I have to be honest here. I'm not a huge dog lover. There are dogs in our lives whom I have loved, no doubt. We had a dog growing up and when he died at the age of 17, I cried for days. I don't know why--but I always thought that people who went completely gaga over their pets seemed genuine--I just didn't relate. I didn't "get it." Not that they weren't fun to play with--but the dressing up, taking them everywhere, attaching human emotions to it--it just seemed foreign to me.
Our daughter is the neighborhood pet-sitter. We have taken in dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, etc. in our home often. We have watched animals for short time periods, and the kids have loved the experience. They'd always ask, "When can we have a dog?" We put them off a lot. Mainly because my husband's idea of an ideal dog was vastly different from my idea of an ideal family dog. And there was no middle ground here. In fact, I can say that in the 25 years I've known him that this is the ONE THING on which neither of us would budge. We're talking two years, people. Line in the sand. His ideal dog = big and playful and young (puppy), preferably not white and male. My ideal dog = small/medium and cuddly and not a puppy, in any color. Of course, female.
I don't know why, but that day in the park, speaking to Jessica--I knew that was going to be our dog. That story was so beautiful. Some of the details with what happened to the elderly couple touched me and their sense of devotion really moved me. When I called and asked questions, the series of events that took place that led him to us--it was nothing short of a little miracle. Serendipitous, really. He was meant to be here with us.
Last weekend, Ben moved to NYC. He stopped by to say goodbye and to check on things before heading out to visit his grandparents with the moving truck in tow. I promised to take the dog up to visit his grandparents at the assisted living facility. I look forward to visiting with them again. Both elderly grandparents made me and the kids promise to love and care for him before they hugged us and gave us their precious pooch. Our oldest son nearly cried he was so happy. I'm glad they got to see the joy on their faces, although I'm sure it had to be hard on them.
The dog's name with his original owners and Ben was Spunky. Honestly--he doesn't live up to his name. He is calm and gentle and 8 years old. The hubs renamed him Cooper. Our youngest son calls him Fred. Our daughter and I refer to him as Poochie or Baby. He doesn't listen to any of these. But he does respond to commands and hand signals, thankfully. Poor thing. Must be so confusing. The humans in this household are wacky, for sure.
In these few short weeks, it feels like it is honestly the best decision we've made in forever. We are like giddy parents all over again, with a newborn dog. Unsure of what to do, watching every move he makes, showering him with attention and affection. Everyone here has witnessed the other evolve into pet owners in this family, and it has been both touching and comical and wonderful just the same. He goes everywhere with us. We bought him a Halloween costume. We've introduced him to other dog friends in the hood on walks. We've turned into crazy pet owners that can't get enough of him. And that includes my husband! (He's such a softie at heart--I knew he'd be fine with whatever dog we ended up with...)
Welcome to our family Spunky Cooper Fred Poochie Baby. You are home, and we're so glad you're here. :)