...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Canine compromise

Let me be honest, if it were entirely up to me we would not have dogs.  That's simply the truth.

Now, I love dogs.  I really do.  I think they are great.

That said, I already have six little hooligans (seriously, I know they aren't really hooligans by any means, but I am a pro at hyperbole).  I am working on raising six small people and adding a baby dog into the mix is not exactly my idea of a good time.

It means one more creature to potty train and feed and keep from destroying things and to clean up after and teach to behave and all that good stuff.  This does not scream "Party Time!!" if you ask me.

However, my husband has a deep seeded need to have a dog around.  At first I thought it was just a desire, but the years have taught me that for him it is more than that.  There is something in him that yearns for the companionship of a loyal, four-legged friend.

Our first dog as a family, Moka, was tough on me even though he was a great family dog.  He was AmAzInG with our kids (seriously, incredible) and was a very tidy dog but he was still hard for me.  Because I was the one with him all day I did the bulk of the training and clean up and discipline and all that.  It was a lot of work and sometimes I resented that because it wasn't really something I wanted in the first place.  I did become attached to Moka and was very sad when we had to put him down several years later.

Josh started looking at adds on KSL for dogs almost the day after Moka left us.  He missed his dog.  I didn't want to rush into anything, I was fine without a dog especially after the trauma of losing Moka. But only a couple months later Josh found a couple of black lab mix puppies and brought them home. They were a nightmare for me from the get go.  I realized how good I'd had it with Moka because these two had NO interest in learning or obeying or anything (and believe me, I worked with them to try to mold them into pleasant dogs).  They actually became dangerous to our children and eventually (after a couple of years of unsuccessful work) we had to get rid of them.

Well, once again Josh was lonely and pup-less.  He could not keep himself off of dog sites.  I kept telling him I was not ready and he kept telling me that was ok, he wasn't going to push me into anything.
But the more I watched him light up as he read and the more I saw his eyes solemnly and patiently waiting for me to decide the time was right the more I realized I couldn't make him wait.

I don't need a dog...

...but he does.

So, when our taxes came back I told him it was time to look for real.  You should have seen his face when I rode with him to the home of a sweet couple with some Brittany puppies.  Josh has always been partial to this breed and after the troubles of our last adoption we had learned a lot so we were much more finicky about breeds and backgrounds and everything else.  We met Mom and Dad dog and asked a lot of questions and spent quite a bit of time with the puppies and eventually came home with one.

This is Finn.

He was (by far) the most chill of the litter (I'm keeping my fingers crossed that that continues) and he is a Brittany which is what Josh was aching for so here's hoping he is just the right mix for our family.

Josh is thrilled (like, really, really thrilled) and that was what I wanted most from the beginning so it seems like a win for both of us.

Some people may read this and think I am selfish for being unenthusiastic about granting my husband's dreams while other people may read this and think that Josh is selfish for pushing me to do something I don't want to do.  I guess I can see either side of that if I look hard enough.  But the reality of it is that we are both willing to try to help the other person in our relationship be happy.  We want to be the reason that our partner is smiling even if it means a bit of discomfort in the interim.  Everyone has their own limits and our compromise on this issue is not right for everyone else in the world, but it is right for us.

Understand that this chain of events may not be my perfect plan (check, yes, for sure, not my perfect plan).  I can pretty much guarentee there will be days when I whine and complain and bemoan the dog that has entered our life.  I've warned Josh and he promised to take that in his stride.  I may not be uber excited to be back to potty training and nighttime crying and scolding for chewing but, seriously, if it brings this much joy to my favorite person in the world then I am willing to jump in.  (I love you Joshua Kerr.)

And I have to be perfectly frank, it has been super sweet to watch my little crew of children fall in love with this dog.  They are head over heels for him, and the flagrant wag of his tail when they come around tells me he loves them right back.

In time I'm sure I'll become attached to this cuddly creature as well, but while I wait for that moment to come (I don't hate him or anything, but I am reserving judgement for later) I am just going to sit back and enjoy the happiness he's already brought to my family.

Maybe I do owe that little fur ball a thank you.

(But I'm going to save it until he stops pooping on my carpet.)

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