Friday, November 9, 2007

Duncaversary Part Two: The World's Most Expensive Dog

I have been accused of being "a dog freak," which I deny adamantly. I am not a parent and don't have children to dote on and spoil so I channel all that energy into my dog. And although dogs are not children they do take a lot of time, a lot of energy and space. Especially space.

It became obvious after only two days with our new puppy that our lives were about to undergo a massive overhaul. Our first weekend with Duncan was exhausting, and our apartment was not very dog friendly (and by "our apartment" I mean our three cats). There was a lot of species identity conflict in our home. Winnie and Pip had been raised by two Golden Retrievers prior to moving to Denver and Pip seemed to think he was a dog: coming when he was called, playing fetch, rolling over to have his belly scratched. Even Winnie, the most cat-like of our cats, liked a good spanking and enjoyed being roughed up. At one point I was even walking her on a leash. Olive, the youngest, was now being raised by two cats who thought they were dogs. Duncan entered the picture, a big, bumbling puppy, and soon became convinced he was a cat, demonstrating it by curling up in our laps, perching on the back of the couches to look out the window and eating with only the most fickle and disapproving of appetites. He was small, but still larger than Pip and tended to knock things over as he chased his older brother around the apartment. We had no yard and could only let him out on his leash, which we struggled to train him to walk with. By the end of our first weekend, after the twentieth trip out with the dog, I came inside, kicked off the snow, removed my shoes, coat, gloves and hat and announced to Ken, "We need a yard."

The very next morning we began our search. We drove down Monaco and through Park Hill and Montview looking at houses which appeared small but had fenced in yards. The trouble was, all the houses in the neighborhoods we liked ran upwards of $600,000 and were often smaller than our apartment,so we decided to take a look at the developing area known as Stapleton, Denver's old airport, where people were building brand new homes. We must've walked through fifty different models that day, returning home frequently to let the dog out. By the end of the day we'd found a model we liked, had met with the sales reps and were pretty convinced we'd settled on a neighborhood and a price that met our budget. Over the course of the next several weeks we'd look at other homes and work on securing our loan, and by the end of November we'd pretty much decided on building a brand new home on Central Park Boulevard.

By the end of our first month with Duncan, our free dog had somehow managed to cost us over $300,000.
And he still wasn't potty trained. But he knew how to mug for the camera.

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