Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The History of Dogs in the Burdullis Home

(PLEASE NOTE: This post is about how we have come to be getting a dog this weekend. THIS IS A SURPRISE FOR OUR CHILDREN. They have no idea! I feel comfortable posting this because we won't really be seeing anyone who will read this before Saturday. But for goodness sake, if we do see you, PLEASE do not ruin the surprise! Thanks!)

When I was about four, my parents surprised us with a beagle on Christmas morning who we named Sherlock. He was a dumb dog. My older brother, Damian, took him to obedience classes but afterwards Sherlock wasn't any more obedient than he had been prior. We have many stories about that dog, but one that sticks out was during the winter when he peed in the heat register so that each time the heat switched on in the house, there would be the renewed odor of dog urine. He dug out of our fully fenced backyard many times until one day, he ran away and we never found him again.

Later on when I was a teenager, we were given another dog, Coco, who was an absolute delight, although she seemed more like my younger siblings' dog as I was older then.

Despite my first dog, I have always been a "dog person." When Jason and I were shortly married and beginning to start our family in our townhouse (with about a 10' by 10' back "yard"), we decided to get a dog. Following the advice we'd been given to choose the calmest dog at the pound, we chose a medium sized German shepherd mix who was very relaxed and named him Zeus. We soon found out that the reason for Zeus' calm demeanor was that he was sick. Once he recovered a couple of weeks later, we discovered his true personality as very energetic, strong-willed and mischievous. A month later, the pound generously took him back and assured us that they would find a better-suited home with more room for such an energetic dog. I still feel somewhat guilty about that and hope that Zeus found the right family.

That was about seven years ago. Since then, we have been waiting for the right time. That is, I have. Jason has more likely been waiting to see if my dreams of a dog joining our family would disappear. We now have a house with plenty of room and a large, fully fenced back yard. And while my dog fever has never subsided, I had accepted Jason's reason and practicality when he explained why we should wait another year or two. He has further explained that he would be much quicker to get a dog if we could have some type of guarantee that it would be a good dog, such as my brother's dog, Coco (named after our childhood dog), who is also a delight. But of course, there is no guarantee, is there?

So we haven't been looking or really considering getting a dog any time soon. But on Monday, the phone rang. My brother, Jeremy, explained that his girlfriend, Alicia, had been looking on Craigslist for months for puppies the same breed as Coco, who is half border collie and half Australian shepherd. On Monday morning, a breeder had posted two puppies who they were giving away for free. The mother had eight puppies and the breeders had found buyers for six of them. After two months, they still had two of the pups and were ready to give them away. Jeremy and Alicia would be seeing them at 5pm that evening. The question was, did we want one?

My instinct was of course, YES! But I called Jason before answering so that we could decide together. And after several long minutes of listening to silence as Jason's wheels turned on the other end of the line, he said okay. Even he could see that an opportunity like this would most likely not happen again. A female puppy the exact same breed as my brother's dog, who we love, for free? Um, well okay then!

I couldn't feel that it was any more meant to be.

In the past couple of days, a few people (including a couple of random strangers at Walmart)  have found it necessary to explain to me that puppies require a lot of work. In fact, I guess you're supposed to train them or something. What?! Who knew?!

Yes, I realize puppies are a lot of work, but I am not afraid of hard work. Most often, hard work is rewarded and in this case, I am so excited to be adding another blessing to our home. Cesar Millan's books and DVD's are on their way to our home as well as a crate and a gentle leader, so hopefully that will help us to have a good start.

So far, Jason and I have only seen pictures and video of our puppy who we have named Kahlua. She is beautiful. Last night I stocked up on lots of doggy essentials at Walmart. Then we watched Marley & Me. And now we just wait in eager anticipation for Saturday.

On Saturday morning, there will be a package wrapped in Christmas paper waiting in the living room for the kids with a letter from Santa, saying he brought them an early Christmas present. Inside will be all the new doggy supplies, which will undoubtedly confuse the boys and bring up some intriguing conversation.

We don't have a dog! Why would Santa give us this stuff?

Later that morning, it will all make sense when Jeremy brings us Kahlua, confirming that Santa sees all and that he knew we would be receiving a dog that day, which is why he gave the boys an early present.

Most likely, many more posts and pictures to follow :)

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