The Story of Krypto, Our Super Dog

This is Krypto the Superdog:
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This is Krypto, our super dog:
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The second Krypto wasn’t born on Krypton. He hails from parts unknown, but experts place it somewhere in the vicinity of Glendale, CA, where he was found wandering aimlessly. He was apprehended in early September, 2006 and transferred to the Pasadena Humane Society. It just so happened that this was around the time d Wife and Marcus launched their efforts in earnest to lobby for a dog in the BusyDad household. d Wife had been sending me a barrage of pictures and links for adoptable puppies in hopes of weakening my resolve against welcoming another life form that we’d be wholly responsible for keeping happy and alive. I was fending quite well, using distance (we have to drive 5 hours just to see this dog!), cost ($700? They call that a rescue??) and breed (I ain’t gangsta enough for a pit!) as leverage. Then she sent me this from the Pasadena Humane Society website:


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Distance? 10-minute drive.
Cost? $110 including shots.
Breed? Part beagle – d Wife and I both had beagles growing up.

Dang it! Foiled again!!

The Wait
The next day, we were the first in line when the doors of the Humane Society opened to put our name on the list to adopt this puppy. Although things weren’t finalized, and we couldn’t even start the process for another week (grace period to wait for the rightful owner), this dog was already ours in Marcus’ mind. We went to visit him in his pen day after day. Marcus stood vigil in front of this puppy’s pen, intimidating other would-be adopters:
 
Tween Girl: Dad look! This one’s sooo cute!
Marcus: Do you like this dog?
Tween Girl: Yeah...
Marcus: Do you want to adopt him?
Tween Girl: Yeah! Dad, can we adopt him?
Marcus (taking one step closer, both fists on his hips, looking up at Tween Girl with an evil grimace): Well it’s TOOOOO LATE!

Welcome to the Family
Fortunately for Marcus, this pup’s rightful owner never stepped forward, and my background check cleared (no dog eating in my past). Now it was safe to name him.

KryptoFury.jpg Me: Fury, since this dog is going to be your buddy, what would you like to name him?
Marcus: Gravedigger Blue Thunder Bat Dog!
Me: Um, that’s kinda long for a name. Let’s pick something shorter.
Marcus: How about... Bat Dog.
Me: (I should have made this a multiple choice exercise!): Let’s keep thinking. How about an actual name? Like Hunter or Harley or Axl or something cool like that.
Marcus: Ok. Krypto.
Me: (That’s the closest you’re gonna get, dad. Quit while you’re ahead) Krypto it is!

Papers were signed, checks were written and it was now only a matter of a few more days so they could neuter and microchip him. We visited Krypto a couple more times, slipping him yummy chews between the prison bars.

K-Day finally arrived! That afternoon, I went to Petsmart to load up on doggie toys, treats and accessories, picked Marcus up from preschool and headed over. After some final paperwork, Krypto was officially a member of the family. I sat him in the back seat and strapped him into this doggy harness seatbelt thing I just bought. Although it was a tad loose, it seemed to do the trick. Halfway home, I felt a wet nose touch my elbow. Oops, Krypto had slipped out. No big deal -- who uses a doggy seat belt anyway? About three blocks from home, I heard the rustling of plastic bags. Krypto had found the Petsmart bags. Again, no big deal. About two blocks from home I caught a scent -- no, not a scent, a stank! Followed by a child’s uncontrollable laughter. BIG deal. A big steaming brown deal. Right on the seat. But that was only one piece. The rest of that big deal was smeared all over the dog, the seat, the seat back and all over the Petsmart bags. I pulled over, emptied my glove box of my stash of Starbucks napkins, grabbed the roll of silver diaper disposal baggies leftover from the baby years, slipped one over each hand, and did my best “clean up on aisle #2” while letting my poop smeared mutt climb and lick me so that he wouldn’t contaminate the laughing kid strapped in the child seat just two feet away.

Our New Packmate
That poop incident , some chewed up coffee table books and a stolen In-n-Out Double-Double cheeseburger aside, we couldn’t have asked for a better dog. Krypto just fits our family so well. KryptoJim.jpgI wanted a dog with whom I could roughhouse, but who would also know his limits with smaller members of the family. It amazes me that Krypto simply knows when and with whom he can do this. Whenever Marcus and Lisa leave the house, the moment that door shuts, he looks up at me, gives me a second to brace up and then tackles me. Then it’s on! We wrestle, bite, swat and growl with all the ferocity of a dog park tussle. But whenever Marcus tries it, Krypto just sniffs him, gives a lick and saunters away. In fact, this dog possesses super-canine patience that I have never seen exhibited by any dog. Marcus can take his food, sleep on his bed, grab his legs and tackle him with impunity. Never a snap nor a growl. Maybe a swat here or there, but always a wag of his tail stub.

Of course, Marcus also tries to train him, but he hasn’t quite caught on with the concept of positive reinforcement (Marcus, that is). He has picked up the fact that when we give Krypto a command, there’s a certain intonation we use (e.g. Krypto, siiiiit. Krypto, dooooown, Krypto leeeeave it). To Marcus, that intonation is what turns human words into “dog-ese.” The other day, Marcus tried to get Krypto to clean up some dog food he had spilled:

“Krypto, go in the kitchen and cleeeeeeean uuuup yooouuur meeeeeess. Cleeeeeaaan iiiit. Cleeeeaan iiiit. DAD! Kypto won’t listen to me!!”

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With Krypto in the family, Marcus also has his work cut out for him as “cutest member of the BusyDad household.” A couple Halloweens ago, they went as Superman and Superdog. Wherever we went, people would say “look! It’s Superdog!” Marcus spent half the night reminding people “AND Superman!!”

Krypto, The Movie
As part of his top billing today, I put together a short film that includes our favorite clips from our purebred certified kick-ass mutt, from his days at the Humane Society to a couple days ago, when I discovered that the “Got Milk?” commercial with the dog and peanut butter really works!