The Unexpected Pup
We didn’t just get a puppy. We were hand delivered a puppy, completely and 100% unexpected and unplanned, for free. Free and puppy in one sentence? How can that possibly be turned down?
My husband, Jake, and I had been discussing the option of two dogs for quite some time now, awaiting the best opportunity to purchase a new pup. It never seemed to be the right time just yet, but we were always looking up dogs in the newspaper and on The ANNA Shelter’s website. Of course there were plenty of puppies that we found and considered. But something was holding us back.
Millie, our black lab, just turned three years old this May. She’s been our baby all this time – our only baby. She gets along great with other dogs, but we weren’t sure how she’d react to a new brother or sister.
Like with only children, there’s always thoughts of jealousy when a new baby is brought home. And as irrational as it may seem, we couldn’t bear the thought of Millie thinking she was left out or not as loved as this new potential puppy. We are both fully aware that dogs don’t think like humans do in terms of love – their love is unconditional and they are so welcoming to every new being that they encounter. We could all learn a few things from dogs.
So there we were on a Tuesday night in fall, sitting at home and eating our dinner. Suddenly a car pulls into our driveway, honking the horn furiously. Jake recognized the car, as it belonged to a family friend of his. Somewhat irritated for the disturbance, he went out through the garage to see what was going on.
When he popped his head back into the house to tell me to come out, I never expected what I would find. This family friend had brought us a puppy.
She explained that this Lab/Pitt Bull mix pup was from a farm in our town that just wanted to get rid of the dogs. They were planning on taking them to a shelter, and she just couldn’t bear the thought of that, so she was trying to find good homes for all of the puppies. We were one of those homes.
Coming from a farm, this puppy was infested with fleas and quite possibly, a number of other problems. She had to fight for her food with her brothers and sisters, so she was very thin. We definitely were not ready for a new pup, but here it was, ready to join our family. She needed help and maybe we were meant to save her.
That night we gave her three flea baths, and Jake and I were just picking fleas off of her. We had a cage to keep her in for the night, and of course the puppy cried a little bit throughout the night.
Introducing her to our Millie girl went just fine, of course. Millie was confused as to why this little runt was hanging out in her territory. But I wasn’t handling it as well. I was projecting my feelings onto Millie, feeling so sorry that we had taken this puppy into our home and neglecting to give Millie the attention she has always been given as the single dog in our life.
The second night we had the puppy in our home, I cried into Millie’s fur and told her I was so sorry, over and over again. I told her she was our girl and we still loved her. I didn’t think I would feel this conflicted over having a second dog. Jake was just as conflicted as I was. So much so, that we hadn’t even named the dog yet, wondering if we actually could keep her.
All my life, we had always had two dogs in the household. But now my heart was breaking as I thought Millie was thinking that she wasn’t enough for us, so this is why we had this new dog. I didn’t know if I could open my heart up to this new puppy, as my heart had belonged to just Millie for so long.
But like dogs can love unconditionally and without measure, so can we. I realized, it’s not about splitting up my affection, it’s opening my heart up for more affection for both dogs. My husband was just as unsure about this new adjustment as I was, but once we realized this notion of love, it made the change a little easier to accept. We can always love equally and love more. And two dogs can be better than one.
This morning, the dogs have been sprinting around the house together, barking joyfully, and throwing their toys around. Millie is absolutely warming up to the idea of having a new dog best friend in our home. And she will always have her human best friends in us, as will our new Maggie.