Last week was the kids’ Spring Break. Spring Break for us is nine glorious days of no school, no activities, no alarms, no packing lunches, no carpools… nothing. It is the absolute antithesis of our normal existence. In the past we have traveled nearby over Spring Break (Dollywood and the indoor water parks of Sevierville, TN, anyone?), but the last few years we opted to stay home and enjoy a more relaxing time off. The awesomeness is compounded by the fact that everyone else migrates to the beaches and this place becomes a virtual ghost town.
And now that the kids are older, I don’t have to entertain them every second of every minute of every day. They can actually entertain themselves. Which makes all of the nothing that much more something. And by “entertain themselves,” I mean constant bickering, which I have come to believe that they will never outgrow. Whatever, as long as they leave me alone.
Now, for those of you who have been following my crazy stories from the beginning, you may recall that despite my attempts to be a better human being, I Suck at Dogs. But I am also very quick to forget things, which I blame on all of these pregnancies and resultant children that have permanently addled my brain. The same kids who are constantly begging for us to get a dog. Day and night, night and day. Every birthday or Christmas or random Tuesday, the number one thing on their wish list is a family dog. And I know that they think we are terrible, horrible parents because we never did it. But still, Sheepdog and I did not get them a dog.
Instead, we got them two.
Their mother was rescued and when they had her on the table to spay her, they realized that she was pregnant. She delivered five pups (four boys and a girl, all black with white markings except for one of the boys) just a few days later. We met them when they were just under three weeks old and have been going to visit every weekend for the past six weeks. We watched them grow and play with their litter mates and learn from their mama. Incidentally, she and I were quite simpatico because we were both always bitching about having five kids who always wanted or needed something from us. Solidarity, sister.
We were originally drawn to the girl puppy, but she ended up acting all uppity when we visited her. I was much more drawn to two of the boys. We went back and forth on the idea of one puppy versus two, but we opted for the double whammy mainly because people told us that they would keep each other company. We also figured that, with our five kids, we would need more dogs to go around. I know what you’re thinking… why not just get one for each? But I emphatically drew the line at two.
They had to stay with their mom while they nursed and foster mom until they got neutered, which was last Thursday. The rules of the rescue organization state that they could come live with us once they had a successful recovery from surgery. So yesterday, on our last day of Spring Break, we all hopped into our XL vehicle, loaded a giant dog crate in the back, and headed over to the Chattahoochee River Club to pick up the newest members of our family.
And now, 24 hours later, with the kids all off at school and Sheepdog out of town all week for business, I am sitting here thinking, “What in the world did I get myself into?” In my heart I know that we got these dogs because the experience will teach the kids responsibility and promote selflessness and there is nothing sweeter than a child and his or her dog(s). But in my mind… let’s just say that it is very scary in there. I am feeling anxious and overwhelmed and again like there is something wrong with me that I freak out when animals are actually living under my roof, despite my best efforts to be the willow. I am definitely feeling much more like an unwavering oak. Actually, it is kind of easy to feel like any kind of tree since two very active puppies are constantly peeing and pooping on me.
There is something seriously wrong with me. I have decided that I am Spring Broken.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…