I’m a new mother. Okay, I, personally am not a new mother. I’m an old mother. BUT I’m a new surrogate to two new puppies. I had a ShihTzu dog for 17 years that was a sweetie… and had to have her put to sleep two years ago due to health problems. That was really hard. I have a bigger dog – a beagle ‘pound puppy’ and I love him to pieces, but it’s not the same. He’s not much of a cuddler – too big. I have four cats, too, and they are all in the house and people think we’re nuts, but they have all come to us from various situations where it was either we took them in or they’d probably be killed at a pound. So… soft-hearted I am and we have the cats. All of them have different looks and different personalities and they are all a bunch of characters. All in all, though, they are still cats at the end of the day and cats may cuddle, but they may not – depending on their moods. So, I’d been wanting a new shih tzu, but was reluctant to have one in the new house.
Enter fate. I’d been looking online and in the paper for a puppy. Mine was one of the smaller ones, and I wanted to stick with what I knew. They were quite costly and seemed to only be available several states away. Finally one day a co-worker came in and said he’d seen a flyer on a local grocery store bulletin board for shih tzu puppies – and they were only about 30 miles away! I called the ad, but she’d sold the ones in the picture, but had litter of two-week-old pups. Plus her prices were quite reasonable. I went and looked at them and fell in love. The littlest one was my choice. She had the gene to be what they call an ‘imperial’ – a smaller one. She was just a doll. I put down a deposit and waited for word that she was old enough to come home.
The breeder was really good about sending me pictures and updates over the course of the few weeks until the puppy was ready. Finally she was… and my husband went with me to pick her up. Big mistake. As soft-hearted as I am, he’s marshmellow-goo. I never realized quite how mushy he was until this experience. We get there and the breeder is talking about the pup and her ‘big brother’ that is her pal… and protects her against the other brothers and sisters (four more in the litter)… and plays with her…and is black and white just like her. Well, DH is listening to all this and holding the little pup and looking at the brother… and says, “she’ll be lonely”…”is he sold?”…”we’ll take him, too”…
Picking my jaw up from the floor, I stared in disbelief. This is my husband? This is the guy who didn’t want another dog in the house? Who ARE you?
So… we have two new babies in the house. Up at night to let them out… feedings three or four times a day… very sharp teeth…chew toys everywhere… wipes for feet, face and piddle… I had four human children and it feels very familiar. (Except I’m a lot older now!)
This will be fun. Exhausting, but fun.