Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Family Member!

We've been wanting to add a puppy to our already fur-friendly family for a bit now. The kids absolutely adore animals and I haven't met a furball I haven't fallen in love with yet. I was trying to exercise some responsibility by telling myself to wait until after Christmas. This way, we'd not have vet checkups and training to pay for and attend. I wanted to wait to get either a Great Dane or a red Doxie.

That didn't happen. I saw an ad on Freecycle for free pitbull puppies.  I'm not a huge fan of pitbulls. Though I haven't met one I haven't liked. I do believe that any domestic canine is true to its training and treatment. I don't believe that all pitbulls are bad. I don't believe that all are attackers. And so I, stupidly, asked for a picture. That was my first mistake.

I instantly fell in love with the little brindils and reds. They were absolutely adorable. Even their mama, two years old, was a beauty. I contimplated Jeff's reaction to returning home this weekend to a puppy in the house. I tried to judge the reaction of the boys' faces when I asked them if they wanted to pick one out to bring home. The boys' faces won.

I know puppies are a lot of hard work. I know it's almost as if having an infant all over again. I know they chew things and use the bathroom in the most inconvenient of places. I know they whine and cry. I know they must be taught right from wrong. I know that puppies are work, just like children. But, I didn't care.

I told the kids to get their shoes on. Even through countless, "Where are we going?" I never said a word. They were begging me, pleading with me....Mom, where are we going?? And they tried to guess...Busch Gardens? The Zoo? Grocery Shopping??? WHERE??!

We get to the lady's house and she brings out a a big bin. She sat it down on the sidewalk in front of her home. Jonas leaned over and peeked and his eyes were as big as saucers. "MOM!! Puppies!! Are we getting one?!" Aden was speechless but wore a big, huge grin on his face. Nyla was just in awe. I don't think she's seen so many squirmy baby canines in her life.

I told them to go ahead and choose one, but that we needed a girl because Bo, our Doxie, didn't care for male dogs. (That and I didn't want to deal with the battle of testetosterone that would surely ensue if we got a male puppy.)  And so, the woman pulled out three females for us to choose from: one red and two brindels. The one brindil had been a lot smaller than the other two as she was only on puppy food for a day or so. We placed her back in the bin. She obviously needed a few more days with her mama.  The other brindil immediately took to us and so that was it!

This puppy whined the whole way to the pet store. She cried and whimpered and whined. Poor thing. We purchased her a bed, a crate, a collar, a few toys, some good puppy food as she was being fed puppy chow, and some training treats. It totaled to a lot more than I had anticipated. But, at least she has her necessities. On Saturday, I will take her to the puppy clinic to get her first round of shots and a checkup. I'm curious to see her actual age. The human mama told me she was six and a half weeks, but I'm thinking she isn't that old yet.

It may be a bit too early to tell, but she seems to be pretty smart. She's catching on to going outside to potty. She knows her name. She is even taking to her crate suprisingly well. Overall, I'm pleased.

When I emailed Jeff pictures of her, I didn't say anything about her being ours. Instead, I just emailed the pic and that was that. He responded with, "What is that?" And I said, "You can't tell?" He retorted with, "Is it in our house?!" I jokingly replied by saying, "I don't know, is it?" At first I thought he was upset, but then he emailed saying he could never be mad at me.

He is an animal lover just like me. I know once he sees her and watches her play with Bo, he will fall deeply in love with her too.  She leaps with what seems like so much effort and growls this infectiously silly growl.

The big suprise here is that the boys are actually being responsible with her. Which, I am completely thankful for no matter how long (or short) it lasts. They take her out to potty and tell her good girl. They help clean up accidents. They have been picking up things on the floor so the puppy won't eat it. They've been correcting her when she chews or bites on them or their clothing. They are really knocking my socks off with their eagerness to help raise and train this pup. I am in awe, truly.

I leave you tonight with her picture, so that you too can fall in love with all of her beauty.

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