My daughter has been begging both my husband and me for either a puppy or a baby sister. My answer to this has been an emphatic “NO.” First of all, as it pertains to the “baby sister” request, my child bearing days are a thing of the past. At 42, I have no desire to attempt to have another child for all of the obvious reasons – I am older, the risks are greater, all of my current children are self-sufficient so starting over at square one is just crazy, I am too busy with all my current obligations (family and work), and finally I am just to friggin tired to take on anything else. While my husband probably would like another child, he knows my position on this. As for a puppy, we have two dogs already. Granted both are elderly, however I am not (or at least I wasn’t) looking to take on the responsibility of a puppy. Our dogs are at the end of their life span and while I love them dearly and will be heartbroken when they pass, I was also looking forward to relinquishing some of the required responsibility and expense that comes with having animals. Plus this wasn’t the time financially for a puppy. And who the hell wants to take on a puppy going into the cold winter months? I certainly don’t want to stand out in the freezing cold in the middle of the night.
So, how did all this unfold? How did I cave? Well actually I didn’t, not initially anyway. In fact I am going to put the full blame for this on my husband who apparently didn’t share these sentiments – and got completely sucked in to his doe-eyed daughter’s pouty request for a puppy. So sucked in that the two of them actually banded together, and unbeknownst to me made arrangements to bring a puppy home – a chocolate lab puppy none-the-less. It seems my husband decided that it was better to ask forgiveness than permission – or at least that is what he told me. If this wasn’t grounds for me killing him or at least divorcing him then I don’t know what would be. The man actually got my almost five year old to keep the secret that they were going to get a puppy for weeks. They even went so far as to go, pick one out, have her hold it and then, when it would be too late for me to say “Absolutely fucking not” (which I am pretty sure I had said over and over prior)” without being a “very mean mommy,” decided to finally tell me.
As you can imagine my response was a less than enthusiastic. It was in fact fueled by irritation and anger for all of the reasons I had mentioned prior. But now it was too late. The damage was done and there was no undoing this colossal boneheaded move he had made without again being “the meanest mommy in the world.” I was going to have to go along with this.
So I resigned myself to the fact that we were getting a puppy. Secretly I thought she (yes they picked out a girl puppy) was adorable but that didn’t mean I was on board with this grievous error in judgment.
Fast forward to the day my husband brought her home. My daughter had a calendar she was using to countdown the days until Millie (yes that was the name she had decided on) came home. Every day she put a picture of Millie on the calendar which signified another day closer to her arrival. My husband made arrangements however to pick her up a few days early and surprise my daughter – again I was the last to know. Her arrival brought about an emotional reaction from my daughter that I have to say was beyond words. She burst into tears – tears of such joy that as a parent I was moved in a way that I can’t even begin to describe. Did this mean I was okay with all this, no, but the utter joy and response from my daughter was beyond words and did help in a weird way to lessen my anger. Watching her interact with Millie made me smile as the love she had for this little creature was insurmountable. So melt my stone cold heart – Millie was now part of the family.
However, you might remember I mentioned puppies – as in plural, more than one in this blog title . My husband might have gotten one but I am the one who made it two. How? Well, my husband had been texting the lady we got Millie from to let her know how she was adjusting. In their conversation she happened to mention that one little guy was left, that no one had looked at him. When he mentioned this to me I waffled – terribly. He wasn’t in anyway asking to get this little guy (or if he was, he did so in the sneakiest of ways). Just him mentioning that there was one puppy who didn’t have home melted my heart and I found myself asking him to ask the owner “How much?” My husband looked at me as if I were crazy but something in me had changed. No this wasn’t the time for one puppy, much less two, but I had a bonus coming from work and well, I lost complete control of my senses and before I knew what I was saying I told him to tell the lady we’d take him. He laughed at me and that was that….
We brought Mack home that same night (appropriately named by my son Matthew) and I gave him to my boys as an early Christmas present. There was something about Mack that was so sweet and innocent that I felt as if he were meant to come home with us. It was almost as if his eyes connected to my soul and I could sense him thanking me for bringing him home.
So a week later, two puppies deep with sleep deprivation and puppy accidents a harsh reality, I have come to accept and love our expanded family. Am I happy with how it initially came about, no and my husband knows that. But, after everything I wouldn’t change anything about our new arrivals. My kids are over the moon for them and it’s even in a weird way helped my husband and I connect better. My older dogs are content and are still getting all the love and attention they deserve. And my children have a new found sense of responsibility all the way around.