The story of how Gus and Harvey came to live with us is one that I actually hate to tell as it brings up memories of days of heartache and worry and the gut wrenching lessons of buyer beware. Suffice it to say, the breeder we chose was a really good liar. After she kept us in the dark for days while she tried (and succeeded, thank God) to save Harvey’s life from some mystery ailment that was likely the result of a mistake she made, we were able to bring home the sweetest, most adorable, most expensive mutts* we could have possibly imagined.
Looking back, though, none of it matters. Gus and Harvey are absolutely everything I have ever wanted in a dog and they have filled holes in our family we didn’t know were there. They are mama lovin’ cuddle bugs. They are playful and sneaky and I swear that they are more like people than canines. They are instantly loved by anyone and everyone they’ve ever met. They love to sit in a chair by the front window and watch the world outside, alerting us to possible intrusion from strange people, strange dogs, or any and every cat. The most exciting part of their day is at 6:30 pm when Ebin walks in the door from work. They sit in that window and look and listen for any signs of his noisy car as it rumbles down the street to our house. When they see him, their nubby little tales look as though they could launch into flight. They love to sleep more than anything else and my favorite time of day is right before bed or early in the morning when they crawl into my lap and doze off. As much as they are alike, they look and act so different it’s difficult to believe they are supposed to be brothers.
Harvey: Harvey is big and all muscle. His strength can overwhelm you and drag you down the street at full speed before you even get your footing. He’s a gentle giant, though, and he has the biggest heart and wears his emotions out in the open for all to see. Harv can be jumpy and wary and nervous, something we believe is an effect of the first weeks of his life. He loves squeaky, yellow balls and can play by himself with one for hours. Harvey is the boss of the toys and rarely lets Gus enjoy a moment’s peace with something he wants. He loves to smell your breath (I don’t get it either) and his favorite place to cuddle is in the crook of your legs. Harv is the easiest to train as he is the most eager to please. His lips form the most adorable little pout so he looks sad even when he’s not and he has big, inky puddles for eyes. As long as I live, I hope I never forget the look of joy and relief on Harv’s face the day we took him home and away from the nightmare that he had been living with the breeder. There was a time when people were telling me it was a mistake to take Harvey home as his initial health issues could be expensive and heartbreaking for us. When I look at him now, I could not be more pleased that I refused to listen.
Gus: Gus is sneaky and smart and was voted “Most Likely to Become an Evil Genius.” Unlike his brother, Gus is small and stocky. He has the shortest little legs that can move at surprising speeds. His breath is SO smelly and if you blindfolded me and held one end up to my face, I may not be able to discern his face hole from his butt hole. When we brought Gus home, his ears stood at sincere attention. Over time, though, they’ve fallen to the side of his face and remain there unless he hears something startling. Gus has selective hearing and is the most pig headed, stubborn creature I’ve ever encountered. Gus loves to be outside, chasing leaves and lizards, and will run to the door if you happen to mention the word “out” in any form or fashion. He loves our cat and wants her to love him so, so desperately. He is my most ardent cuddler and will attack my laptop if it happens to be in his place. Gus can open the door to their crate all on his own, something his brother just cannot understand. Gus had my heart the minute I first saw him, and though there are days when I want to sell him to the gypsies, he’ll always be my little, little one.
A time is coming when real flesh and blood babies will overtake their place in our lives. I will openly admit to crying at the thought of how their lives might change with the introduction of our actual spawn. For the last year, they have been my constant company and source of comfort and have filled me with joy at an uncertain time in my life. They are my bubby boys, my little ones, my Gussy and Harv.
*For those of you that don’t know, we bought Gus and Harvey thinking they were French Bulldogs. One year later and it’s abundantly clear that Frenchie is just one of the many breeds that make up their DNA.