Since before we were married my husband and I talked about getting a dog. 'One day!' We would say. We got married, had a honeymoon baby and quickly had a second baby. No need for a pup in our house. Recently we spoke about it again. 'Eh' we said 'let's wait until the kids are older'. And me, not exactly being a dog person, was in no rush.
Since returning to work I've convinced myself that my, I mean our, 14 yr old cat is lonely. I wanted a kitten. I convinced the kids a kitten would be great. My husband agreed (not that a kitten would be great. But agreed to the idea of getting one.)
We made plans to go to North Shore Animal League. My husband convinced me that while we were there to get a kitten we should just look at the dogs. Having a long 'appropriate dog' checklist, I agreed, thinking we will never find our perfect dog.
We arrived shortly after they opened and walked around. We saw two that we liked. We arranged to play with one. She was lovely! But she was a puppy and expected to get to 70+ pounds. Not city friendly. We requested to play with our second choice. But she was not good with kids under 12. So, as we prepared to go into the cat room, a volunteer brought over a dog. It was a male (not interested!). He was a young dog (mmm, not a puppy. My interested increased). He was fully grown, and a great size (mmm). We sat down to play and all of our hearts grew. My husband loved him. Me, the cat lover, liked him. The kids were excited. So, we started the process. Man. I'm pretty sure the process took longer than giving birth. Almost 6 hours later we loaded into the car to bring home our new addition.
Murphy Maxwell (our name + his shelter name), aka Murph, changed our lives in a matter of hours. For one - my house is the cleanest it has been in years. Fearful that the dog will eat a toy - both of my kids have picked up every single toy. I mean it. Every. Single. Toy. Every marker. Every sticker sheet. Every hair clip. Oh. And all of their shoes, too! It looks great! My kids have also been immediately putting their meal dishes in the sink vs me asking a million times. They fear the dog will lick their plate.
They are bonding because they equally love and fear the dog. They want to pet him. They want to give him treats. They want to take him for walks. But they are scared to walk by him and do this hilarious stiff walk.
Less than two weeks in and already Murph has changed our lives. Back in the day to create more living space we gave up our dining area to be my daughter's room. Since then my husband and I just ate on the couch with kids in highchairs. As the kids got bigger we swapped out the highchairs for a simple kid table and chair set tucked into a corner in the living room. My husband and I continued to eat on the couch. After one day of the dog attempting to steal every morsel of food, I dragged the dining table out of the basement and traded it with the kid table. It totally fits, and, my husband and I can squeeze in too!
So far. So good. Luckily Murph is a great sleeper. We are working on all the other 'stuff.' But man. I am amazed. Just as I fell in love with each of my children, I have fallen in love with this 4 legged wonder that is always at my feet. Any hesitations I had melted away when the kids proudly showed off their dog to some friends. And, their attempt to keep the house clean to keep Murph safe, is blowing my mind.
So, as I sit here with the dog on my lap, me, the cat lover, can't help but smile and my heart swells as my family transforms to welcome this dog into our lives.
Post by Erica Young
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