Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Puppy Fiasco

Eli and Landon looooovvvveee animals. They have always loved Penny and Annie (Nemo’s dogs) and Max (Grammy’s dog). And for the last two years, they have asked for a dog of their own, but our fence needed to be replaced and we just had been busy with other things and projects. So, Dustin and I agreed that he would have the fence rebuilt by their 4th birthday and I would come to grips with the idea of owning a dog (they didn’t get their animal love from me!)
I have no idea how you go about getting a puppy. Do you just grab one off the street? Go to a shelter? Wait until someone is selling them in the Wal-Mart parking lot? I had some major requirements for this dog: it couldn’t get very big and it absolutely could not shed. That was non-negotiable. And we wanted a girl. So, I figured the stray dog approach probably wouldn’t yield the results we were looking for and nobody had been selling puppies at Wal-Mart recently. Dustin had been way too busy at work to focus on getting the boys a dog, so I just took it upon myself to get one the only way I knew how: the Thrifty Nickel. 

I made all the arrangements and my mom picked up this puppy on her way to our house (it was in Abilene). So on the day of the boys’ small, family birthday party, we gave them their puppy. It was definitely not the reaction I was expecting. They were totally and completely speechless. I think they were either overwhelmed or in disbelief or just not impressed at all, but for whatever reason, they just didn’t make a big deal about the dog like I thought they would. This was on a Saturday.
By Sunday, I knew something wasn’t right. The dog had NO energy whatsoever. It wasn’t playful. It laid in the same spot I left it in. It didn’t eat. And although it was sweet natured and liked to cuddle…it just wasn’t the run, jump, play in the backyard with the boys and wear them out kind of puppy I was expecting.  

So Monday morning, we took the puppy to the vet. A couple hours later, we were back home with special food and two medications. Our puppy had hookworms: a nasty parasite that was slowly sucking the life out of this poor dog. So I brought it home and started nursing the puppy back to health, but the more I read about hookworms, the more disgusted and completely overwhelmed I got with the whole situation. By the afternoon, I had made a call to the woman we bought the puppy from and I told her I just couldn’t handle it. I was returning the puppy and I wanted my money back. So I loaded up my three kids and the sick puppy, got some corn dogs and slushes at Sonic for dinner, and we headed towards the dog lady to return Eli and Landon’s “forever puppy” as we had so stupidly called it. Turns out they liked the puppy a whole lot more than they let on because they wailed when we gave it back. I was pretty much annoyed with the entire situation. I’m pretty positive that anyone who knows anything about dogs (and even those who don’t, since I was able to pick up on it) could have told that something was wrong with that dog. I was sad that I had given my boys a puppy that “they could love forever” and then took it away two days later. And then I was really irritated when I came home, put all the kids to bed, and then had to bleach every square inch of our hookworm infested house (or it was in my mind at least). And the next week at Harper’s 18 month checkup, I had to notify the pediatrician that my kids were almost positively going to end up with hookworms (he assured me that it was very unlikely). 

Eli and Landon ended up taking it a lot better than I expected. We explained that the puppy was just really, really sick and that we couldn’t take care of it the way it needed to be taken care of and we couldn’t let the puppy get Harper sick, so we had to give it back, BUT we would get a new, healthy, playful puppy that would be our best friend. 

Several weeks went by and we just kind of did nothing. For someone that doesn’t even like animals to begin with, I was a little burnt out by the whole thing and I couldn’t even think about bringing a new puppy in after that. Plus, I was NOT about to be the one to pick our next puppy, so I told Dustin that it was completely up to him to handle this. 

So, he did what any responsible, adult man would do. He called his mom. 

Neva was sweet enough to find our boys a puppy, drive to get it, take it for a complete check-up at the vet BEFORE we showed it to them, and then bring it to us. She is really too sweet to us.

Meet Libby.

She was just seven weeks old when she came to us and she is completely precious. She has the cutest personality, she’s playful and fun, she loves to cuddle, and she is soooo good to my kids.

Of everyone in this house, Harper loves Libby the most. This is just a peek at their goodnight routine. It takes longer for her to say goodnight to Libby than all four of the rest of us combined. 

 After her second round of shots, Libby got her first haircut. She's so precious.

This was Libby's first road trip with us for Thanksgiving.

This little rug in front of the dishwasher is Libby's favorite spot, which by default makes it Harper's new favorite spot too. 

So this "I will never in my life own a dog" girl has been converted. I can get over just about anything if it brings my kids so much joy. And Libby definitely brings us some joy.

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