Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The story of Nico

This is Nico as a pup. He is a Jack Russell Terrier / Chihuahua mix. We adopted him from my nephew who had found him abandoned in an alley. My nephew originally named him "Pecas"which in Spanish means "freckles." If you look closely at his nose you can see why. My nephew was looking for a good home for Pecas because his mother already had 3 dogs at their home and told him he could only keep the little pup until he found him a home.

As it happens we were over at their house at a family gathering when he brought Pecas out to
show everyone. I held him for only two seconds before I started thinking about how I was going to get this little guy home. Of course my kids fell in love at first sight as well, so what could I do? The only obstacle was convincing hubby. It's not that hubby dislikes dogs, it's that he is very (okay ultra) sensitive to fleas. I have seen it first hand. When we were waiting for our house to be ready to move into, we stayed temporarily at a rented condominium that, unbeknownst to us, had a flea problem. While we all suffered an occasional bite here and there (before we had the place bombed) hubby had the worst of it. They are just attracted to him. They would jump all over him and pretty much ignore the rest of us. Anyway, this is the biggest reason we never had a dog. I had been working on him for the past 2 years since we bought our house and since the kids had grown up a bit and he was already primed for just this occasion. So, I made the call. It didn't go over as well as I would have liked, but in the end he relented and gave his blessing. We brought him home that night. He got his new name, Nico, from the kids' favorite hockey player at the time Niko Dimitrakos. I didn't know that "Nico" was supposed to be spelled "Niko" so his name tag reads "Nico." We ended up meeting Nico's namesake (the real) Niko (Dimitrakos) at a Sharks' game back in December and Woody told him we named our dog after him and showed him a picture from my digital camera. Big Niko, said that little Nico was "cool."

Nico had a rough first summer with us. Nothing but drama. First, he broke his leg. If that wasn't bad enough, the vet gave him a pink cast! No dignity for this dog. He broke the leg when he jumped off the couch (where I had been drying him off after a bath) onto the slippery tile floor and obviously landed wrong. He spent most of the summer wearing the cast of shame. He chewed it off about 3 weeks before he was supposed to get it taken off. I took him back to the vet and they put on a blue cast, however he chewed that of two days later. The blue cast cost me an extra $75, so I did not go back for a third cast. I figured (as did he) he didn't need it anymore. Anyway, shortly after that he overdosed on Motrin. He took a bottle of Motrin out of my purse and ended up swallowing 19 motrin tablets. He was sick as, well, a dog and threw up all night long. He was pretty out of it for two days and then finally started coming back to his old self. The scary thing is that given the opportunity, I'm not sure he wouldn't do it again. We've had him for a year this month and he is a big part of the family.

#91 bought him this jacket back in December, he often wonders if it makes him look fat? What do you think? At least its not pink, right?

These days he pretty much "protects" the house when we are all out. He does his nightly rounds (7-10 times per night) around the back yard chasing off anything that shouldn't be there, uh, or the airplanes, sometimes both. Lately hubby has been spoiling him by taking him outside late at night when he gets home. Now he expects it and does a little dance and happy snort everytime hubby comes home until hubby gives in and takes him out for a short (one block and back) walk. They have both come a long way. Nico used to be scared of hubby and not come near him, now its like they are best friends.

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