This month our family had a scare. Our beloved dog, Russie, had a procedure to remove tumors from his skin. Turns out they were actually cancerous (were because they are gone now). They hadn’t spread, but they weren’t good. After an awful healing period and lots of pain meds he is back to acting like the old Russie, yet the mom guilt I usually feel after dropping my kids off at daycare has surfaced in a different form.
See, even though we know countless families who slowly (or quickly) gave away their animals when they started having kids, we didn’t. He was our first baby and giving him away was never an option. We found him at the Humane Society and grabbed him even though we did not have any experience or any hopes of success.
We missed vet appointments (having babies is hard!), he doesn’t get the walks he used to and sometimes he is flatly ignored when I walk in after a long day with two toddlers, backpacks and teaching bag. Yet, he is still ours. We had to face the fact that we let the cancer grow in his body for awhile before we faced it. So in order to make myself feel better about the poor decisions we made, I’d rather take a look at the reasons it’s good he’s still here…
1. New Playmates: Sure sometimes they want nothing to do with you AND at other times they play with you in a way that is neither fun or comfortable, but they weren’t here a few years ago. What would you do with all that quiet?
2.Treats: In addition the regular bundle of dog treats, you get scraps that mistakenly fall to the floor or dinner that your sister and brother are avoiding. Stay under the table long enough and you can have two dinners.
3. Toys: Sure we don’t buy you your own toys anymore, but you have boundless others to choose from. Your welcome for the rubbery Sophie dolls ($30 each) and countless beanie babies and wooden doll house pieces. Really, anything for you.
4. Comfortable places: Since the kids came along your regular nap joints have shifted. The guest room you used to reside in is now a princess room and don’t pretend you don’t like it. Even 65 pound pitbulls can fit into bunkbeds.
5. New Parents: We didn’t really know what we were doing until the second baby came along (and we are still learning). Luckily (now), that allows for fewer mistakes and a very happy household. Can you imagine being anywhere else?