“If you don’t own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.” ~ Roger Caras
Timing is everything and that has never been more convincingly proven than the last few weeks at our house. For the past year, I’ve been systematically groomed for a second dog. Not just a dog. A puppy.
As if one set of hole-drilling eyes isn’t enough to deal with during dinnertime, an initially unwanted and honestly, unnecessary second set, attached to a round, butter ball body, now graces our home.
It graces a lot. My floors could testify to it.
Who really needs more than one dog? (Ask my kids and the obvious question would be, “who doesn’t?” but that’s generally not my philosophy in a house without a fenced in backyard.)
The last time we did this dog adoption thing, it was shortly after our family dog died after fourteen years. It broke our hearts and we didn’t know how to not have her around.
I knew right after she passed that we would need at least six months to adjust before even considering another one. And I told my kids that’s how it would be.
And so, three months later, after accidentally browsing on a pet finder site, we filled the void by snatching up our new boy.
And all was well again. I’ve always been a one-dog-at-a-time person. Megan from the movie Bridesmaids spoke the truth when she said, “I did slightly over-commit to the whole dog thing. Turns out I am probably more comfortable with 6. It’s a lot, a lot of energy to deal with.”
It is a lot of energy to deal with, even just one. And since I know this to be true, if I was of sound mind and could trust my own willpower, we wouldn’t today be dealing with 5:00 am potty runs and our first flip flop death-by-chewing. (Three girls in the house and it had to be my shoe.)
Back to timing. I’m a firm believer that things happen in their own time. We may move things along, but it’s not something we can completely control. There are greater forces at work.
Forces like a list-making daughter who drew up outlines listing the reasons she needed, and could handle, a puppy. Some numbered lists didn’t fly with me. Some made me sit in awe, convinced I was a fool for ever doubting her. The time and energy put into her persuasive arguments were impressive. But I kept my cool. I continued to say nope, never, not going to happen.
And continued and continued and continued. I am not a two-dog person. I am not an over-committer. I’m not into herding. I am comfortable with the energy level of one.
And so here we are. It took a year but the time and energy she put into the real reason she wanted a puppy, her love of agility and obedience training, won out over my fears of losing sleep (and money to the Resolve carpet cleaning company) and doubling our ratio of dog fur on the couch (and pillows, all clothing and flat surfaces).
I know this timing worked out for a few reasons. One, our new baby Prince was born at the exact time I began to slightly consider adding a puppy. Two, waiting a year helped show that my child’s dedication wasn’t going to wane. And three, obedience training takes consistency, perseverance and repetitiveness.
The same three qualities she used against her own mother. The girl’s got skills.
And a new puppy.