I am writing this blog post specifically for you. Well, actually, I'm writing to your future therapist. Remember the time when mom and dad got us a dog and then sent it back? Yup. I'm officially that parent.
The problem lies in a promise I made about 6 years ago. "We can get a dog after the last baby is potty-trained." Through the years, as the request for a puppy repeatedly resurfaced, this promise became my mantra. Little did I know that we would be living in the land of condos [no yards] and leash laws and likely to move again internationally when the last baby was potty-trained. Caleb used his last diaper in July. I was starting to feel I had made you a piecrust promise - easily made, easily broken.
I wanted a dog for you. (I still do.) We have wanted to get a dog for you guys for ages. We love dogs and know how great it is to bond with them. When Ginger's darling picture popped up with the description of a quiet, gentle, six-month old, crate-trained pup who needed a good home, we convinced ourselves we could work out the details and started the process of adoption.
We told ourselves that the built-in baby gates in the halls would provide adequate protection against her escaping though our practically revolving front door. Surely we could convince the neighborhood kids to knock before entering and our kids to remember to shut it as they left. Right? Right. Turns out skinny little Ginger could fit right through the gap between the wall and the gate. She's fast, too. Doesn't help that she was a street dog, leery of people, and not keen on following commands. There were a few times I was pretty certain she was going to meet her maker under the wheel of a taxi.
Ginger liked me a lot. By that I mean, she didn't flinch when I would pet her. She even jumped on me at times. She only allowed me to put on her harness and leash. I can't tell you how many times this week I heard that telltale I'm-about-to-pee-on-the-floor whine while I was unable to abandon my post (typically wiping a little bum). Perhaps I should have been more specific about the thoroughness of the baby's potty-training when I made my promise...
While she liked me, she didn't bond with the family as a whole. She preferred a spot under the kitchen table or under our bed to being in the same room with the family (even when we were really calm and quiet). A large, jumpy puppy, she frightened Jack and Caleb in her playful moments. Unaccustomed to being petted, she was far from the cuddly puppy Maddie and Parker desired. Pretty soon, you all lost interest in walking her or trying to spend time with her.
So I found myself spending my days caring for two young children and now a puppy that seemed as disinterested in our family as we were in her. Clearly, not a good fit. Thankfully, the adoption agency had informed us the first few weeks were really a trial period to see if it would work out. At the time, I thought they were being overly cautious. Who wouldn't want to keep a sweet puppy? Turns out, we wouldn't.
Not a single tear was shed as Ginger left the house. You all expressed disappointment that having a dog didn't work out, but there was no real love lost.
Sorry guys. I realize I should have tried with a younger puppy. I also realize I don't have the time or energy necessary to care for a new puppy. Perhaps when Caleb learns to wipe. But I'm not making any promises...