As the holidays and winter approach I enter the traditional state of heightened anxiety with an increased risk of depression. Sound like a public service announcement to batten down the hatches, doesn’t it? When it begins to get to get dark before I leave work, my hibernation instincts kick in and productivity slows. I begin to feel slightly overwhelmed at even the most mundane tasks.
Totally sounds like an ideal time to adopt a puppy, no?
While enjoying a weekend in South Haven, Michigan Bob and I made the fatal error of entering a pet supply boutique. We were innocently browsing through the collars and bowls, when a young woman appeared out of nowhere with a little black ball of fur in her arms. She placed the puppy in my arms after telling me that she was up for adoption and I was done. I can usually hold a puppy, enjoy them and then hand then back, but on several occasions in my life I have felt the need to bring them home. This was one of those occasions.
Elizabeth Virginia – we call her Betty – a lab/shepherd mix (or so we are told) came to live with us and if I felt slightly overwhelmed before her arrival then this would probably classify as full on chaos. But it is chaos with puppy breath, hilarious canine hijinks and sweet cuddly baby napping with a side of razor teeth.
Mike and Goose vacillate between tolerating her, regarding her with skepticism and actually trying to figure out how to play with her. She was so small when we first brought her home they were actually frightened of her. Goose walked around for days wagging his tail and growling at her.
For her part, Betty is having a pretty good time. We bought her a $10 dog bed at Marshalls and a pink blankie both of which she embraced immediately. She loves her brothers and want to be with them, but she is smart enough to back off when they correct her and hides under a chair when they play too rough. I would classify her as gifted particularly in the house-breaking area, but I may be biased.
Bob and I are now outnumbered and have had to change from a man to man (or dog) defense to zone, but we seem to have it mostly under control. Bob has been exclusively the one to get up in the night with his “Daddy’s little girl”, which is a little amazing and a lot appreciated. Our dog walker visits a second time each day for the time being and the rest is just canine wrangling: making sure Betty doesn’t jump into Mike’s bowl, watching for signs of squatting and ensuring that Mike and Goose don’t feel usurped by their new little sister.
I am still overwhelmed, but when the dust settles and no one is biting me or each other I am as happy as I can be. I definitely have much to be thankful for.