When you've been together as long as my husband and I have been, people often ask the question, "When will you have kids?" Truth is, we haven't been ready. We're enjoying being married. We're working on getting ourselves set before we bring a child into this world. We work on opposite ends of the spectrum, truthfully. I am a teacher. He's a correctional officer. I work with kids and try to help set them on the right path. He gets the ones who followed their own. So, our first step towards answering the above question was... let's get a dog.
We were told about an "accidental" litter of lab puppies about 40 minutes from our house and we originally were just going to look. We scheduled a viewing where we told her we wanted a female puppy. The woman brought out two Black Lab puppies, both adorable. My husband held one, she was wiggly, white chested, and just a ball of fun. I held the other, a smile white tuft of hair on her head, dopey, and cuddly. She fell right asleep on my chest as I held her.
Which one do you think we ended up with?
We took my dopey little one. I knew right then that she had chosen me. I didn't choose her. She chose me and that's when I knew. I was so excited but kept it a secret until I picked her up. A whopping $200 was all I paid and my husband and I keep thinking we should have adopted her sister too. Two labs. Sisters. It would have had a blast. We were due to pick up on December 2.
The woman called me and said we could get our pup early. We had already named her Willow, bought her a pink blanket, a duck toy, a collar, and a leash. She had a toy box and a bed already at the house with her kennel. Unfortunately, my husband had to work, so I went to get her on my own. That night, we surprised my parents with a little ball of fur who was seven weeks old.
It's been a journey with this little pipsqueak. She potty trained herself within three weeks, bark for poop and whine for pee. She claimed all of mommy's blankets. She learned to love socks. She loves snow.
As I sit here writing this, I'm staring at my now 80-pound lab who snores as loud as she can, steals my blanket from the bed, and gives kisses galore daily. She's become a mascot for my classroom. She's become well loved all over our social media pages. She brings so much laughter and love to our life it's crazy.
When I adopted this baby, I didn't quite know how it would all play out. I'd never had a puppy all to myself (and my husband) to raise on our own. However, she gave me a reason to want to come home. She gave me a new outlook on life. She makes me want to be the best I can be. I work harder for her so she can have the best life. We travel with her so she can explore new places with us. She's not our dog. She's our child and everyone knows that. Willow goes almost everywhere with us. The next step is having her at school with me, but that's another story.
It's amazing how dogs help us. It's amazing how just a slobbery kiss helps make anyone's day better.