Seventeen years ago on Christmas Day those little surprises presented themselves to the world. We weren't actively seeking out the opportunity to increase our family by four paws, but when one of the fourth graders in our school came back after Christmas break and eagerly relayed the information inviting us to come visit the puppies, it was practically a foredrawn conclusion. We knew we weren't ready to embark on human parenthood, but puppy parenthood seemed feasible. So
my husband and I visited the litter three times, holding the pups, playing with them, watching their temperaments. The fourth time we finally selected our girl Cleopatra Marie. She was one of the runtish pups, but she had a demeanor that spoke to my heart. Plans were set for us to bring her home Valentine's Day. Life with puppies rarely goes according to plans however.
We received a frantic call a week prior to Valentine's Day that the family could no longer keep the little gustos contained, and could we PLEASE pick our girl up early? Not a problem! Riding in the backseat, I cradled her in a precautionary towel, intoxicated by the musty earthy goodness of her puppy breath. We were ready to be our own pack. Many puddles, a few piles, various shredded items, and countless nights of being awoken to whining later, we fell into sync with one another. Life was good.
My husband, kids and I grew up with our girls. We were a good, solid, steady pack. Now we are embarking on puppyhood again. Many acquaintances have called my judgement into question. A puppy, then a full sized dog in a flat, on the 18th floor no less? Plus I remember the dredges of training. My daughter has been asking a lot of well-thought out questions. However she also graced my husband with some sage words the other night as he teased her that she was not REALLY getting a puppy. "Daddy, a puppy is like kids. There is no perfect time to have them, but when I am gone to university seven years from now you know what you will say? As you are sitting on the couch cuddling with that dog you will say 'Man Meleyna was right.'"
My daughter, son, and puppies past and present have taught me well. "Ideal time" is a fallacy, and when life speaks an opportunity to my heart I just know. I just love.