A previous version of this post was published in The Fresno Bee on Sunday August 9, 2020.
It’s been a summer all right. Haven’t posted here in about a month (more!) thanks to most folks losing their brains and all previously-functioning reasoning skills. Spring, Easter, Summer and now ‘Back to School’ season were shamefully cancelled on account of Covid-19 — you know, that at-first-very-scary-but-now-better-understood virus that over 95% of the healthy population heals from. Since my last post here, I’ve been regularly harassed on Facebook for daring to question government directives that are currently stripping good, hard-working and safely-operating businesspeople from their livelihoods (as well as keeping kids from attending school).
So in light of all this nonsense… we got a puppy. She’s a sweet, wild, caring and wacky-doodle new friend. And may I say to all pet parents: I get it now.
“I don’t think you realize what it means to get a dog… it’s a lot,” I’d lecture on repeat to my kids and husband when they started asking about getting a dog last year. “We want a puppy!’ they’d plead (husband included). This went on for a full 12 months. “It’s going to rip up our yard, it’s going to chew everything, it’s going to pee everywhere and poop a lot, it’s going to cry at night, it’s going to dictate how we live and how we travel to visit family… and I’m going to end up being the one doing all the work for it.” (Sound familiar, moms?) And then my family would cry (the kids) and roll their eyes (my husband) and tell me I was a buzzkill.
The first week with her found me planted in my patio, (metaphorical white surrender flag next to me), with a soft little body in my lap and baby jaws nipping my hands because I’d yet to get better chew toys. As I wrote this, she slept under my chair in the kitchen. We are still in the ‘take her out to potty in the middle of the night’ phase and, when I stand outside in my robe and flip-flops at 1am, I try to remember if my parents did the same thing with our family dog 30 years ago?
My daughters are in awe. My husband is acting like a 10 year old with a new toy. I am completely exhausted and filled with love and joy. It feels like new mom life all over again — except now my 8- and 9- year old babies are taking turns to pooper-scoop their new little sister’s mess on the lawn. Family life suddenly seems normal again, despite feeling so upside down just a few weeks ago (thanks to no back to school and utter idiocracy everywhere else).
To hell with the world’s dysfunction — for now, anyways. Happiness comes with a brand new puppy. This new mom-of-3 finally gets it.