Truth be told: I hate the dog
We just bought our girls the cutest, sweetest puppy for Christmas. We named her Lola. I have a love hate relationship with the dog. I love her but I hate what a time suck and huge responsibility she is to me. I realize that sounds incredibly selfish.
Don't get me wrong, I love having the dog around but she is just an extra responsibility added to my already full mom schedule. I've just gotten to a point where both of my girls are in school all day. I actually have a couple of hours of uninterrupted work time. Well, I did. Now, I have a puppy.
Maybe if the girls were older and could help or if the dog was older and wasn't so needy and right in the middle of potty training or maybe if I had a better handle on my schedule? Maybe I am just not a very good person, after all, with all the responsibility of Lola comes the unconditional loyalty and love that only a dog is capable of giving.
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We've had a dog since my husband and I were first married. In fact, our first foray into parenthood was of the four-legged kind with our first dog, Saffaron. We owe, in large part, our dedication, patience, and success as parents to her. She taught us about caring for something small that was completely dependent on us. She taught us responsibility and how to love something bigger than ourselves. Our Saffaron prepared us for parenthood.
When the two-legged babies came, the pecking order changed. My husband's once unwavering devotion to his best friend now took third after our newborn baby girl and then myself. The moment my husband set eyes on our daughter, everything else in the world lost its importance. I could see him fall in love with her. The poor dog didn't stand a chance.
Our Saffaron took it in stride. She had been, quite literally, the top dog in our family for almost 6 years when our sweet, Izabella was born. Two years later, Gabriella came along and Saffaron moved aside with no resistance. In fact, she adored our Gabi. Wherever Gabi was so was Saffaron. But last August, Saffaron went to that big doghouse in the sky. We miss her terribly. The girls have been begging for a new puppy and on Christmas, my Mommy heart gave in.
And so here we are. We've had Lola for a month and for all the love and joy that she has brought back into our home, she is a lot of work. She is teething and chewing on all of us. She needs to be taken out every couple of hours, reminds me of potty training and breastfeeding the children all rolled into one. No, I am not breastfeeding my dog, in case you were wondering. I don't roll that way.
I have realized that our Lola is like having a toddler again without the 9 months of preparation. She is curious, into everything and needy. She is exhausting. Some days, I'm not sure that I am up for the challenge.
I love the dog for the giggles that she fills our home with her antics. I love her for filling the hole in my daughters' hearts that was left behind by the loss of their first pet. I love her for the huge smiles she elicits from my husband when she greets him at the front door with her floppy ears and sweet disposition and I love her for sitting under my desk keeping my feet warm as I type this post. She is definitely a part of our family. I only hate the added responsibility, but I suppose that is a small price for all the love, joy, and companionship that having a pet brings.
Image via The TRUTH about Motherhood
What age were your children when you added a pet to the family?