The Best Thing I Have Done For My Family Is Get A Dog

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I hate to say this, ’cause it’s always met with gasps, but I’m not a big animal lover.

I have always grown up having a dog and as an adult I had cats. We had cats for 10 years and about 2 years ago our family became, unfortunately, a no pet home. As you can imagine we all grieved and missed our sweet kitties but I had somewhat of a sense of relief that I didn’t have ANOTHER living thing to care for.

I would say before having kids I loved to offer up a good belly rub to a cute freshly groomed pup, or happy to snuggle with someone’s cat that allowed me to snuggle them…cause you know, cats. But after having kids, my capacity for another thing needing my attention, being fed, cleaned up after, and kept alive was simply too much.

As my family has grown older and more responsible (I say this loosely), I noticed more and more THEY were ready for another pet to love.

They wanted a dog. I have been very VERY opposed to the idea of getting a dog! I mean similar to when you’ve decided to not have any more kids and then someone asks when you’ll be trying for a girl…you know that visceral response and immediate look of disgust. You know the look. That was my response when someone would say,

“But every little boy needs a dog.”

Nope. Nope. Nope!

Well, and you all know where this is going, there was a week where we had dinner with some friends and they brought their dog. While I didn’t play with her much, my husband sat the whole visit on the ground just to love on this dog. Not 3 days later when picking up my older son from a friend’s house, I noticed that he was too busy calmly sitting with their dog and telling the pup what a good dog he was to even notice I had shown up. THEN, my littlest saw a dog while we were driving and started playing a round of peek-a-boo with the dog with a giggle I hadn’t ever heard before.

 

Sigh…so it’s just me that’s not ready. It’s just me that’s holding them back. It’s me saying no.

 

In my defense this age of kids is HARD. Like REAL HARD. Some days I’m hardly getting them fed and out the door, not to mention that I’m unsure the last time I showered or fed myself. One cannot live on coffee alone…or can you? Watching all three of the boys in my family desperate for a dog companion put a crack in my “No Pet Hardened Heart.” I told my husband we could TALK about getting a dog and I wanted to talk through my concerns: Where will he go while we are on vacation? Who is picking up the poop? Who is feeding him?

 

Mainly stating that I can not be the sole caregiver of this dog cause my capacity for more is tapped.

 

We worked out the details. I agreed we could LOOK for a dog that fits our requirement. No shedding, ideally crate and/or potty trained, good with kids, and obvi utterly adorable. I assumed this would take months before we found a dog that checked all the boxes. This conversation happened on a Thursday and by Saturday morning we had our very own pup!

 

I’d like to introduce you to Albus D. Cole. The best thing I have done for my family…and me.

 

The Best Thing I Have Done For My Family Is Get A Dog!

 

I have found in our 4 months with this little love that my older son has learned a different sense of responsibility than I predicted. I assumed he would have learned to feed him and clean up poop, which he has, but more than that he has learned to care for him in what I can only describe as an older brother type. This has been neat to see translate into being an ACTUAL big brother to his little brother. My younger son, at the age of 4, is all about himself. (Color me shocked.) Since Albus joined our family it’s amazing to watch him learn to love, truly love, something outside of himself. Watching his care and empathy grow in the process.

My husband is still, 4 months later, just beaming from ear to ear. He has a little buddy that doesn’t talk back like a 7 and 4-year-old do. They play, they wrestle, they go on walks, they snuggle up, and he genuinely lights up when he comes in the room and sees Albus. The feeling is mutual. The weight and gravity of this world right now seem to melt away when this cute little pup is nothing but excited to see you because you just walked in the door.

For this hardened heart of mine, who up until 4 months and 3 days ago would have told you that I don’t like animals and it will be YEARS before we can get another pet, let alone a dog, I have learned to let go. My fears and anxiety over being a caregiver to ANOTHER living thing have melted, not because I don’t have to take care of Albus but because the good has outweighed the hard. Albus and I do everything together, drop offs, pick ups, errands around town, walks to clear my head, and get in my step count. We snuggle up together, we do work together, and every morning I’m greeted with an “INCOMING!!” as he books it first thing to come find me in bed.

Albus has become a light for all of us, and something that has bonded us in a new way. We are most definitely done having kids of our own, but always still felt a little thing was missing.

Who knew this grumpy, tired mama would finally feel whole as a family when a dog she had zero capacity for…showed her otherwise.

 

If you are interested in rescuing your own little bundle of puppy love, check out this guide to local animal shelters.

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I am a mother of two loud little boys and a wife to one very handsome hard working man. I am somewhat of a renaissance woman and work a handful of odd jobs when they become available. To name a few, Hair Stylist, Optometrist assistant, Production Coordinator, Student Interview Coordinator, Event Manager, Blogger, Sign Maker and Make-up Artist for old men. I also co-lead a group of moms with young kids through the hard and some time isolating season of early motherhood. I currently attend Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, Ca working on my BA. Outside of these commitments I love a good binge watch on Netflix, a tall glass of Pinot Noir and dark chocolate!