Today, I am grateful for our puppies.
Archie turned 9 in September. In October of 2003, I decided Dusty and I needed a puppy. He wasn't so sure we needed the responsibility. I thought, what are you talking about? It will be soooo easy.
I researched breeds and we decided a beagle would be great! I found someone selling them somewhat locally selling them. They bred their female dog before having her fixed. I told Dusty we would just look at him, wouldn't decide anything. But, if you can turn down a teeny, tiny, beagle puppy, you have a heart stronger than mine!
We brought Archie home on October 20th. At work, 3 days later, I had an accident at work and really hurt my knee. I was off work, not supposed to walk a lot, going to physical therapy and an orthopedic surgeon.
In March, we found out we were having Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn was born that November. Archie was one and spoiled rotten. He was curious and not exactly thrilled to have a baby in the house. Quickly, they became fast friends.
Archie had a lot of health problems as a puppy and young dog. He is accident prone, he can open medication bottles and eats them. He can get into medicine cabinets and high shelfs. His stomach has been pumped twice. He has chronic pancreatitis. He is allergic to chicken, beef and grains. Any "fat" in his diet and he vomits all night. He sunburns easily. He thinks he is starving. He is overweight. He is prone to ear and eye infections. We love him. He is our baby.
Given his health history, I understood Dusty's hesitation in 2009 when Kaitlyn asked for a puppy for Christmas. And by hesitation I mean nearly flat out refusal. The "what are you even thinking" look was given many times. And, rightfully so. I tend to make decisions more emotion based while Dusty is much more reasonable.
In 2009 I had 3 miscarriages. Kaitlyn was constantly asking for another sibling. Matthew had been gone for 2 years. Christmas has been such a hard time for me since he died. Because it was such a hard time, I tried to overcompensate with getting her everything she asked for and going way overboard for the other kids in our family. This is something I still struggle with. But, it makes me feel better, and what's wrong with that.
A couple days after Christmas, Dusty's uncle brought up this puppy he couldn't keep. Chico weighed under 5 lbs, soaking weight and fully clothed. He was a chihuahua pit bull mix. Oh my gosh he had the biggest ears and his head was so big for his body his feet when straight in the air when he ate. I was in love. Dusty thought I was crazy. His uncle was on Kaitlyn's side. We brought Chico home that night. Archie had started to age and I thought, what could keep him younger and better than a puppy?
Archie was not thrilled. Overtime, they have become great friends. Chico is far less cute and far more odd looking. The vet suggested braces for his severe underbite. But, he eats just fine and it would just be cosmetic. He wasn't as easy to train as Archie. He weighs about 12 pounds now and has never needed an emergency vet.
Both are work. Both are a huge responsibility. Both drive me insane at least once a day. Both have brought so much joy and happiness into our lives when it was needed. And they have taught our girls so much.
And I have learned to listen to Dusty a little more... Which is why they are our only pets.