Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It pays to be the third

There are advantages to being the last kid. And considering our last, Rebecca, is the one who got dragged around to all the older kids’ activities, missed nap times and had later bedtimes in order to accommodate her siblings, it seems only right she’d gets some perks. And this week, she got a big one.

Introducing Dakota Duffy, the newest member of the family.
Back in October, I walked by Rebecca’s desk and saw her sitting there, all alone in the school room that used to house three Duffy kids. Everything was so quiet. Last year both of her siblings went to college; Rebecca spent the school year adjusting to being the only one home. It didn’t really feel real. But this year when they both left, Rebecca and I realized it was just going to stay quiet.

And on that fateful October day when I walked by the all-too-quiet school room, I thought, “I bet she’d like a dog.”

As soon as the thought entered my mind I tried to shoo it out. I did NOT want a dog! Dogs are messy and dirty and smelly. They cost a lot and what the heck am I going to do with a dog when we go out of town?

But I couldn’t shake the idea that having a little dog would mean the world to her. She'd been talking about having a dog for years. And for years, we successfully convinced her that we are not dog people. But the picture of her doing her school work with a little furry friend at her feet just stayed with me. I could not shake it.

I mentioned it to Sean later that night. I was relying on him to be the voice of reason. The one to say, “We are NOT dog people.” The one to say, “There, there, Christy. You’ve obviously lost your mind. Let me get you some meds.” Instead, he said, “That sounds like a really good idea.”

Oh. My. Word.

After the two of us talked about it for several days, we came up with three stipulations. She would have to find a dog that: 1) did not shed much; 2) weighed less than 20 pounds; and 3) was not a bazillion dollars.

When we laid out the plan for Rebecca, she looked at us like we’d lost our minds. For the briefest of moments, she thought we were playing a horribly cruel joke. After assuring her we were for real, a gigantic smile spread across her face and has been there ever since.

She spent several weeks researching and came up with the ideal dog for our family: a West Highland White Terrier. And she even found a Westie rescue organization and asked if we could adopt a rescued Westie. We submitted our paperwork the first of December. Two weeks ago, we heard that they had a dog that would be perfect for us: seven-year-old Dakota.

Last week we drove out to visit him at his foster home and Rebecca instantly fell in love. Four days later (after we passed our home study), he was packed up into our car, headed toward his new home. He’s been here for two days and in those two days Rebecca has said, “I can’t believe we have a dog!” at least a million times.

I can’t believe it, either.

Welcome to the fam, Dakota. We're all really glad you're here. 
On the way home!


Dakota doesn't stray too far from Rebecca.

I have a feeling they're going to be inseparable.