Friday, January 3, 2014

And then there were three...

I have a soft spot for animals. Especially big-brown-eyed ones.

Sometimes, apparently, I make rash,  quite possibly unwise, decisions.

Sometimes I make rash, unwise decisions involving animals. (Or so says the opinions of some.)

Meet Ozzie...

Six years ago this month we adopted Tilde. We've warned people since about the hassles of adopting a puppy during the winter months. It's hard to socialize them with other people and in a variety of settings in the winter. Plus there's that whole potty training in the cold and snow thing. Tilde is possibly the most neurotic, annoying, and yet totally lovable dog I have ever owned. I think part of her neuroses stems from a lack of expose to the world outside the walls of our home while she was a tiny pup. I think part of her neuroses is just part of her inherent personality.She is the reason we will hesitate to ever have a small dog again. She is also the reason we've often said we'd never again bring a new puppy into our family during the winter months. So it makes perfect sense that we welcomed Ozzie into our home the first part of November.

Ozzie's personality is just as awesome as it looks in that photo above. He's eager to please, quick to learn, and for such a young guy, pretty chill most of the time. (When he's not chill, he's kinda like a bull in a china shop.) I am so thankful for his naturally good nature because apparently I need to work on some shit, and the introduction of a 9 month old 65 pound puppy into my relatively small, calm life can very quickly point that fact out. Even when I have been less than patient, or kind, he's been there, looking at me with those big, brown eyes, trying to figure out how to please me.

Yes, he's a bit of a bull with his body which causes a bit of craziness during key "I'm so happy to see you" times of the day. But he is learning that full speed ahead isn't always necessary, or the best option.

Yes, he's turned Tilde's world upside down and I've felt a bit guilty for creating that situation for her in HER home. But they are slowly figuring out how to not just co-exist, but be friends and playmates. Thankfully he seems pretty respectful of his elders, and he and Jasper came to a quicker understanding of who's top dog.

Yes, shortly after bringing him home I let some of the hype about him being "one of those dangerous and aggressive breeds" get to me. (That's what happens sometimes when you spend too much time on the internet.) I freaked out about what potential danger we put our children in by adopting him, even though we've pet-parented a rottie before who was the best dog ever. Period. But then I watch him patiently serving as a pillow for Lexi as she watches TV, and I have to remind myself about my belief that badly behaved dogs are the result of irresponsible owners, not their genetic code.

Yes, our house was a little crazy during the holiday week with extra humans and animals visiting to celebrate. But we made it through the week just fine, and my extra sensitive perspective on things, and desire for things to be harmonious at all times, probably isn't the best litmus test for how things actually went down around here during the week. I hope people still enjoyed their time spent here as much as we enjoyed having them.

Obviously, given my mood and frequency of freak-out moments, I've got some issue making their way to the surface as of late. Shit that needs working on. Did I expect that adding a new furry member to our family would trigger the quick excavation of some of those issues? Not really.

I'm working on finding my happy. And letting a few things go. And letting others in on some of the conversation that's been playing in my head over the past several months. And keeping perspective on the fact that while dealing with shit kinda feels lonely at times, I am far from alone. And knowing that admitting I need some time and support while dealing with said shit is not a sign of weakness, but just a fact of what I need in life right now. And allowing our new dog, and our old dogs, to just be DOGS. And counting down the days of winter, remembering that the days ARE getting a little longer even if they are not getting any warmer as we head into January.

Would I make the same choice to adopt Ozzie if I could turn back time by 8 weeks knowing what I know today? Maybe not. But then I look down at the lump of unconditionally loving canine laying at my feet, at the pup who is never far from my side no matter what I may be doing around the house, and I think, how could I have ever made a different choice.