We have a new baby in the family – meet Coco, a 4 month old Chocolate Lab mix.
This is our first family pet larger than a deck of cards. No, I’m not kidding. We’ve had shrimp, worms, hermit crabs, fish, aquatic turtles and a crawfish named Etouffee. The kids and I have always wanted to get a dog, but Scott wanted us to wait until the boys were old enough to take care of the dog. His answer was always, “maybe next year.”
I never really argued with him on this point, since I knew that — like the hermit crabs, fish, turtles and crawfish — it would be Scott who would end up doing the dirty work after the first couple of weeks of excitement. Feeding, scoopin’ dog poop, baths, walks, cleaning and all the other chores associated with dog ownership is quite a bit of work and Scott, rightly so, didn’t want any more added to his list of to-do’s.
Last Saturday, we went over to the local pet store to buy turtle food. The local animal shelter is always there on the weekends, showin’ off their adult pooches up for adoption and parading the Greyhounds who wear aprons with donation pockets on the sides.
Like always, we stop to pet the Greyhounds, shove a couple of dollars in their pockets, and then I spied the puppies. Oh. my. Buddha. PUPPIES!!! This was the first time I’d ever seen the puppies here and the kids and I ran to see them.
Scott watched us from outside the gate while the boys and I played with 4 American Bulldogs and 2 Chocolate Lab mixes. After 45 minutes, we were at the PONR: Point of No Return.
I looked at Scott, who was standing a few feet away, playing Angry Birds on his phone. I didn’t even have to say a single word. He looked up and said, “No.”
We begged, reasoned, pretty please’d, gave sad eyes, promised to give foot massages every evening, the boys pouted. Okay, I pouted too.
We left, got into the car and ran our other errands. I continued trying to convince him that we needed to take just one home. The dogs had been rescued by the animal shelter from another animal shelter who was recently charged with neglect. Uh, yeah, you read that right. The owners of an animal shelter were abusing the rescues! Can you even imagine what these pups have gone through?
I put on my drama hat and pleaded with Scott that if we didn’t rescue this poor little cutie patootie puppy, we was destined for a life of ultimate sadness and neglect. How could we turn our backs to those in need?
Didn’t work. I should have known better, Scott never falls for drama.
Okay, time to try on my responsible parent hat, “Having a puppy will teach the boys responsibility and compassion. This experience will guarantee that our boys will grow up to be influential world leaders and philanthropists. If we don’t get a puppy, they won’t develop the tools in life to cure cancer!”
Last resort – the good wife hat.
“I’ll buy you a 1968 bottle of single malt scotch.”
So we went back to the pet store, signed adoption paper, bought $1,080 worth of puppy stuff*, changed her name from “Dotty” to “Coco.” Everyone was happy – Coco was rescued from a life of cages; Scott scored foot massages from the boys every night and a $500 bottle of scotch; I got a new baby girl (finally! a girl in the house!) and the boys will now grow up with the necessary experience to one day solve the U.S. deficit problem.
*why is pet stuff so freakin’ expensive?
Surprisingly, the family member most attached to Coco was actually Scott. Coco had only been outside one other time in her whole entire 4-month old life. The woman from the shelter had brought Coco outside that morning, and Coco didn’t know what dirt was and started eating it.
Because this was Coco’s first time ever being on a leash and I think she was a bit scared of the grass, Scott carried her from the car to the fishing pond at our friend’s house.
But within just a few minutes of playing with our friend, Shawn’s two incredibly friendly Pit Bulls (Dakota and Nikita are like our adopted “kids” – we love these dogs like crazy!), Coco was out exploring.
She went fishing with Andrew.
Netting blue gill with Uncle Charlie.
Tried to convince Dakota to eat seaweed.
Coco, a happy pup.
We’re still working on stuff like potty training, sleeping through the night and not being afraid of swimming, but Coco is doing just fine. She’s such a lovey, mellow dog (who loves to eat!), you would have never guessed that she was rescued multiple times. She’s our Christmas baby, her papers say she was born on 12/25/2010. Surprisingly, she looks a lot like Chip, my brother’s dog!