My kids have been begging for a dog for years.
Our last pet was a fish we had to leave behind when we left Oregon 5 1/2 years ago, so there has definitely been a void in our family life.
Until recently, I didn't feel ready to take on the responsibility, and my kids weren't quite old enough/ ready enough. But in the last few months I've thought more and more about it.
Our trip to AZ was especially good timing because it gave me the chance to see the kids up close with 2 dogs. The Chihuahuas were the perfect ice breaker - too small to intimidate the kids, and old enough to not exhibit puppy craziness. Both the kids were sweet and appropriate with the dogs, and the thought grew in my head. We also visited a mall with a pet store, and at one point Husband caught Big Sis whispering softly to a sweet looking Husky puppy in one of the large glass cases. My heart melted when he told me. We talked it out, and decided to gift Big Sis with a dog collar for Christmas - with the idea that we would look for a dog as a family.
Well, as soon as we came home, I started checking the local shelters online, and came across a sweet looking brother and sister. I drove out on Friday to see them, thinking that the girl would steal my heart.
It was the boy.
He is a 5, possibly 6, month old beagle/ lab mix. He is 20 lbs. right now, and I am hoping he gets only a little bigger.
When we went to pick him up, we decided to surprise the kids. We told them we had to get up on Saturday morning and go do some errands. Despite some general grousing, they got up, and we started on the 40 minute drive. Half way there, J asked what kind of store we were going to, and what they had there. Husband replied "Buddy, I guarantee they will have something you like.".
We pulled into the McDonald's parking lot, and got out, with puzzled looks on my kids' faces. When the lady parked and proceeded to pull Luke out of the kennel, they still didn't get it. Then I asked if we should take him home with us. Understanding dawned, and I've never seen M look so happy.
And now he's my 3rd child.
Things to remember:
- He's not (wasn't) housebroken, but after just 1 solid and 2 liquid accidents, he's getting the idea that "Let's go potty" means exactly that (Outside!).
- He had never had a collar or been on a leash, but he is adapting.
- He was quiet both nights in his crate, and I am hoping he keeps it up. A few whines & barks, but several stern "No's" and leaving the hall light on seem to help.
- We decorated our tree last night, and he thinks the soft felt ornaments are toys just for Luke! I think we're going to have to redecorate and move those out of his reach (see, 3rd child).
Merry Christmas to us!
(Can't wait to get a Dog Whisperer book)