Well, for those who have expressed interest in the news about our hopefully-soon-to-be puppy, this is for you.
First, I should remind us all (and I do include myself in this reminder) that the puppy prospect is still a complete secret from the kids...so far we've managed it, though I goofed up once and had to back-pedal big time. But they have not one hot clue that their lives will change sometime over the course of the next month.
So, you may recall that the puppy I chose weeks back (these eight weeks seem like forever already) was diagnosed with a heart murmur two days before we were to bring him home. I was pretty disappointed for a day or two, but then adapted to the situation.
My adjustment to the new circumstances was helped along by a sense of relief, to be honest. These three weeks (starting now) are the very busiest of our entire year - our Learning Centre (LC) is less than three weeks away from putting on four performances of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (open to the public in case anyone wants to buy a ticket...it's gonna be good) and we are in full time rehearsal mode now...as in, all day every day starting tomorrow (the full time prep was to start today but too many kids are struggling to get over the flu). I had been quite anxious about how we were going to make the new puppy situation work, given that we'll be away from home most of the time over these few weeks. I'd obtained permission from the staff of the church where our LC meets to bring the puppy in with me every day - I had planned to wear him in a sling or have him in a kennel near me for the entire time we'd be away from home. When I was originally put onto the wait list for a puppy, I had been told that it would be June or July before we'd be home with a puppy - so being surprised with our little guy a few months earlier than anticipated had been a little bit worrisome given our schedule these weeks.
So I've got to be honest in saying that it's easier right now without a puppy around - it's busy and anxious enough around here at the moment.
What's really important in all of this is the puppy. The long and the short of it is that we decided to wait until mid April to have his heart re-tested. He'll be about 12 weeks old at that point and if the heart murmur is to close up, the biggest likelihood of that happening is by 12 weeks. (who knew?) I really, really wanted to bring this little guy home regardless of his health situation, but I just couldn't bring myself to do that to my kids - it's one thing to own a puppy that then gets sick, but completely another thing to knowingly bring a puppy into our lives who might drop dead at any second, in the presence of two kids who have already known far too much trauma. That decision wasn't so hard to make after all.
Anyway, if the murmur closes up, the puppy is ours to take home in 2-3 weeks. That would be the most awesome scenario.
Given the prospect that it might not heal, a friend and I also went out to visit the breeder again last week. She allowed me to choose an alternate puppy that she will commit to not selling until we know what's happening with our little guy. The alternate puppy is a female, and she'd be available to take home towards the end of April or maybe the beginning of May. She's a lovely little thing - beautiful colouring (sort of tobacco-reddish that will likely fade a little into a red gold when she's an adult) and a lovely seeming and very laid back disposition. She'd be a wonderful choice as well, and my heart was drawn to her more than to the other puppies that I was allowed to choose from.
It was strange to visit with our original little guy last week, when I went out to see the other pups. I noticed distinctly about myself that, even while I played with and cuddled him, I wasn't inclined to use his name and I didn't hold him for quite as long as I've longed to in past visits. My heart was definitely a little guarded, scared to attach even more to the little fellow. But still...he really is so delightful. He's a large puppy (given that it's a small breed) and looks like a fat little sausage being held up by four short legs - he has a huge amount of energy, is very social, and bounces on all fours when he wants to play. He's adorable and very sweet...and into chewing shoelaces!
Anyway, in just over two weeks, we'll know what the situation is. Either we'll bring home our original choice, or wait another couple of weeks to bring home the little female. Either way, it'll all be good and our lives are going to shift a little to accommodate our newest family member. I'm looking forward to it!