Friday, September 11, 2009

The Dogs Ate The Vineyard

I should take a moment to introduce our two beloved dogs. As our only two children for now, you will likely see their names peppered throughout this blog. We adopted Tux and Belle 5 days after we returned from our honeymoon. We intended to get one dog, but after seeing this brother and sister pair romp around together and being told the story of how they were found together, starved and full of ticks, we couldn't bear the thought of separating them after they had survived traveling the road together. So, we ended up with not just one dog with the potential to grow over 100 lbs, but two. After all, what good vineyard doesn't have a vineyard dog...or two? They are Great Dane mixes, although we're not exactly sure of the mix.

They were especially puppy dog cute when they were just sweet little frail 40 lb dogs, with ribs showing, trying to acclimate to their new home while being nursed back to health. But now that they are nice and robust, they are now more like 60-70 lb dogs and cute in a way that you might describe, say, Chris Farley. They make us laugh, and all they want is to be liked and have their bellies rubbed, but their large structures coupled with their energy and curiosity make them bulls in a china shop.

The training is progressing, but naturally, we've got some work to do. I am too embarrassed to admit on here the things they have already chewed up, urinated on, or eaten, but I will tell you the first thing I discovered that was, unbeknownst to me, only foreshadowing of what was to follow.

Several weeks ago, Aaron was outside and I was sitting in the living room naively assuming that the dogs were just laying peacefully on the rug by the front door where they were when I last looked. After some time passed and it was much too quiet, I went to see what they were up to and found them in our bedroom, hovered over hundreds of tiny little torn up pieces of paper. It took me a minute to figure out which book they had torn apart by deciphering the name of the chapter on the top of one of the torn pages. I was at first relieved when I realized it was not, Twilight, which I was 3/4 of the way through at the time, but then defeated when I realized the book was, The Vineyard. It was the book that I gave Aaron on our wedding day. A hard copy autobiographical novel about a newly married couple who in the 197os started a vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island, where we happened to have honeymooned. At least I was able to recapture part of the front cover page where I had inscribed,

"June 19th, 2009, To My Husband...".

At the time I wrote it, I had imagined it being a family heirloom, held for posterity and passed down to future generations showing that ancient day the legacy of the Aaron and Ashley Schram family began, all in my handwritten script. Ah....

Little did I know that 4 weeks later, that page would be torn out of the destroyed book, ripped at two corners with teeth marks imprinted in the middle of the page and crinkled from dried up slobber. It took me a few days to be able to look at it and just shake my head and laugh. Now I think I will frame it as I think it is representative of what life and marriage is like and will be for us...unpredictable and in need of a great sense of humor.

I just hope their destruction of The Vineyard was not an omen!