Perhaps a dog next fall?.....

That's what we said last November. That's what planners do - they talk and think and ponder and make plans. Being petless for the first time in years, we began to mention to each other - what about a little dog? This would only come up when we'd be out and see other people's adorable little dogs. One of us brought it up 100X more than the other.....

We're leaving in about six weeks on a 2100 mile road trip, heading northwest and so of course a dog wasn't a great idea, at least until we got back home in the fall. 

Meet Miss Lily. 

My husband told me, 'you seem to need a dog. Why?' 

I don't know - I just did. 

Sometimes you just do what your heart tells you. 

At the end of the day, we settled on the fact that we weren't adopting a person who had to be raised for 20 years, and sent away to college. It was just a dog. We also talked about some of the things we've done over the years, that made no sense whatsoever, and ended up being a great idea. 

Like getting married. 

Like having kids too close together.

Like retiring early. 

After having her for almost a week, I find myself thinking, 'why did I want / need her so badly?' 

Was it because our daughter moved 2100 miles away, and I needed a girlfriend in the house? Was it to have a walking partner who forced me out the door? Was it to leave a buddy behind for my hubby when I traveled? Was God giving one of us a buddy, for someday when it's only one of us? Was it to be a comfort while going through some tough things in our lives?

I still can't say for sure, but after finding her and bringing her home, I'm thrilled to have her. She makes me laugh. She makes US laugh. She makes us feel blessed to have such a tiny thing trust us to care for her. Our Texas grandkids are VERY happy to have her here. I suspect she'll become my swimming buddy, she's already our 'go-on-errands' buddy and I'm looking forward to taking her with us to sidewalk cafes. I envision sipping coffee, reading the paper while she sniffs the world around her and visits with anyone passing by who wants to give her a pat on the head. 

Our kids have let me know they think they've all been replaced. Maybe just a little, and just for now, while she's so new to the family. I remind myself to give my husband a kiss every day, so he doesn't feel completely replaced too. 

I just called the airline and reserved her as carryon for my trip to Idaho later this month. My husband, after he heard the cost, still said, 'you better take her with you, so she doesn't overly bond with me.' (I suspect he knows that would mean dog #2.....)

We named her Lily. It was a good southern name, something I wouldn't shorten, and as she gets older she'll slide into Miss Lily I think. It makes me happy to call her name, from a corner of the yard, and see her come bounding across the grass, ears flying and tags jingling, to find me. 

There's something a little bit sacred about being entrusted with one of God's creatures, caring for it, getting out of bed earlier than you want, taking a walk when you'd rather not, and maybe even fitting your life around their's a little bit, rather than being so independent and not having your schedule messed with. 
"He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog."
Gene Hill

I found out her haircuts cost $10 more than mine and have to be done just as often. She also needs stuff applied every single month to keep nasty things away. Plus there's daycare if we're going to be gone too long in a day, and kenneling overnight for short trips she can't go on. So a new line item in the budget apparently.

But we can't take any of it with us anyway; the dog books (another $15) tell me she should be with us 12-15 years.  I expect we're going to be glad we made this decision - in spite of the few piddle spots on the carpet, walking around the backyard in my robe or late at night in pjs.

Some things you just can't put a price on. I suspect she is one of them.


Linda said…
This is so sweet Bev, and she is totally adorable. I find myself longing for a dog, but sometimes we know things are better left as they are for now. I'll look forward to hearing all about Lily.
Whispering a prayer for healing for you eye.
MotherT said…
Miss Lily is adorable. We're nearing the end of our time with our dog, Sparky. He's 14 yrs old and the vet told me he was already older than most dogs of his breed. I've been starting the search for his successor, which is making my hubby roll his eyes. I promised that we would only have one dog at a time, but we will have a dog!
Tammy E said…
Shin tzu?
Bev said…
Tammy, yes indeed, she's a Shih Tzu - a breed several family members and friends have had, but we knew little about them. Ends up they're a great choice for us. I was reading last night that they are bred for the sole purpose of being a companion / playmate and only want to entertain, make their owner happy. Her personality is coming out more every day, as she settles in, and I'm impressed that those 2" legs can walk faster than mine can. Lots to love in this 8 lb bundle of fur!
Tammy said…
A nice cousin for Chelsea! I miss my little one who we had to put down a while back. Hubby promises our next dog will be another one.
Kathy said…
Growing up I had bad experiences with dogs and never wanted one and honestly was afraid of them. And I never wanted an inside dog, not even indoor/outdoor. We started small with a Pomeranian - who was indoor and litter trained. Today we have a Rottweiler who is mostly outdoor and a Pit Bull who is indoor because she cannot always get along with the Rottweiler. Now I cannot imagine not having a dog - especially a Pit Bull. And I know that as the dogs get older they will spend their golden years indoors as much as they want stretched out in front of a warm fire when it is cold outside. Never in a million years did I imagine I would become a dog person, but thankfully God had other plans.
Kelly said…
Well I have totally loved her pictures on instagram already, and am glad to hear how she came to be in your lives:-) I totally forgot about Chelsea- of course you knew how great shih tzus are- ha! best little companions, and Lily is an adorable name. They are definitely expensive to maintain (and I was stunned at the difference a second one adds- yikes!) but they truly are such precious companions that we somehow
manage to overlook the expense (mostly) and enjoy their sweet and sassy dispositions. Congratulations, again:-)

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