Make New Friends (but remember the old)

We’re taking the kids to meet a dog today and I’m nervous. Not that they won’t like each other. Alex and I met the dog yesterday and he’s friendly and charming, and I already know my kids have the potential to be the same. I’m nervous because this is a big commitment. More than the purple hair even. The stakes are higher.

We’ve had dogs before. Our first was when our daughter was a baby, and it didn’t go well for any of us. There just wasn’t enough energy and patience to go around. After that we were cat people…until we determined that same daughter is allergic to cats. By that point, we had two cats. One we had just gotten, and we were able to re-home him with a loving family. Our other cat had been with me for over 15 years, so we dealt with the allergies for a little longer. Once we were cat-free, we bought leather couches and declared ourselves happily pet free. No cat boxes, no dog poop, no fur all over the house! Whee!

Two years ago we got Samson. He was 9. We lost him December 30 of 2013. I’ll tell his story sometime, but not yet. I’m not ready for that yet. Suffice it to say he was the best dog ever, and we realized how much we enjoyed having the company of a furry friend.

We told ourselves we were going to wait before considering another dog. But thanks to animal shelters and dog pictures on Facebook, a dog caught my attention, and I wasn’t sure I really wanted to wait. It would be simpler if we did. Animals need attention and exercise and food and toys and medicine… For a few reasons, we would be better off waiting a few more months before adding to our family. Life isn’t always simple and easy like that, though. Sometimes things happen unexpectedly, good and bad, and you have to roll with them.

This is not going to be a universally popular decision with the extended family. There will be, and have been, people who disagree with our choice. People who think they know better what we need. People who focus on the negative rather than the positive. But even more than the purple hair dissenters, I don’t care, and this time I mean it. I woke up early this morning, excited to go back and see the dog, excited to take the kids to meet him. This feels right to me.

So we’re taking the kids today, and if all goes well, I’ll get to introduce you to our new friend soon.

And remember, if you’re thinking of a pet, please please check your local animal shelters. We’re going to Wayside Waifs today but there are shelters everywhere full of great animals who need a home.

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