The new dog.
Where has she been all my life?
And how exactly did this happen?
Anne, Betsy and Ramona were doing their usual routine one night over dinner -- giving their father puppy-dog eyes. Begging for a dog. Hearing him say flatly, "No."
Cue the next line: "Mo-o-o-o-m?! Will you please talk to him?"
I did my usual routine and said, "Yes, I'll talk to him. Just give him time."
Then they got online, to "just look" at a few pets on Petfinder.com and soon we were all (all except Atticus, who was now in another room) oohing and aahhing over puppies and kittens. We read about a cute beagle at our local shelter, and then found the description of Sydney. She sounded charming. I went to find Atticus and told him he should probably just come take a look at the website. Just a quick look. "She really does sound like a sweet dog," I said, the tiniest hint of pleading in my voice.
He came into the room to look at her.
"No," he said and turned around to walk away.
The girls deflated. He left the room but the next thing we heard was his voice calling back to us, "Okay. If you want that dog, we can get her."
Had he been replaced by a Pod Atticus? Did the Dog Fairy zap him with a spell? Maybe the girls had slipped him some kind of canine love potion over dinner. Or, did he just really want his kids to be happy? Whatever it was, it brought The Dog That Was Meant For Us into our lives.
But we still didn't know that for certain. Over the following week, we talked about what kind of dog we should look for, what the best match would be for our family, why we wanted a dog instead of a puppy. We prayed for the right dog to come our way, read Cesar Millan's website, and checked our local shelter. The beagle was gone, and I kept thinking, "Sydney? I think maybe Sydney is the one for us." She was living at a shelter an hour from here, and we decided to go visit her. It was love at first sight.
She's affectionate, and housebroken. She's so sweet. She isn't bothered by Mr. Putter the cat. And she's housebroken. She's (relatively) obedient, though we need to break her of that habit of wanting to climb us. She pretty much knows we're the pack leaders (Cesar would be proud), and she's housebroken.
She's housebroken. Did I mention that?
I love this dog.