That's Bam-Tastic!

Bam is the new unofficial school mascot.

Bam and his friend, Zoe.

Bam is trying to understand why the water moves in the river.

Bam's first look at our school.

Bam and his brother Danny, sweetly sleeping in our car.

Bam likes to sing along with us.

My Bam-burger!

I never knew I was a dog person. But now, at the age of 25, I've got my very own doggie (of course, to share with Aaron). We have been looking for some time, but I've had this major fear that I would forget to feed the animal, or lose him somewhere, or even-God forbid-become one of those people who leaves the dog in the car as he slowly overheats to death. So yes, I was scared that I would not be responsible enough to keep a big animal like a dog alive.

When I was a kid, my parents didn't let us get a dog. "You guys are not responsible enough, and I'm going to be the one picking up all the poop!!!", my mom always said. Did you parents ever say that, or were mine the only ones?

So a couple weeks ago Aaron and I went out on his birthday, "just to look", and we played with puppies and dogs all across Santa Rosa. I fell in love with a cutie little puppy at Petco, but we decided to keep going in case we found one better. Our next stop was a family who was getting rid of their 8-year-old American Bulldog, Bam Bam because they had four kids in the family and could not give Bam Bam the attention he needed, but they sure loved him. (maybe my mother's words do ring true.)

Bam ran right up to our car and it was almost love at first sight. Sure, he wasn't a puppy, but he had the energy of a young one but the obedience and self discipline of a well-seasoned companion. After getting his history and playing with him for a while, we knew that we were meant to be, and we took him right home with us.

Here is why Bam is awesome:

He doesn't jump on people
He plays well with others
He's not slobbery
He's well trained and has no bad puppy habits
He's protective, but really sweet to all the students
He's incredibly patient with little kids who try to climb on him, pull his ears, and try to crinkle his tail
He loves our hiking trails and river and motivates me to get out and get some exercise
He's a conscientious pooper-goes in well-hidden spots in the woods
He loves to be with either Aaron or me and stays right by our side all day long (he has a little nest under Aaron's desk)

And my favorite reason why Bam is awesome? When we come home, even if we've been gone for a few minutes, he acts as if he hasn't seen us in years and missed us more than his little heart can handle. He wriggles around our legs and lets out these asthmatic yelps of glee as he does all he can to not lick us from head to toe, and makes us feel like the most loved people on earth.

Anyway, because I have not had a dog before, I did not expect all this wonderfulness to come from just an animal. And while I used to judge and snicker at those crazy dog people, I totally get why they want to snuggle with their dog, or walk around the house talking to him, or even put a cute sweater on him in the winter. Aaron laughs at me now and calls me a dog person. But he's wrong-I'm a Bam person. Aw, I love my doggie!


Ansley said...


Haha. Rika, you are too funny. I like all the pictures of your new child, um, I mean dog, and his antics. :)

Rika said...

Ansley, don't think I don't remember your cat antics at southern village. You always let that nasty cat into out apartment and I even caught you giving it milk once! Ha ha ha! Remember how some people painted it blue? Poor kitty...

Katie said...

Aaron and Rika,
The process of finding Bam Bam a home was so arduous and downright painful for me and the kids. We went to several homes that were not good enough for our sweet Bam Bam. We wanted something speial for him, and we have found it in you!
I am so grateful. What a blessing you both are to us. I knew you would fall in love with him. He is a very special guy, and I see now that my instincts were right-on, and you are providing him the life I have dreamed of for him for so long now.
We can't wait to come and visit! Can we come up one day this week?
Kate, Troy, T.J., Taylor, Morgan and little Ryan

Dave Everts said...

Rika, I loved your "Bam" story... However, I seem to remember that your parents bought the Gemmell kids a dog and a cat while you lived in Las Vegas. Paula and I "adopted" them when you moved to Maryland in 2002. Remember "Animal Gothic"? I will post a picture on your FB page... How could you forget such adorable pets? ;-)

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