This is Cooper. We got Cooper as a teeny-tiny puppy in the middle of my pregnancy with Abby. Just for the record, getting a brand new puppy while you're in the throes of pregnancy-induced insanity is an incredibly bad idea. My husband came home from work one evening to find me sitting on the floor sobbing because the puppy had peed all over the floor again, and how in the world was I going to handle having a baby if I couldn't even get the dog to stop peeing on the floor, and why don't they just make diapers for dogs, etc.
Despite that initial ugliness, Cooper has been with us ever since. Even though I threaten to kill her at least once a day for the last nine years, she has managed to survive fairly unscathed. We put up with the barking, (although I think about shooting her every time she barks and wakes up the baby,) the shedding, (we fill at least two large-size garbage bags every summer with dog hair. It's only about half of the hair that she's shedding, and it's completely disgusting. And just for the record, don't believe someone when they tell you that long-haired German Shepherds shed less than short haired...) and the smell. (I decided once at approximately 9:30 at night a few weeks ago that I couldn't take the way she smelled anymore and decided to give her a bath. Not a great idea. Because then instead of just smelling like disgusting dog, she smelled like disgusting wet dog, and two out of three floors of my house were soaked, which is infinitely worse.) She is most definitely my husband's dog, and something I tolerate in the name of familial harmony.
Enter my husband, and his big heart and desire to help people, and last week we ended up with two more dogs while friends of ours are in South Africa trying to figure out their lives. This is Sadie. I couldn't get a picture of her brother Koda because he is constantly spinning in circles like a tornado on crack.
I have three kids, fourteen violin students, and a life I barely have a grip on. (On good days.) These dogs have enough energy to power a small country, with enough left over to destroy my house in the time it takes me to eat a brownie. The dogs and I are not friends.
My kids are in heaven. Abby spent the first few days they were here waking up at 4:30 in the morning to check on the dogs and make sure they were still here. Max, who is obsessed with dogs, is thrilled that these dogs are just the right height to give him slobbery dog kisses and then knock him flat on his diaper-clad bum. Gross.
So yeah, I'm counting down the days until the dogs are gone, the muddy dog-prints are reduced by a third, and our normal amount of chaos returns. And this week has helped me come up with a very important set of rules. You didn't ask, but I'm telling you anyway.
So here they are. Rules to be followed before we ever get another dog:
1- We have to be done having children.
2- All children we have must be potty trained.
3- The dog will be our only pet.
4- I will be the Alpha. The dog WILL listen to me.
5- The dog will be smaller than a German Shepherd, bigger than one of those annoying ankle-biter yapper dog, AND
6- The dog will not be allowed to shed, and I will not be picking up any poop.
I'm thinking this set of rules might keep me dog-free for at least another 3 or 4 years. One can only hope.
I mush prefer my cat, who spends approximately 23.5 hours a day sleeping. (How do I get in on that gig?)
So tell me, are you a dog person? Do you like pets? How do you keep a house, kids, and pets without going crazy?