Posted by Lourdes N.
It's been exactly one month since my life and family changed. Some families choose to adopt a pet after long, careful research, others decide on a whim. I feel like our family experienced a little of both.
On the morning of Feb. 1, I got an e-mail from a Chicago Parent colleague with a photo of a sweet 10-week-old puppy that needed a home after "not working out" with another family (note: this worried me a little but when I saw the photo my heart melted!). I could not resist forwarding it to my husband, who has been petitioning for a puppy as a playmate/companion for our 10-year-old Golden Retriever for 15-plus months.
Within an hour, I suddenly had that deer in the headlights look realizing that my life was going to dramatically change. What had I done?
A month later indeed my life has changed - for the better! The first 10 days were pretty foggy. Those middle of the night "outings," accidents and puppy cries when he went to his crate were rough, but I survived. What I learned was that our 20-pound bundle of joy wanted to be loved, kissed, snuggled and babied. Luckily, puppy kisses work as a bribe for me, especially in the middle of the night. I couldn't believe how much having a puppy reminded me of having an infant. In the middle of the night my husband and I would hear his cries (after he already went out to do his "business") and try to "wait it out." Oh how I remember my children calling, "Mama!"
Our puppy didn't have a name for about a week. With five strong-headed family members, no one could decide or agree on a name. Once word got out about him, everyone who saw his photo had a suggestion. In fact, the suggestions were so good that it made it very difficult to select a name. Finally, we came to a decision - Mousse (the chocolate moose) it was. It fits him perfectly!
Seeing my children with Mousse has been one of the most rewarding pieces to observe as a parent. My husband and I recall our childhood dogs fondly and are happy to see the bonds our children are creating. I hope they look back and tell their children about the day they came home to learn we were going to pick up a puppy. I have seen my children work as a team, make sweet suggestions to each other and honestly "step up" to the plate much more than I ever expected. There is never a shortage of love when it comes to Mousse and our dog Abby is warming up to her (I snapped a photo of them "spooning" yesterday. This is a big step!).
Despite the initial shock of "Yes, we are getting a puppy," it has been pure pleasure and joy. Mousse came around at the perfect time for our family despite the snow on the ground. Spring is around the corner and we look forward to "Mousse Tracks" for a long time.