Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordy Wednesday (caution: highly charged emotions...)

I just got done reading Kelly's blog (aka The Misadventures of Pug(s) and Bugg). We are pug owners and our pugs are not perfect dogs, at least in the minds of non-pug owners. But they are wonderful, loving creatures and they are full of personality. People have called us crazy for having so many pugs (even when we only had 3) and some people have just shook their heads and given the look that says "You're an idiot". Worse yet, people have given us grief because Pippin is a bit, well, fat. I get really irritated when people criticize when they don't know what the other's situation is. We get it a lot not just with the pugs but also with our son. We adopted Sam 3 years ago. He came to live with us right after his 12th birthday. He was taken into foster care when he was 6 and his mom was arrested. Not only was she a drug user, but she didn't send him to school. He went to a few foster homes before ending up in a "therapeutic" group home where he stayed for 2 years before we found him. So now he's approaching 15 and he's sitting in the living room crying his eyes out because he was an ass to me and lied to me. He's not crying because he feels bad about what he did, but because he got in trouble for it. Believe it or not, this is improved behavior from when we got him. A few weeks before we went to court to make the adoption legal, he had a major temper tantrum after he got home from school and Denny wasn't home yet. He went out into the garage and took a tennis racquet and started beating up my washer and dryer. When I went out there to try to stop him, he acted like he would swing it at me. I stepped in to take it and got the racquet, but he slapped me in the face with his bare hand. He then grabbed a baseball bat and really pounded at the washer and dryer and threatened me. I had no choice but to call the police. They took him to juvie and from there we took him to the psychiatric hospital where he stayed for a week. I got my very first migraine that night. Denny and I then had some very serious conversations about whether or not we would go through with the adoption. Obviously we did. Sam could barely read when he came here, now he's up to about a 6th grade level. He's a whiz at math if he focuses and uses his brain. He's actually learning things. He's still failing all his classes, but that's because we can't seem to get him to care about his grades. Ok, so what is my point, you ask? Don't judge people without knowing what they're going through. We went through years of fertility treatments that included one pregnancy with twins that I miscarried. It was so difficult to decide to adopt, and we felt it was important for us to adopt a child from foster care since there are so many kids in foster care who need loving, stable homes. But people, including family (ESPECIALLY family), criticize our parenting. I see them give him dirty looks when he acts up in public, but they scold us for trying to correct his bad manners. "Don't be so hard on him." "He's a teenage boy, that's how they are." Now I know for a fact that none of my parents' kids swung a baseball hat at their heads. They never had to call the police on us or have us admitted to a psych hospital. They never had to take us to therapy (although maybe they should have). I know it's not quite the same thing as Kelly's situation with her pugs, but it's just as infuriating. I know Denny and I don't have a lot of parenting experience and we jumped into it at full speed, but don't criticize us when you haven't been through anything even somewhat close to what we're going through. We know we're doing the right thing and it's not for anyone else to judge.

Ok, sorry for going on a major rant there. I read Kelly's blog then we had the Sam episode and I really needed to get some of that out. I so appreciate my blogger buddies here and I hope you all bear with me through this. Everyone offered the nicest words when I posted about my mother-in-law's death and I want you all to know how much your comments meant to me. And Kelly, WE know what wonderful pug parents you and Brian are! I think you are such great people to have rescued the three amigos. I know what it's like to "save" another living creature, be it pug or human. You've met Sam, you know how weird he can be, but he has a stable, loving home now, just like Sophie, Dixie, and Harley do.

That being said, here are some cute pug pictures...
Thank you to everyone for enduring this post!
Pug hugs and kisses!
Vikki and the entire Pug Posse

P.S. Kelly: Pippin loves Sophie :-)


Pug(s) and Bugg said...

Right on, Vikki! My one nice co-worker said today that people shouldn't compare apples to oranges. Although sometimes I think it's like apples to tennis balls!!!! And just so you know, at all the meetups, Sam is one of the happiest, nicest, and kindest people there. Just so everyone knows- Sam was the one who volunteered to help us put the pug booties on them! And laughed the whole time. Everyone has a story and a history and he is lucky that you can see past that and love him and take care of him. You are the best!

Unknown said...

Everyone deserves a chance, and then a second chance, too, especially children. Who would be there for him if it weren't for you?
sending supportive hugs

Brutus and Miley said...

Oh my there is a special place in heaven for you! Well said!

Kelly said...

Vikki, that made me tear up! I think everyone deserves at least *someone* who believes in them. It took too long for Sam to find that person, but he is so lucky to have you and Denny... and you are lucky to have him! Bless you and your family!

Clover said...

Hi Vikki,
Thanks for sharing that with us. You and your husband are very special people with big hearts!
I just love your pictures - your little crew is adorable! I can't tell which puggy it is that is smiling in those pictures (I think it is Bernice?) - it makes me happy!
Jess, Clover's mom

Harry Pugalicious said...

There's so much emotions going on in or bloggie world. Mom just read your blog and now she's all teary-eyed.

You can rant whenever you wants - that's why we's here!

Snorts & Kisses!

~Harry P.

The Devil Dog said...

Okay, haven't read Pug & Bug yet, but I will. I think you are very brave to have five pugs. I took care of my mom's two once, and four was way too much for me. That you can manage five is awesome. As for Sam, it is obvious you love him a lot and know how to handle him. He is so lucky to have found you. As for therapy, since when did it get such a bad name? It's supposed to help people. When my son was younger I dealt with a lot of people who didn't or wouldn't try to understand him. Sometimes people should just mind their own business. It's too bad you can't come up with some nice, witty remark like, "thank you very much for your advice, but this is what my husband and I decided we wanted for our son" sort of thing to get people to back off.
Sam probably is truly just starting to feel secure after so much in his life. I know you didn't adopt him because it was a wonderful thing to do, but because you wanted to give him a home and love, but it is a wonderful thing you have done.

Roxy's mom

The Devil Dog said...

Vikki, I think you and I could trade mother-in law (and sister in law) stories. My sister is law used to call me "old what's her face". For Seven years! I am three months older than her. Her name is Mary. Mine is Marie.
Yup, I think we could have quite a few conversations.

Roxy's Mom

Margie said...

wow, you sure have a lot on your plate. Big hugs to you for taking it all on. :-) People just amaze me sometimes with the careless things they say/write. All I have to say is thank goodness there are people like you out there who are willing to give of themselves. Two of my pugs are rescues but both came without much baggage. But even if they had, I'd love them just the same.

Sandra y Coco Pug said...

Hi Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog, I pretty much feel the same. I am glad to have met wonderful people through my blog, and I want you to know that I really admire you for giving a child the opportunity of his life. I am sure that you and your husband are doing a great job as parents.

Salinger The Pug said...

Wow Vikki! First off...we're a day late and a dollar short at blog reading because I didn't even see this post until tonight (Thursday).
You'll notice I wrote the note on facebook about Sam and how sweet he is YESTERDAY, so hopefully that will make you feel good!
I have to tell you...I'm a bit jealous of your FIVE puggies because that's five times the love and snuggles.
Like I told Kelly...people are just idiots and I really believe that sometimes it's ok to just tell them to go pee up a tree.
Keep doing what you're doing're doing great things!!!!
See you in a few weeks at Meetup!