise. Still in the midst of the conversation, Becky and I were playing with this scarred but beautiful mutt and I knew that we’d find a way to make him part of our family, cover the bill if I couldn’t find a vet to neuter him with the certificate, and give him the love he had obviously been lacking in the days before the humane society found him. In a nod to our last name and to the fact that Becky and I love a good pun, we named him Rex (Latin for “king”) Arthur.

Life with a new dog is an adjustment. Life with a new dog who has never been inside a house before is akin to riding a roller coaster without a seatbelt. We laughed at his surprise to radio and TV. We worked to get him to trust us and listen to us. He learned house-training surprisingly fast. However, it was not without some tears. I was at work one day and got a phone call from Becky in tears. All I could really understand was that she couldn’t do this anymore and the dog had gotten sick. It turned out that Rex had eaten a bunch of grass, run around and managing to spray a light green puke foam across the room. We got it cleaned up and then a few days later, Rex helped himself to our dinner. That’s how we discovered his breed likes to counter-surf and matures late. Joy. Several days we had to choose to love him.

Neutering Rex was a godsend. He did start to calm down and I think everyone was grateful. The days of stress and tears are

Like any good parents, we laughed and took a picture before helping Rex get down.

Like any good parents, we laughed and took a picture before helping Rex get down.

fewer and farther apart. There are still the days of teenage rebellion – Rex has been known to stare at us and yell if he doesn’t get his way. More often than not we have days when we all laugh (I swear Rex does too), a lot of snuggling and licks and moments when Becky and I have no idea what he is thinking. Today for example, we cleaned up from Christmas and Rex was so excited with the change that he ran around like a whirlwind and found himself on top of his crate – something he hasn’t done before. We were surprised and he was surprised. He was so shocked that he had a hard time getting off of the top of the crate. We had to give him some encouragement and coaching. He’s insane and a little special and takes pride in his ability to mess up a clean house in a heartbeat.

Lord willing, in a bit less than two years, Becky and I will be in the middle of a similar process. There will be some notable differences – I understand that putting your child in a cage for the night is frowned upon. Still, we will have an adorable, confused little one and all three of us will be trying to figure out how to make it work and what normal is now. There will be  laughter, kisses and new experiences and tears, fret and waking up at ungodly hours. And I am looking forward to all of it.

 

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