Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Welcome Home, Tinkerbell

I’m having a moment of silence right now for my twin sister, Heather. She was a brave and valiant soldier, fighting the good fight to avoid getting a dog, but alas; she was beaten down by her children and husband and today, after she picks the kids up from school, will pick up Tinkerbell, a yellow lab puppy.

I knew the battle was lost when a yellow lab up their street had puppies four weeks ago. (Tink is the one on top in the picture.) Even so, I have counseled her for two years to NOT get a puppy. There are so many, many reasons, but the main one is that she will be the sole caretaker of the dog. I don’t care what those kids say, Heather’s going to be the one feeding and walking and grooming that dog. She has enough to do; she’s a mom, a wife, and she works part-time. She does not have time to deal with a dog.

But her husband and children (whom I love, of course) have been hounding her for just as long, begging her to get a dog. David has wonderful memories of his childhood dog, Pumpkin. He swears Pumpkin was completely an outside dog. Megan and Ryan are kids, so of course they want a dog. And I honestly believe Megan, the oldest, believes she’ll help take care of Tink, as they’re going to call her. I, however, know better.

In 2001, I fully believed Michael when he claimed he would walk and feed a puppy. Sean and I were impressed with how clean Michael kept his room and how responsible he was concerning his school work. And we got weak in the knees when Michael looked at us with his wonderful hazel eyes and pleaded with us, “Please, Mom and Dad! I will walk him and feed him and take him outside and train him. I will love him!” How could we say no? (As it turns out, no is actually easy to say. Try it with me: N-O. See? Oh, how I wish I’d known that back then.)

So down to PetSmart for the Humane Society’s Adoption Day we went. Michael immediately fell in love with a cute little black pup with brown-tipped ears. The rescue worker said his name was Kent, to which Michael replied, “No, I think his name is Buster.” That was that.

You already know the rest of the story. We brought him home and the sweet little puppy grew into a furniture chewing, yard destroying, little children knocking over dog. And I was the only one feeding him or letting him out or walking him.

Almost the only good that came out of our move was I got to find a new home for Buster. We told the kids he was a Southern dog and he just wouldn’t handle the snow and cold well. (I am still paying for that, by the way. Sean's the one who got transferred; ultimately he's the one who moved us. But *I* was the one who made them get rid of the dog. I cannot wait to be the grandmother.)

There’s been a lot of talk about Buster lately as we’ve been hearing news of Tinkerbell. I know the pleas to get a puppy will come, especially after we get to meet Tink at Thanksgiving. But I have firmly stood my ground before, and I will continue to stand my ground. I will give my kids a lot of things they want, but I will not give them another dog.

I don’t want to have a dog. I don’t want to take care of a dog. I don’t want to pay for a dog. I don’t want to clean up after a dog. I know how that makes me sound, but I’m okay with it. I know my limits, and I am chock full of stuff to do with my children and husband and home that I do not have any time left over for a dog.

So today, I am thinking of my sister, and praying this little bundle of yellow fluff will be a wonderful addition to her family. And I am praying that David and Megan and Ryan really will help her Tinkerbell.