Ever since my beloved dog Marti passed away two years ago, there has been a pug-shaped hole in our lives. There has been a sweet dog missing from my office chair, where she’d make herself comfortable while I worked around her. There has been a dog missing from the couch. There has been a dog missing where there should have been one warming my feet and eating up all the crumbs that three kids leave behind.
Dogs fill your life with so much joy and then when they’re gone, you’re filled with daily heartache. Once the ache in your heart eventually subsides a little, you start thinking that there might be another sweet dog out there, just waiting to find its forever home in your home. It’s taken two full years for me to even consider wanting to adopt a dog, but even though I might be ready to love again, we as a family are so not ready.
As I was browsing rescue sites, I’d see the most adorable pups. And my first thought is, “Save the puppy! Get the dog! Figure it out later!” But then I look around. And want to punch myself in the face. Because Legos. And Barbie shoes. And you know what puppies do? They eat everything in town. I imagine the vet bills from surgeries to extract Hot Wheels cars from puppy stomachs. And I imagine one more “person” to feed in the morning and at dinner time. I imagine the backyard with dog poop and bare feet. As much as I miss my dog, it’s not the right time for us to get a pet.
I’d give anything to have Marti back. She was wonderful and snuggly and great with kids and over the puppy stage. I’d take her back in a heartbeat. But a new dog, with housebreaking and new personality quirks and concerns? Well, I simply do not have time for it at the moment. I have to let my head rule my heart and know that soon enough it might be something we’ll be able to handle. When the kids are better at keeping Legos in bins. Maybe when they can help with poop-scooping duty. And the youngest is potty-trained. In another year we might be in a different place. Until then, I’ll just be browsing the cute puppy faces and knowing that eventually our future dog will find us when the time is right.
Have you ever adopted a puppy while you had young kids? Just curious how crazy it really would be. Asking for a friend. —Erin