Today Leroy’s celebrates his 10th birthday and while I would like to say that it’s been nothing but a pleasure and a simple ride getting here, that would be a lie.
The truth of the matter is that getting Leroy to 10 years old has been a struggle, a debacle, a little bit of a nightmare and at sometimes, has left me feeling defeated and heartbroken.
But the last 10 years with Leroy have also been comical beyond words, filled with moments that fall only slightly short of miraculous, filled with education that will last a lifetime. Broken noses, bruised toes and chipped teeth have led me to become stronger both mentally, physically and spiritually. I found a voice that I didn’t know that I had and the size of my heart has grown 10 times over.
In honor of Leroy’s 10 years of life I thought it would be fun to run down some of the more memorable times over the last 10 years. Those of you who have been here with us since the beginning have heard many of these stories more than once so it’ll be like a trip down memory lane. For those of use who have just joined us recently, please enjoy.
Leroy, a.k.a Badd Badd Leroy Brown, was born June 30th, 2008 in North Dakota. In September 1998 Leroy came home here to Ohio.
He was flown from North Dakota to Ohio via Delta Airlines and we picked him up at the airport in the early afternoon.
On our way home we stopped at the vet. Not for a check-up but so I could show him off to all my friends at work.
From there we drove home and when we got Leroy out of the car we set down him down in the driveway and he took off running for the street. Luckily, Newfie puppies aren’t that fast at first and my husband quickly grabbed him and took him into the house to meet Sherman.
Sherman was not a fan of Leroy and wanted nothing to do with him but Leroy made sure to keep pressing the issue and make Sherman feel uncomfortable.
The first few months were a bit hectic as the boys tried to get use to each other. Leroy bonded more with our Beagle at the time because Sherman still wasn’t a fan.
Our Beagle graciously taught Leroy how to play tug-of-war, how to beg, how to hump and how to chase.
He also had no problem putting Leroy in his place when Leroy would pester him.
Leroy made several attempts to try to get Sherman to play but Sherman was never into playing all that much.
After a few short months of having Leroy in the family we learned early on that he liked to eat inedible things so we had to block certain rooms off and the kids were given many pleas to not leave any of their small toys lying around.
Nevertheless, I would always find something in Leroy’s poop like a pencil topper, a piece of a pencil, a penny, 1/2 my daughter’s baby blanket, etc.
On Leroy’s first birthday he spent the day at the animal hospital because he had eaten a double A battery out of the remote control. He didn’t swallow the battery, he chewed it and had acid burns on his tongue.
Around age 2 Leroy made his first attempt at swimming in our pool. He had never shown any interest in the pool but on one cold and wintry day he decided to shove his body under the fence that went around the pool, jump onto the ice, fall through the ice and then somehow manage to wiggle his way out under the fence again.
I didn’t see any of this happen. I had let him out and came back to check on him and Sherman 5 minutes later.
Leroy was wet.
And I investigated.
Foot prints on the top layer of ice in the pool then a big hole through the ice and cover.
One day he escaped from our fenced in yard when my husband was raking leaves. The gate was open about 6 inches and my husband was standing right next to it and Leroy just busted through and took off into the woods.
Another time he busted through the front door and took off running.
When we had our yard sectioned off, he would get into the section that he wasn’t suppose to be in.
It was an everyday occurrence.
My husband gave Leroy a nickname that I won’t say here but it begins with a C and ends with a K.
Right around the same time Leroy entered the show ring.
We began showing him a little earlier because we thought that maybe he could help Sherman out in the ring.
Leroy was a late bloomer for the show world.
He was a gangly dork for quite some time and Sherman was filling out nicely at that time.
Leroy’s presence did what it was supposed to do for about a year and then Leroy took to the ring full force.
By full force I mean locally. We didn’t travel all over the country to show him but we did the local shows.
Leroy loved showing and he finished quickly.
For the first years of our time together, Leroy and I didn’t have that great of a bound.
He seemed more like a dog’s dog than a people’s dog. He didn’t care much for attention, unless he wanted something.
I tried bonding with him and would constantly get rejected.
On our walks he would jump on me and pull my pants down. He would fling slobber on my face when I was talking to someone and the list just went on.
I gave him the nickname Jerkface.
I longed for him to like me.
While he was a hysterical type of dog, his humor always seemed to be at my expense but I was o.k. with that because it gave me something to write about.
Leroy definitely brought humor back in my life.
Around 3 years old Leroy acquired a taste for rocks.
When we realized that there was an issue, Leroy was not allowed to be left outside unsupervised until we could remove all of the rocks from our yard.
We had mostly decorative rocks and gravel rocks around the pool but Leroy was to the point of where he would try to eat rocks anywhere he could, including when we would go for walks.
His rock eating seemed to be come ago and over the course of 2 years he would have several x-rays done if we thought he had ingested a fair amount.
I knew the damage the rock eating could do so we did our best to not expose him to any.
When Leroy was 5 1/2 years old, one day on freezing afternoon in the middle winter, he would dig up the foundation of our house and swallowed at least 62 rocks. He puked 1/2 of them up outside my bedroom door in the wee hours of the morning and the following day he would have the remainder of the rocks removed from his stomach.
Leroy never fully recovered from his surgery and several months later he was hospitalized in the ICU with our new vet.
That is when Leroy and I finally formed a bond.
I remember walking into the ICU one day with the family and Leroy looked up, looked into my eyes and every so slightly wagged his tail. My heart swelled and I crawled into his cage area with him and he laid his head on my lap and let out a sigh.
From there on out when Leroy would look at me I could feel the love.
He wasn’t looking at me just to look at me but he was looking at me because he trusted me.
He would look at me for guidance, for reassurance and for comfort.
For the next few years our bond would continue to grow as I nursed him back to a semi-healthy dog.
I had finally gained his trust.
He spent more time with the family and he began a morning ritual of waking me up with nose boop.
Over the last year Leroy has started to give me kisses.
He’s never been much of a kisser, he’s more of a hugger, but he’s caught onto Sherman doing it to me so he’s joined in.
It’s the cutest softest little kiss. It’s like a nose boop with a tiny lick.
Raising Leroy for the last 10 years has been a challenge.
It has been filled with so much heartaches, so much work but also so much love and so much humor.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Leroy is my once in a lifetime dog and I’ve been saying that for years.
There will never be a dog quite like him and I wouldn’t want there to be.
It might sound crazy after all that I’ve said here but he is exactly the dog that I needed at this time in my life.
Happy 10th Birthday Mr. Roy. I’m glad you made it here.
p.s. If you’re wondering what happened to the zero balloon, it frickin popped right in the middle of taking pictures and there were a lot of not nice words that were being thrown around.