“No, Kath, it’s never gonna happen. I don’t want a dog in the house or peeing all over my lawn. We don’t need the hassle -- we have enough going on in our lives!”
My husband uttered these very words every time I broached the idea of getting a dog. I’d always been an animal lover, but I grew up with cats so I only half-heartedly fought for a dog. Cats were an easy sell. But a dog required real commitment.
My husband’s attitude changed, however, when, four kids and 11 years of marriage later, I asked one more time, this time mentioning how good I thought it would be for our oldest son to have a buddy (thanks to BOGO Susan and BOGO Sara for encouraging the idea!). Christopher struggles with social awareness and maturity, and as a result has very few friends. It breaks our hearts. Every parent wants to fix the holes in our children’s hearts any way they know how, so at that moment it became obvious: We had to get a dog for Christopher.
I began my search instantly. That Saturday I somehow convinced my husband to pack up the kids and all go to our local PetCo for a Last Hope rescue event. We were just looking, or at least that’s what I told myself at the time, since we were leaving for a weeklong vacation in Disney World the next week. This is no time to bring home a dog! But we went anyway. As soon as we laid eyes on Charlie, a 1-year-old Pomeranian/shih tzu/wire fox terrier mix, we fell in love. The kids and I were ecstatic, and the next day we brought him into our home and our family.
That was October 7, 2012. Yesterday, January 13, 2013, we added another little guy to our family. Mac is a 4-month-old schnauzer/terrier mix who is playful, affectionate, and all puppy. So far he and Charlie are two peas in a pod, although Charlie could stand to teach him a thing or two about where the Diaz dogs should do their business. Having just been through all this with Charlie, though, we are prepared for Mac’s shenanigans and understand the value of patience during this time of training.
Dogs change people. I have a life full of love and laughter and delight, yet adding two pups to share that with has only made my life that much sweeter. My husband only begrudgingly agreed to get Charlie, and three months later was on petfinder.com for hours at a time, looking to rescue the perfect second dog. How did this happen? What have we become?!
I guess we’ve become dog-lovers. Unabashed, unapologetic dog-lovers. The kind of dog lovers who welcome a good face lick and don’t mind wearing a bag around our hands as we pace the yard looking for their “remains of the day.” The hysterical joy they feel every time we walk through the door is enough to make me feel like the Duchess of Cambridge, and the warmth of their snoring bodies at night comforts me after a bad day.
So thank you, BOGO Susan and BOGO Sara, for that gentle nudge into Dogland. I now know what you two have known for years, and now that I’m here, I’ll never go back.