So cute and so much work

We lost our dog, the best yellow lab to have ever lived, in August. Even at my daughter’s ongoing request, I truly believed I’d wait until spring (after ski season). Well, we went ahead and got a new little rascal. And even though we raised the previously mentioned lab from week 10 or so, I forgot how big a pain in the booty puppies can be.

Rory, a beautiful brown giant Schnoodle, really is dumb. And I say that with love because of course she’s not smart yet; she’s a puppy. Of course I remembered puppies whine during crate training and have accidents all over the place, but I forgot about other things they don’t know how to do. Like walking on a leash, going up and down stairs, playing with a toy, and more.

The significant difference this time around is that when the yellow lab was a new puppy to us, we also had a brand-new baby. The two were born exactly three months apart (dog first). This time, I have an 11-year-old who can not only help do things, but also wants to help, as well.

My kid has plenty of responsibilities and she’s mostly a thoughtful person. But caring for a pet is a new level of work for her and it’s great to see her take on the work… and the problems. I went out for a walk this afternoon and when I returned, she told me with joy about how Rory had peed and pooped on the rug. I asked if she cleaned it up and she looked at me like I was bananas. Of course she had; and she told me this with some level of disdain in her eyes. This, coming from a girl who cannot close the silverware drawer. Even when I remind her to do so.

I think what’s most impressive to me is that my daughter is taking on these roles and not only not verbally complaining about them, but I also think she actually doesn’t mind. Her love for animals, and now this one as her pet, is genuine. It’s beautiful. And it also forces me to check myself because I’m already annoyed and tired. And I realized this morning I don’t get to sleep in for like another six months. Who’s the whiny tween now?

But I look forward to the love and presence this floof will add to the house. I didn’t realize how much I was used to a pet until I stared feeding a few of the neighborhood cats. Like daily. And I don’t really even love cats.

I suppose if you’re an animal person you’re one through and through and probably are forever. And we grow to love the ones we choose to bring home with us.

The best and seemingly cosmic part? I looked closer at Rory’s paperwork this morning as I called our vet to make her first appointment. And she was born in August, one day before the yellow lab left us. She’s perfect.