A home can be clean, decorated, and full of a family running this way and that; but it isn't full or satisfying until there is a pet in it. A pet brings cohesiveness to a family. It brings responsibility; but it also brings something more wonderful than activity to a home. It brings pause from schedules; reflection on the miracle of life; and laughter.
In my own home, we have for years had kids in sports and scouts. We've had work and vacations, but we've never had a family pet. There was always a reason not to get one. Back when I was in college I had gotten a cinnamon colored Chow puppy. She was an active little dog that traveled with me on road trips and to parties with friends. She tasted beer when she was a pup, and always had an affinity for it.
When she grew older, as did I, we lived with my parents for a little while. That became her permanent home as she was happy there and was used to a routine. My family would see her routinely, but she never made the move to our home. She lived to be 16 years old and had a good life living out her years at my folks' house.
For all of the years of little babies toddling around, and running businesses, it never made sense to bring a dog into the family. It was only recently that I sold one of my businesses and opted to work part-time from home that it began to make sense.
My 12 year old daughter Elizabeth and I talked about what kind of dog we'd like. We poured over calendars with dogs and went to pet stores to look around. We discussed what kind of pets the "tween" stars have, according to the poster magazines that we get.
The kids have a full life, but they didn't have a pet to love.
Andrew, my 9 year old son, and I looked at the Humane Society Web site week after week to see what dogs they had and who had been adopted. We started to narrow down what size and shape of a dog would work for us. He picked one called "Cricket" who had a damaged jaw and would have to eat soft food all of his life. While I also like the appearance of the dog, I felt concerned about his special needs.
There was something holding us back from really committing to get a pet, although it was on all of our minds. Then one day my sister's boyfriend told us that his brother had a litter of Jack Russell pups. There was a boy that was unaccounted for and he asked if we would like to see him.
So one Saturday we went to see him. He was a wily little thing running around being a cute little puppy. My husband didn't say anything. He hung back in a non-committal manner as the kids and I played with the puppy. Finally with reluctance, he got down on the floor and started playing with the pup. It was at that moment that I knew he was hooked.
Two weeks later, and lots of late night potty breaks with Indy, we have fallen in love with him. Our entire lifestyle is changing with this little guy. All the bedroom doors must remain closed otherwise an errant sock or shoe will become a chew toy. Small toys or game pieces that might have been left out before are now put up on shelves or tables.
Nightly TV watching is now playtime for the puppy. Or, when he rests he curls up on someone's lap for a little shut eye while we watch a show.
I spend the most time with the puppy as I work from home. So during the day, while I'm working at the computer, he cuddles up on my lap and goes to sleep. Now when I try to put him back on the floor to sleep so that I can get a little closer to the keyboard he looks up at me with pleading eyes to hold him.
Here's Indy on my lap here in the office.
This little dog has captured our hearts and has brought laughter to our home. His heart is all about love and I'm glad that we finally found each other.
Cherry Cornbread Stuffing Dried cherries and prunes are a nice addition to this cornbread and sausage stuffing. Cranberries can be added or substituted, if you like.