Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Introducing Maisie

So this is how it happened to me.

I was outnumbered.

We were outnumbered.

It was four to two in favor of dogness in the GreenHouse (and just take a guess which two were casting negative votes?)

And yet I had this ace in my pocket: I am the mother. We are the parents. We get to choose when we add a furball to this household.

So which vote did we cast?

That would be a no. No way. Not for a long long long long LONG time.

Not until I had forgotten what torture cleaning up after a dog can be. Not until I had forgotten the agony of having to decide about what to do with my ailing companion when her quality of life had left her. Not until I had experienced one full dogless year.

Oh. Oops. That date passed in September.

The begging continued. And continued. And continued. And increased. And increased again.

David and I remained firm. We are the parents.

My children reminded us that they had never known Natalia as a puppy, that they had only known her old and frail.

They talked about the fun of an animal in the house: the bonding, the cuddling, the love.

They promised that they would take over all doggy responsibilities: the walking, the cleanup, the feeding, the training.

Sophie said all she wanted for her thirteenth birthday was a puppy. Or an iPhone. (Sigh. Teenagers.)

David and I did not budge.

Well, except...

I started looking at dogs on KSL.

And talked a lot to our friends who owned the cutest, sweetest, not tiny, non-shedding dog around: Maggie the goldendoodle.

And remembered what it was like when Tally could run with me, and when she would lay her head on my knee when I was sad, and how devoted she was to us.

But still...we weren't changing our minds.

(But that Maggie sure is cute. And so well-behaved. And how great is it that she doesn't shed?...)

(And look, here is a sweet goldendoodle on KSL. Oh look, here are some more. Oh, aren't they darling?)

No. Not budging.

The stalemate continued.

Except (obviously) there was some movement on one side of the argument.
And this is how it went down. (I hope this doesn't sound flippant, or disrespectful, because for me, it was the opposite.)

A month ago a friend lost her teenage daughter in a tragic accident. I was rocked to the core, devastated for them, for their extended family that I love and respect. I was brought to my knees in grief for their loss.

And we went out and bought a dog. That very day.

I remembered what it was to feel the earth quake because of losing someone I love. I remembered feeling some regrets for not cherishing more, for not loving more, for not risking more. And I thought about my sweet children and their desire to love, and how long they'd begged, and how could I say no to embracing the beautiful chaos of more love? Wouldn't I rather live with chaos than regret?

So along came Maisie.

Did I say beautiful chaos?

How about just plain chaos?

OK, it's beautiful chaos.

Most of the time.


Lara said...

Maisie is absolutely adorable. And I totally understand your reasons for making such a split-second decision. And they were the right ones.

Which I needed to hear...it's so easy not to cherish and love because it requires sacrifice and inconvenience sometimes.

The Dances said...

She is so cute! But I understand the hesitation. It really can be like having another kid underfoot. And the agonies I feel when Stella doesn't get a walk for more than three days (happened a lot in the last six months).