It was just over a year ago that I was writing not-so-covert posts about a big surprise that was coming the way of the kids. It turned out to be the entrance of Charlie into our lives - the lovely, spunky Havanese pup that I've become absolutely besotted with over the past year. She's been one of the best things to happen to our little family...and certainly one of the best things to happen to me.
People regularly comment that I must be a little crazy to have a dog in our lives because I have high maintenance, high needs kids...they thoughtfully refer to dogs as being as much work as having another child in the house. But to those people I always imagine saying have you met my children? Charlie is nowhere near as much work as having one of my kids!
Quite to the contrary, Charlie is my go-to when I am in need of a moment of quiet, a snatch of joy, a minute's worth of cuddles. We are very attached to each other, and I quite adore her. Some days I don't know what I'd do without her. She's just always there, always watching for me, following me from room to room, happy when I come back after even a few seconds' absence. What's not to love about a dog that adores me??
I feel a little guilty sometimes that, although we bought the dog for the kids, she really is my baby. I think it's because I took care of her when, just after her spay operation, she started manifesting signs of her hip disease; during the six weeks between her spay and her double hip surgery, I took such careful care of her. That's when she started sleeping in our bed (although initially I was sleeping on the floor with her because she needed care); I fed her by hand before and after her hip surgery so that she'd actually get food into her when she was in constant pain and not very mobile; I carried her outside to the grass to do her business; and brought her water bowl to her mouth for that first week (or two) after her surgery when she really wasn't doing well.
You'd never guess these days that she'd ever had double hip surgery - she's a fire cracker of speed and agility and she's never more joyful than when she's running out in the field near our home, full of life and energy and vitality. But the attachment-to-me piece has outlived her recovery period and we're pretty tight!
Anyway, it was just over a year ago (a year and almost two weeks, to be exact) when we completely shocked the kids by bringing a puppy into our home. Matthew still makes comments, at least a few times a week, to the effect of "Mom, I still can't believe we have a dog," or "Mom, I still feel like it's a dream that we're a dog family now." The kids love her to pieces, and we got very fortunate with a dog like our Charlie. She's a gem.
We have another surprise lined up for the kids. I'm not saying that it's in any way related to the surprise that Charlie was a year ago (or am I?), but there is another surprise in the works that just might lead to the peeing of pants and to shrieks of disbelief. If all goes according to plan, the kids will learn of the surprise on Saturday...just three days from now. And the trajectory of our family life will change again on Saturday, just a little.
Until then, shhhhhhhhhhhh....