So isn't it nice that Rocket is such a cute and lovable puppy? Not that there are a lot of UNcute puppies in the world, or anything, but it's especially nice that Rocket turned out to be cute and lovable and charming because HA HA HA, I WAS NOT PART OF THIS DECISION PROCESS AT ALL.
Rocket was a True Christmas Surprise. He was chosen and purchased without my knowledge or consent, and showed up Christmas morning in a big box wearing a big red bow. That means Dave is a lucky, lucky, LUCKY FREAKING GUY, because – well, really, do I have to spell it out here? If I was regretful of or angry about Rocket's arrival it could be understood. Suddenly I am the primary caretaker for a BABY ANIMAL, as well as two small children, and without giving my consent or being given ANY time to prepare for such a change. I mean, this is STRESSFUL STUFF, adding a time-consuming PUPPY to a family, especially when the burden of care falls to the one person WHO DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT BEFOREHAND. And when that person has never cared for a puppy before in her WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE.
But I am SO GLAD we have a dog. I am so glad the kids are being raised with a puppy who will grow with them and accept them (as Hambone never did); I am so happy that in a few more months I'll have a running partner and a reason to get out of the house on summer evenings for one more walk around the block. I remember how much happiness Hambone brought me, even though he was weird and quirky and sensitive and neurotic.
And then again, sometimes I am SO ANNOYED that we have a dog. I want to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I REALLY DO, but before we can get to the Companionship part of this relationship, you know, with the lying at the feet of the master and the bringing of the slippers and gentle handling of the newspaper, we have to go through this puppy hell, where everything we own has tooth marks in it and the floors are cleaner than they've ever been because we've mopped pee off of every inch of them and we're getting up in the middle of the night for potty breaks and praying whenever we leave the house that he doesn't cry and bark the entire time we're gone and make the neighbors want to kill us. It's kiiiiiiiind of stressful.
Ok, so it's REALLY REALLY stressful. The mornings are hardest right now, trying to make sure the kids get fed and dressed while also making sure the puppy doesn't take a dump on the carpet, and trying to get my feet through my pant legs without a puppy trying to pull my pants RIGHT BACK OFF. I can't use the bathroom without a puppy breaking in and eating a roll of toilet paper. Breakfast used to be eaten on the coffee table in front of a show, but the puppy can grab things off the coffee table so the kids have to eat in the kitchen now.
And then even once the kids are at school, everything I try to do at home looks like a Big! Fun! Puppy! Game!, like folding laundry (LOOK AT TOWEL SWINGING AROUND LIKE BIG TERRYCLOTH TUG OF WAR) or loading the dishwasher (YOU REALLY NOT GOING TO EAT THOSE FOOD PARTICLES?) or dusting the coffee table (SWIFFER LOOKS LIKE DELICIOUS SQUIRREL TAIL). Also, the dog will not go on walks. I know you think I am making this up because what kind of dog doesn't want to go on a walk?! But mine does not, he walks outside with enthusiasm and then just... sits. I have to CARRY him out of the neighborhood, and then sometimes he will go along with me TIMIDLY, but most of the time it takes us about an hour (AN HOUR) to go .6 miles. POINT SIX MILES, you guys. It is mentally draining.
But you know? I am trying to make this work. I am killing myself with optimism. Yes, it's stressful and there's more yelling and frustration and we can't leave toys out anywhere but the kitchen table. BUT! We have SUPER clean floors! We are sitting together for breakfast now and the kids want to turn that time into a morning devotional time, something I've never considered before now (and something I've decided I love). And if there was ever a time of the year to get a puppy, January is IDEAL for me – there's nothing really going on; I've got time to commit to this endeavor. And hopefully by summer things will be falling into place. So while I cannot recommend a puppy at this point in time, I am hoping that – MUCH LIKE NEWBORNS – they eventually turn into the kinds of decisions we are happy we made. I will let you know.
Now: More pictures that will make you forget everything I just wrote. YOU PEOPLE ARE SO WEAK.