My husband and I have sworn up and down for years that we would never – and I mean NEVER – get a dog. We are a busy family. Most weekends we are all off in different directions. And, we like to travel. We could never make room in our lives for a dog. But over the holidays, something changed… While in Florida for Christmas, we met our friends’ 6-month old mini-poodle puppy. And our hearts melted! She was adorable and sweet and affectionate.
After the holidays, everyone resumed their busy schedules. But I couldn’t stop thinking… A dog… Could we do it? Was I being crazy to think that we could make it work?
I spent a couple of weeks mulling the idea over in my head. When I finally opened up to my husband, his reaction was hysterical. It started with: “Are you kidding me?”, and was quickly followed by: “I just want you to know, I do not pick up dog sh*#.” Priceless!
A few days later, I made the colossal error of casually floating the idea by the kids. BIG MISTAKE!! No sooner were the words out of my mouth than the kids started chanting “we’re getting a dog, we’re getting a dog“. It was a done deal! The kids were already starting to research possible dog names.
Shortly thereafter, I visited a breeder to look at a litter of mini chocolate Australian Labradoodles. I had never heard of this breed before – apparently they are part Labrador, part Poodle and part Cocker Spaniel (I am still trying to work out how you incorporate three dogs into one breed…). Anyway, I am told that they are smart, affectionate, trainable dogs. AND they are non-shedding – a very important quality!
With only ten days to go until this adorable little puppy (who we have named Bailey) invades our home, I must say that I am feeling equal parts excitement and fear. I have absolutely no doubt that we will all quickly grow to adore this little beast. But I also know that, as the primary caregiver, I will bear the brunt of training this puppy. As one friend so eloquently put it, this experience will bring me back to the “dark days of newborns”. For anyone with kids (or puppies) you know exactly what I mean by this – that awful “we’ve made a big mistake” feeling!
Fortunately, I know that the puppy stage is short-lived. In a few months (provided that all goes well at our puppy training classes), we will have an adorable, loving dog. The great thing about dogs is that, no matter the situation, they are happy to see you. They greet you with enthusiasm each and every time you walk through the door. Dogs hand out pure love, asking very little in return.
I, for one, couldn’t be more excited for little Bailey to join our family!