Last year we said goodbye to our dog. Buck was the sweetest dog. In fact, he even managed to win over a few self-proclaimed dog haters. Well, maybe "win them over" is a stretch, but they did both tolerate and trust him.
Saying goodbye to him was hard. I mean hard. As much as I missed him, my husband and oldest daughter missed him more. Eventually, we stopped expecting to see him when we looked at his favorite spots on the floor, and I grew used to actually having to use a broom under the table.
Yet, even though we missed our dog, we remained firm about not getting a new dog for at least two years. We didn't even last a year.
One day my husband sent me an email about two Boxer-mix dogs who needed a home. The pics were cute, but no way were we getting two dogs!
A couple of weeks later, he sent the email again. The dogs still needed a home. My attitude had changed. I said I thought maybe we were supposed to take them. He said he didn't want two dogs.
While we were visiting my mom in Colorado, Tony got a call from the dogs' owners saying they were willing to split the two dogs up to different homes. That's when Tony got serious about considering a dog.
A few days later he went to "meet" Bear. I think we both knew that by "meet" he meant "go take one look and declare him mine." And that's what happened.
After the kids were in bed, he brought Bear home for me to meet. Despite the fact that he peed on me, I agreed to make him ours. We made arrangements for him to stay with Tony's friend who took the other dog. Tony would pick Bear up on Christmas Eve after the kids were in bed.
We planned for the kids to meet him Christmas morning. Of course, we expected the sun to be up. The sun is definitely not up at 2:30 in the morning, but that's when the girls met their new dog. Ann, 7, sat up with a goofy grin on her face. I wish I had a picture, but who thinks to grab a camera after being awoken at 2:30 a.m? Not me. Chris had the decency to wait until 5:30 Christmas morning to be coherent enough to realize there was a dog in the house. That's when I finally got video of the kids and their new dog!
Bear has adjusted quite well. He continues to prove my theory that our house is just happier with a dog in it. Dirtier, but much happier. I'd say the dirt and the dog hair is a small price to pay for the memories. (Well, most days anyways.)
So, I guess 2011 was the year of the dog for us. A sweet, sad and surprising year of dogs.
If my daughter had her way, 2012 would be the year of another dog or cat. Just today she told me to put a small live dog on the shopping list. I looked at her and told her that children who own both a dog and a cat do NOT get to request more pets. I don't yet know what 2012 will bring, but I'm certain it will not be our year of the dog, cat, hamster, guinea pig or anything other living thing!