Maybe it would help to make a list of all the things you need to pack, suggests my husband. It is not the first time this idea has been offered. His diplomacy is kind, considering I still have not made any lists, yet continue to bemoan all that clutters my mind.
Meals. To dos. Classroom reminders. Items to pack. These all race inside my head, yelling for attention, sending me scurrying this way and that.
I reluctantly follow his suggestion, grabbing a pad of paper and listing out clothing items, each with a box to check once it enters my suitcase. It feels so tedious, yet I immediately sense relief as the words leave my brain and fill paper.
Why do I fight this so?
I am grateful for the growth that has happened in my ability to hear my luvvvah’s words in a spirit of kindness rather than as critique and criticism. He truly is sharing what helps him and in no way is condemning me for my inability to move.
Grateful for the list, I pull out a suitcase and begin rolling bedclothes and stuffing my short boots with socks to begin filling the space. I will wear tall boots on the plane. Where are those grey pants?
This season in Seattle is not one for Toms. I had a trial run of Seattle weather a few days ago while walking Dewey, but that is for another post.
For now, I am grateful for quiet space and a few minutes to write out some thoughts about packing and how I am growing in my ability in making a list.
Sometimes I get home from school before my children. Today was not one of those times, but last Friday was. If you follow the blog, you might recall that it was the day of the first bus ride.
I arrived to a quiet house, well, quiet except for a puppy who was ready to get out of his crate and play. I let him out, and we headed to the back yard together.
When Dewey was new to us, I began working with him on fetch! Chloe joined in, and it became a team effort. One of us would throw the ball and say fetch! He would run to it, look proudly back at us, and occasionally return it for a treat or tummy rubs.
Sometimes he would miss the ball completely, distracted by a car, or an itch, or another dog, or cat.
Last Friday, I picked up a multicolored ball and tossed it. Dewey, Fetch!
Bounding to the ball, he picked it up and ran back to me, dropping it at my feet for tummy rubs and another turn.
I threw it again. Several times. We played together there in the yard waiting for his girl to get home. Each time he expertly returned the ball to me, basking in praise and my occasional laughter. And, of course, tummy rubs.
Do you know what it feels like for orphan eyes, almost all pupil, STARING at you? A tiny, tiny thing, gazing at you from behind bars?
Well this started not long before my sisters birthday. I knew she was getting a guinea pig, my little sister had said that she and my brother were going to get her one. That night I talked to my dad, I wanted the first pet. My dog.
After we talked, my youngest sister was in bed, and dad got on the computer. How would you like a Cocker Spaniel? Not what I thought I would get, but I like all dogs. Sure dad. Then dad looked them up. Oh, it’s fine, they are hard to take care of.
Well, dad kept on looking, till he looked on the SPCA list of dogs. We saw Dewey, 2 month old puppy, in play stand. Dad said, He is cute, but we can’t have a puppy.
The next day, Wednesday, we were talking about dogs at the dinner table. My older brother said, If we got a dog I would want a puppy. And so the conversation went.
After dinner dad looked on his phone, The SPCA is open till ( sometime ) on Wednesday. Let’s get in the car. I rushed everyone out of the house.
When we got there, we went to the puppy room. Teeny black orphan eyes, Glossy black, dark brown, and just a hint of grey coat, wagging not-docked tail, one ear flopping, the other up, the puppy smell, corners of the mouth turned up, glossy white teeth but all through bars.
Mom had a surprise. All the I thought he was TEN months old! junk.
She and my younger sister stayed out of the room, touched by the dog barking. Harry, the older puppy in the cage beside Dewey, watched us. I could have cried.
The front desk said we could walk Dewey around the front yard, and dad said he might use the bathroom. He didn’t until dad scratched him under the chin.
We came to see him every day, loving him more every time.
Thursday, we found out ANOTHER FAMILY WAS THINKING ABOUT GETTING HIM, THEY WERE APPROVED, AND WE WEREN’T! Out cat needed a vet appointment and shots.
However, God opened a place at the vet for her that day. The next morning I rushed everyone out of the house, I needed Dewey. Right when the lady unlocked the doors, we were two steps behind. We took the small puppy outside, and we ran, me and him. All around the yard.
After that, we crated him in the pet carrier and filled out the papers. He was mine. MY dog. 2 good 2 b true.
When we took him home he explored everywhere. Later we took him to Pet-co. We were getting him things when My sister came. “Dad dad! I found the perfect Guinea Pig!!!” Mom and dad talked, and for an early b-day present, She came home with a guinea-pig.
At the check-out, Dewey had a great idea! ” Hey, how about I pee on the clean floor? ” And that’s just what he did. Charming.
Dewey spit-up a lot but stopped soon.
Even now, he pees on the floor. For instance, Me, him, brother, and my 2 sisters were rough-housing on the living room floor. Mom told us many times, Don’t let him pee on the floor in there. And just as we were going to take him outside, he peed. I had to sneak around the house for things to clean up with.
He has eaten peanut butter, bacon, purina, and anything safe I give him. We took him to klines, and got him a doggie bowl. A scoop of vanilla, topped with a milkbone.
When Wren comes over, we watch them horse around, Dewey yelping for mercy, then chasing, (little did he know Wren was going slower for him.) He tries to climb on top of her to bite, but always ends up under.
We took him to the vet a few weeks later and he is new 5 months, so the SPCA was wrong,
=D Deweys the best. Cuter then all pups on earth. And My brother and youngest sister are almost fully thinking of him as part of the family.
Deliverance is the theme today, and as I embark upon an uphill year, I’m asking for that from you, Father.
These words were journaled hastily this morning. Today’s Bible reading plan took me to Job, 2 Corinthians, Psalms, and Proverbs.
Really? Job? The first weeks of school?
I trust that where I am is where I need to be. Full confidence.
He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.
Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me! O Lord, make haste to help me!
The second verse I write on an index card to keep with me through the day. Not exactly sure why, I just know that it’s what I need.
Quiet time is one of my favorite parts of the day. I don’t say this in a holier than thou way or in a prescriptive way but just in an honest way. I treasure my time being still with my Bible. Listening. Drinking that first cup of coffee.
Time is short and morning rolls along at breakneck speed, as we work to get everyone out of the house. By a stroke of amazing kindness, I am left alone at 7:20 with fifteen minutes to spare.
Dewey whines in his crate. I’m not alone. I decide to give him a quick walk up around the block before leaving him for the day. Grabbing a plastic bag, I release and leash him. We leave the house at a quick pace, my heart rate rising to keep up with him.
Around the block and to the top of the street and around that block and, oh no, another dog.
This dog is big and not leashed and barking and jumping at me and Dewey. It’s not a mean dog, and it has an owner that can’t be seen even though the house door is open, and I am loudly trying to get the dog away from mine.
Why did I think this was a good idea? Is running through my head. Really? My fifteen minutes for THIS???
I sweep Dewey up into my arms and carry him off. The dog follows on my heels, jumping occasionally. A girl is waiting on the corner for her middle school bus, and I ask if she knows whose dog it is.
She doesn’t, but listens politely as I recount my frustrating walk and try not to cry as we both watch the big dog squat to do his business. Another on my list of nevers, I open Dewey’s plastic bag and scoop up the pile.
I guess it’s like when you have kids. I say to the girl. It’s a lot grosser when the poops not your own. I hope your day is better than mine has started out being!
Dewey and I race downhill and round the corner to home.
Little do I know what is to come. Lock downs and sadness.
These words flew from my mouth as I flew into a panic as Dewey flew out of the yard. No one heard me. How could they? Everyone was settled in the house doing afternoon media time.
Best time of the day.
I had graciously offered to take the puppy outside for a potty break so that my girl could enjoy her media time. Look what that bit of generosity got me!
My mind flew to two middle-school boys walking home from downtown and entering the backyard through the gate. I knew who left the gate open, but there was really no point in wasting valuable energy ruminating and fault-finding when there was a puppy to chase.
Dewey had lived with us for less than a week. He was still trying to figure out his world. This often involved running the length of our chain-link fence and barking at every car that drove past, followed by trying to dig out under gaps between the fence and the ground. He needed a close eye.
Adrenaline coursed through my veins as visions of a small puppy, ignorant of danger, yapping up the road, being hit by a car on my watch ran through my head. I ran faster, holding up a hand at an oncoming car while mouthing please stop! and nodding my head in the direction of an erratic mini canine blissfully darting to and fro across the street.
I ran faster, huffing and puffing and realizing how completely out of shape I am.
He paused to look back.
This is exactly what I did NOT want to be doing with a puppy. Chasing and yelling up the road. This was not part of the plan!
Running towards me, Dewey offered a split-second chance to be scooped up, allowing me time to hail a grateful wave to the patient driver who had stopped and waited as I did the Dewey dash.
Dewey’s first day with us overlapped with a visit from Wren.
My daughter and son-in-law dropped her off early, giving us time to have a few minutes of conversation about the possibility of a puppy.
If you do bring home Dewey, and he and Wren play together in the backyard, Wren may nip at him, but she is only playing. That’s how she plays with other dogs at the dog park.
I appreciated this heads up for what to expect as she went on to describe other dog behaviors. After our time together, she left with her man, and Wren hung out with us. Sometimes she was in her crate. Sometimes she was in the yard. Sometimes she was chilling around the house. Sometimes, well, that’s for another post.
When we returned, there was much excitement and overwhelm with this new addition to our life. We released the puppies together in the yard to see what would come of it. Would they get along?
Yes, indeed! Their time together was a total success. Much romping and tumbling and barking and nipping ensued, all in the most playful of ways.
One of my favorites to watch was the game of chase that they played in which under the picnic table was Dewey’s base.
When Dewey ran under the picnic table, Wren would find a patch of shade and hang out, acting as if she couldn’t catch or get to him until Dewey came running over to be chased again.
My daughter later informed me that Wren is all about the picnic table at the dog park and can get under easily if she wants to, which made their game even cuter.
So Dewey’s first day was full, and by full, I mean, FULL. There is too much to process in a single post, so on this Friendship Friday, it is all about the puppy-cousin love. There is lots of that going on.
I posted this caption on Instagram with a picture of me walking a puppy. Yes, we now have a puppy.
And a guinea pig.
And a cat whose world is still rocking.
How did this come about?
Those who know me may be surprised by this news. I am not a fan of animals and certainly not puppies. I have shared my firstborn’s story and her disappointment with not getting a puppy in childhood.
Our cat, Zephyr, eased her way into the family via a friend whose husband was found allergic after a sweet little kitty was brought home. On a completely random note, her visit to the vet alerted me to the fact that this year we are the same age. She is 44 in cat years. I feel however old people years are in cat years!
Back to the puppy.
Child 6 has longed for a puppy just like her big sister. As the littles have grown, the possibility of a dog has been considered. We even watched a friend’s dog for a few days earlier this summer to see what it might be like to have one of our own.
We weren’t considering a puppy.
However, one evening two weeks ago, some serious discussion began surrounding the addition of a dog to our family. Lists were made and cases were made and preferences disclosed.
A puppy entered the equation.
An after-dinner family visit to the SPCA introduced us to Dewey on a Wednesday. The following day found us taking Zephyr to the vet for some last minute catching-up on her vaccines. She was supposed to have gone weeks before but disappeared before her appointment, and we had to reschedule.
Thursday also brought the news that there was a family approved ahead of us in line for Dewey. They had been called to alert them to our pending status and to give them a chance to adopt him first.
This caused much angst in our home Thursday night. Prayers went up that if Dewey was the right dog for our family, we would get him. There were many tears.
Friday morning dawned with Wren arriving to be watched for the day. This plan had been on the calendar before the possibility of our own puppy was even a thought. My daughter gave me wise advice and alerted me as to how the dogs might interact if we did, indeed, get Dewey that day.
The little girls and I loaded up in the van at 9:30 to be sure to arrive at the SPCA before the doors opened at 10:00. We sat in the parking lot, waiting.
There was much trepidation when another car pulled in a few minutes later, only to find that it was Daddy in the little car. I was grateful for the moral support.
When the doors opened, we were the first ones in, turning in our completed paperwork. We were approved and Dewey was still there, waiting for us to bring him home.
Which we did.
Introducing Dewey, our terrier-mix puppy. He was 2 and a half months old when we got him from the SPCA and is an answer to all kinds of different prayers, ultimately working together for the good of our family.