I knew having a pet would be great. We’ve had animals before, but the kids have not. I knew they would love whatever animal we adopted. What I didn’t see coming is the way I would feel watching them learn, love, and grow with this animal.
Seriously. It’s been 2 days. I can’t believe I’m even writing this. That’s what’s so bizarre about this whole thing. I have fallen hard for this guy. I’ve also fallen for the way he’s unearthed a compassion in our children. Those are the things I didn’t see coming.
The pride in our daughter’s face as she smiles up at me as she’s feeding Buck.
Her sense of responsibility in checking to see if he has enough water or a comfy blanket upon which to lay. Even her willingness to scoop poop! She genuinely enjoys taking care of him. “There’s no fire ants that will hurt Buck, right Mom?”
Our son’s laughter and the way he calls, “Here Buck! C’mere boy!” I have to stop what I’m doing just to savor those moments.
When dropping Jacob off at school, he asks if I will bring Buck in the car to pick him up. He wants to see him first thing. I think Buck feels the same way based on how he looked longingly out the window as Jake went into the building.
This dog has entered our lives and in 2 days feels like he’s always been a member of our family.
There are two neighborhood dogs that are allowed to roam free, or perhaps they are Houdini pups, and they find their way to our house to pull the heartstrings of my very loving daughter. She has been begging for a pet, a dog, for a very long time. She is longing for something to mother and love. Every time these guys wander around, out comes Mother Hannah with her water buckets to give them a drink as she plops down to offer her lap to anybody who may want to snuggle.
Eric had animals growing up, as did I, but we both gravitate toward the feline variety. After a rather sudden decision to check out a local animal shelter, we told the kids we had a surprise for them and to get in the car. They both kept asking if we were going to a toy store, or to buy candy. (As if!) “Even better,” we laughed.
Driving up to The Cattery (the local no-kill, cage free cat-only shelter) we walked in to a room of about 25 cats. Some were feisty, didn’t want to be held, lazy, sleeping all over and in every nook and cranny you can imagine. The kids were excited, but we couldn’t pinpoint one animal we could all agree on. (Go figure.) Eric was drawn to one orange tabby, but it wanted nothing to do with the kids. I wanted to take home every blind 3-legged case, and Hannah just wanted one to love. Since we couldn’t make a decision, we were advised that there were some more of the Cattery kittens available for adoption at the local PetSmart.
Little did we know, we were walking into a pet adoption festival and there were animals EVERYWHERE that were waiting to be adopted into their forever homes. We walked toward the kitten room, and on the way walked by a series of dog pens. As I looked down the row, this tan and white little dog caught my eye. He was looking right at me. I thought he was cute and walked over, and he never stopped looking at me. Asking to take him out and hold him, the volunteer unlocked the cage, scooped him up and handed “Buck” to me. He licked my face, much to my husband’s disgust, took a deep breath and I felt him totally relax in my arms. I was done. Game over. Puddle of fur-baby goo.
I turned around to see my husband eyeing me through the glass of the cat room and as he saw me cradling this pup, he rolled his eyes and put his arms up in an X. “NO,” he mouthed vehemently. I gently put Buck back in the pen and joined my family to peruse the kitties. “We really are cat people,” I thought consoling myself. The three of them decided on a kitten named Lincoln. He was cute, playful and as I looked at him, thought, “Meh. It’s a cat.” This is not like me at all. Like I said – I’ve always loved cats. But this one, while adorable, did zilch for me. We walked out to start the paperwork for the cat. The attendant told us she was sorry, but that cat had already been adopted.
Eric laughed as I whipped my head around wide-eyed when we realized that the kitten would not be joining our family. “Seriously?!” he asked. The kids were getting amped up and feeding on the jokes thrown our way by the volunteer workers that were pleading my case to Eric. (My poor husband!) Eric decided to take a walk around the store to think. The kids and I joined him after petting Buck a little more. I leveled with him and shared that for whatever reason, I felt drawn to this dog. I know we aren’t dog people. I know this isn’t what we planned. (We had cat litter in the trunk!) He agreed that it would probably be a better fit for our boisterous family to have a dog versus a cat.
Walking back over, we signed the paperwork, picked up some necessities and walked out with a dog on a leash.
If someone would have told me we were going to adopt a dog this weekend I would have laughed. No way. I don’t like poop scooping, I don’t want to deal with animal hair, and as much as the kids plead and beg and promise they will take care of the pet, I know it will fall on me. And, we are cat people. We don’t do dogs.
One look at this guy and none of that mattered.
It was time. We are ready, the kids are ready, and Buck is a perfect fit for our family.