I remember that I always loved dogs. And one Christmas morning, our parents led us (three siblings at this time) into the kitchen where we discovered the present they were so excited to show us was three cages with a parakeet in each one. "That's what you asked for, on your Christmas list," they claimed. None of us knew what a parakeet was. After a trip to the library and some reading, we attempted to teach them to talk, because that was what you were supposed to do with parakeets. Then we found out that these parakeets were old rejects our neighbors were trying to get rid of. There would be no teaching them to talk. There would be no tricks. They were done learning. Merry Christmas to all!
Oh how I wanted to have a puppy.
So when I met the Mister, and we were dating and talking about getting married, I made sure that he knew this about me. It was a problem at first, because he wanted a cat. We didn't know how the two could work together. A few marriage counseling sessions later, we worked it out that we could have both. Compromise.
And I didn't think this would happen until later, much later.
Partly because Mister didn't like dogs at all. He wouldn't kiss me if a dog licked my face. He wouldn't let dogs in our house. He would run away from them a little or yell at them if they jumped at him. He really, didn't like dogs. This will be tough, I thought. I knew it would be a while before we could have one.
And I didn't think it would happen until later partly, because we are so young (aren't we?) and possibly too young for any kind of responsibility.
And then last month on the occasion of our two-year wedding anniversary, Mister looked across the table at me and said "I think I am ready for pets." I stared at him, and let him know that I was not ready.
"You will never be ready for anything," he said.
So last week, when he told me he had contacted a place, about a puppy, and filled out the application, and contacted some vets, and that we had been accepted to adopt - I was more than a little surprised. It actually reminded me a little of when he asked me to marry him, and I didn't smile or cry, but just kind of stared and was pretty quiet.
This is how I handle surprise - I am not proud of it. It tends to ruin happy moments, as you can see.
But we went and looked at the puppies. Silly thing to do. How could I say no when they are there, and so cute, and the woman is saying "Which one do you want?"
So we picked one. I think I will like her when she arrives tomorrow.
This is Maggie.
She is so tiny. And adorable. I know that when she comes, I will love her.
Tonight I am anxious. The change is overwhelming me and I feel as though I am drowning in the "what ifs."
What if we are not able to train her properly? And she is not well behaved?
What if she likes the Mister better than me?
What if she eats my shoes? I will be so mad...
What if she bites people?
What if she isn't good with kids?
What if she grows up to be ugly?
I think this must be a lot like parenting. Having ugly children is a big fear I have about having my own kids someday. So, seems like these might be similar situations.
Also - I have seen Marley & Me. Multiple times. And I cry every single time. At multiple parts. I keep watching the film because of the story it tells, of a family, of growing together, of getting older. I think it is really beautiful. It might even be a favorite. But I know what happens at the end, and that makes me more anxious. I look at Maggie's picture (I have been looking at it again and again all week) and start getting sad and teary about something that is years and years down the road, hopefully.
This is another reason I don't like change. She will not stay the same forever. I suppose I won't either, but here in my twenties I do feel like I will never change.
I should change my perspective: perhaps we will live the Marley & Me story with a puppy that grows into a beloved family member as our family grows. I will still cry as changes happen, but I can cherish the here and now and be content in the present moment.
This would be a better way to live. This would be a good change to make.
I hope that we will be good at training her and loving her. I hope that she will love it here at Green Acres with us.
I really hope that she owns our land, makes it her own, jumps in the pond when she wants to, follows us around the gardens, runs to chase the geese with us...
I can't wait to watch her grow. One more sleep until we have our Maggie home.