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Meet Beau, newest member of chaotic Dykstra family

by Denise Dykstra

My husband says I have no one to blame but myself.

I don’t know. I feel destiny called me and that is how I ended up with a new dog. In May. Remember May? Even the Farmer’s Almanac calendar had May’s month photo as a tornado!

I suppose I should start at the beginning.

My friend Katie has been telling me for four years now that I need another dog. This week, I was scrolling through my niece Kelly’s and my text messages to see that most of the photos we send each other are of house decorating ideas and dogs.

But I have resisted. We have an 8-year-old Beagle named Liberty. She came to our home on the Fourth of July. She was the cutest little puppy. She is also the most stubborn, bull headed, sneaky dog I have ever known. She prefers to sleep for 22 hours a day and is content if we just let her sleep, preferably in our beds and on our pillows, and eat all the food.

She is a good dog, hardly any trouble. She is happy to see every one of us when we return home, but she is most happy to sleep. A lot.

Beau and Liberty like to play.

We have three cats. Waylon, Hank and Cash. I have shared with you some stories of Cash. You may recall that Cash is more dog-like than cat-like at times, and that I call him the most horrible adorable cat. Waylon and Hank are age 9 now and they are well settled in their ways. It took them months to adjust to Cash the Cat, but unless Cash is being horrible it’s a pretty peaceful pet home.

When our 20-year-old son was home to visit, he wanted to go see some friends’ puppies. I had no problem with this. Who doesn’t love puppies? I also knew it was pure insanity to get a puppy. Our home is too busy and too much coming and going to ever get a puppy.

This was what I would call a purely safe visit. Just a fun time to snuggle cute puppies.

Katie says this was my first and epic mistake. A mistake she is most happy I made, but one that she is still laughing at me for.

When we went to see puppies, this adorable black dog was herding all the puppies as well as running over to sit in my lap and all but give me a hug. Then he was up again to herd puppies. I swear the dog had a smile on his face. And he was literally bouncing with energy. I snuggled a cute, adorable, roly-poly puppy when the puppies’ owner asked me what I thought of Beau, the bounding dog.

I thought he was funny and beautiful.

Well, as it turned out, he was also looking for a new forever home. And she was curious if we would be willing to try him out at our home.

I swear my son Isaac had to bite his tongue to keep from laughing at me.

We brought Beau and Liberty together to see how they would do. Liberty, as you may have gathered, is not one for excitement. She was less than thrilled. When Beau returned the next day for an overnight visit, Liberty could not have sulked and pouted more if she had to. Liberty’s pure disgust was met with an overly energetic and extremely ready-to-love-on-everyone Beau.

You can guess how great that went over.

I knew that it would be an adjustment as well for the cats. What I did not anticipate was how conniving cats can be and that Cash the Cat may be the most conniving of them all. I am fairly certain he is down in our basement concocting a massive plan to take over the house as his alone while I write this.

When Beau had been here about a week, Cash the Cat emerged from his basement cave and meowed a sweet meow to me. I greeted him with happiness as I have missed his constant presence to my day (Well, mostly. When he is being adorable, that is.).

Is Cash delightful and funny, or evil?

Earlier in the week, Cash had jumped up on the kitchen counter and backed himself up to the wall, hissing all sorts of insults to Beau. Cash was sure he was safe, until Beau lifted up on his hind legs and was suddenly face to face with Cash. This was not part of Cash’s plan. He took off running along the counter so quickly it was as if he was in a cartoon. His legs were moving frantically, his body just hadn’t gotten the memo to move.

When Cash did start moving, he tipped over my full mug of coffee as he made an epic fling through the air that was a full on strike to Beau’s nose before he retreated to the basement. Cash had not been upstairs since. But here he was, acting all adorable and headed over to his food dish where he was sure to want a can of cat food. Looking at me the entire time, Cash plopped himself down in the dog food dish and peed his little bladder out. I am not sure how long he had held all that pee, but Cash glared at me the entire time he peed and then he took himself back to the basement.

I feel it is safe to say that Cash is not a fan of Beau.
But I am.
Abe says that I could write a whole article about Beau before one in the afternoon. The way Abe said it did not sound like a compliment.

At night, Beau must travel to the bedrooms to see if we all are where we should be. He will jump on top of me and sniff my head to make sure I am really there, lying on my pillow. Then he gets down and checks all the doors and the windows and I don’t even know what else before he hits my elbow to see if I am still in bed.

Then he moves to the bedroom door, makes a bunch of circles of exhaustion, and falls asleep. He stays there unless it’s morning and feels he needs to check on me again. When I get up, he follows my every move. When I sit down with my coffee, he has to sniff it to make sure it’s not too hot for me. He then has to curl himself up on my feet to make sure my toes don’t get cold. He appreciates it if I scratch behind his ears.

He seems to sense I like pure silence in the morning and he will lull me into thinking he is a calm dog. Until he can’t any more. Then he suddenly decides we all need to bounce and play, and Tiger from Winnie the Pooh comes to mind when this switch goes off in Beau.

We thought Beau had somehow learned how to open all the doors in the house until we caught Liberty letting Beau out. Liberty tried to feign ignorance, but we caught her in the moment. We didn’t even know she could open the doors! Liberty now plays and runs like she is a puppy with Beau, until she decides she has had enough. Then she gets all grouchy and retreats to her bed.

If she so much as senses Beau coming near her, she growls low. Once she has had a nap in, she goes back to play. We have never seen Liberty this energized. It feels like she thought we were all too boring for her, however we have never been called a boring family.

Beau and his new mom, during “tryouts.”

Every neighbor near us had heard us hollering for Beau. Anyone who passes our house knows Beau is near because he wants to go out and meet every person. If he feels like he has stressed me out too much, he leans his whole body against me and waits for me to rub behind his ears to let him know he is okay. He is high energy and he is overflowing with sweetness.

Because he is still so new to us, I am always wary of how he will act in a new situation. Because he is nearly a year old, sometimes he clumsily falls over himself in his pure excitement and he makes me laugh all throughout the day.

As stated, we are anything but boring over here.

After initially meeting Beau, Abe said if we did not keep him he would never forgive us. Eli immediately has nicknamed Beau “Bocephus”, which is actually a much longer name but it fits well with Waylon, Hank and Cash. My husband keeps shaking his head and giving me “the look” as if to say “Why? Why would you do this?”

But apparently my friend Katie and my niece Kelly knew why. They knew I needed a little more chaos and snuggles in my life. I did not know this, but they did.

My husband recently agreed that Beau can stay with us. Cash is not taking the news well, as you can imagine. I wanted to take some time to introduce you to Beau, as he and Cash’s stories are sure to be epic this summer.

Do you have a good dog or cat story to share?

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